Cloud Computing

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					Imagine being able to access all of your applications and all of your documents
regardless of whether you're at your desk, at home or on your mobile device. What if
you never have to worry about maintaining your own network or hardware? This is
the reality of cloud computing.

By definition, cloud computing is a way of providing software as a service (SaaS),
infrastructure and hardware as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS), either
individually or in different combinations. The basis of cloud computing is that all of
these services are offered via a network connection to a server or servers within the
"cloud" of the Internet using some type of networked appliance.

Why Use Cloud Computing?

Whether you're an individual or a small or large business, cloud computing offers a
reliable, low-maintenance way to provide a scalable solution for on-demand services
at a fraction of the cost of having licensed locally installed copies of software, IT
infrastructure and hardware that quickly becomes outdated. Cloud computing also
eliminates the need for a large staff of IT personnel and it also allows you, as a
business owner, to decide which services you actually need and which you don't.

Using infrastructure as a service provides limitless server capacity available on a
pay-as-you-use basis or on a monthly payment structure. Having this storage
capability makes it easy for businesses to store all of their integral information in a
secure, centralised area without worrying about costly upgrades. The software as a
service model in cloud computing allows individuals or businesses to use only the
software they need, on an as-needed basis while upgrades are taken care of by the
service provider. Finally, platform as a service offers a software development
environment that is not restricted to a localised area. This means that software and
upgrades being developed within a cloud computing platform can be delivered to
consumers faster and easier.

Will Cloud Computing Work for Me?

Regardless of what type of business you operate, if you rely on an IT services that
always has a need for increased capacity, continued software upgrades or constant
hardware and software maintenance, it's easy to recognise the advantages of cloud
computing. The question that should be asked is, "What business wouldn't benefit
from having unlimited infrastructure, consistent software upgrades or a world wide
platform for delivering its products?" The most important aspect of cloud computing
is that it allows you to run your business the way you need to run it without constantly
roadblocks such as downtime, continuous upgrades and outdated equipment.

Unlimited Access -
From a practical standpoint, cloud computing offers freedom from the desk or office
and access from a huge selection of portable devices such as netbooks, laptops and
web-enabled mobile devices. How often does this scenario happen? Your team is on
the road pitching a client and at the last minute you realise that you've left an
important part of your presentation sitting back at your office on your desktop
computer. The presentation doesn't go well and your potential client shows you the
door. If your business had been using infrastructure as a service, that integral piece of
your presentation would have been accessible to your laptop or mobile phone and you
wouldn't have missed a single beat.

A Solid Customisable Solution -

Cloud computing is a solution that can be scaled directly to the size of your business.
It eliminates software licensing costs, downtime, obsolete software and equipment
and the possibility of losing the documents and information that are important to the
success of your business. Ultimately, one of the most beneficial aspects of cloud
computing is its cost-effectiveness when compared to other localised solutions.

The movement toward this model will continue and successful businesses will reap
the benefits of this new shift. When it comes right down to it, businesses not using
cloud computing will find it much harder to succeed.