I would like to start my initial post by quoting Paul Maritz, CEO of VMware who stated that “Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computing” (Davidson, M., 2015).
In my opinion, the above statement could not be truer today. According to Trapp Technology (2016), the levels of enterprise cloud computing adoptions were never higher than now. Over 70% of businesses have at least one application in the cloud, and 90% of all companies plan to increase or maintain their annual spending on cloud computing. The trends of increased acceptance of cloud computing are indicative of the fact that businesses are attracted by the benefits and less than ever before concerned about where the actual computing takes place.
Among many benefits of cloud, three of them stand out the most. According to IBM (2017), the biggest benefits of cloud computing are flexibility and efficiency, which provide a strategic business value.
According to Romeder, S. (2017), companies should not have to limit the way products and services are offered because their underpinning system is inflexible. The flexibility is, in fact, one of the biggest advantages of Cloud because, in this fast-moving world, the ability to adapt to changing requirements is a key to a business success. The cloud computing provides the ability to scale services in a much more effective way than a typical on-premise solution. This is mainly due to cloud capabilities such as low-cost elastic computing and high-performance resource scaling, combined with the cost-efficient analytical capabilities and ease of web-based administration.
As an example. Let’s imagine that the business requirement asks for additional memory or computing power. In the cloud, it is as easy as visiting the browser based control panel and adjusting the configuration bar to resize the computing resource in question. According to a video released by the Amazon Web Services (Figure 1), the process of resizing the computing instance in the AWS Cloud takes less than 2 minutes.
Figure 1 – (Amazon Web Services, 2017)
The flexibility of cloud solutions is further highlighted by the global availability of cloud computing services. For example, according to Amazon Web Services (2017), the AWS Cloud currently operates in 42 Availability Zones within 16 geographic Regions around the world (Figure 2). It essentially means, that if the business motivation is to expand to new geographies, the cloud solutions such as Amazon AWS offer a solution for a simple creation or server migration around the globe, a feat not easy to accomplish with physical servers. Another benefit arises from the ability to control globally distributed computing resources from a single cloud administrators control panel.
Figure 2 – (AWS re Invent, 2016)
The efficiency of cloud computing is magnified by the fact, that enterprises leveraging cloud solutions can create their applications faster. So, the efficiency manifests as an added benefit of getting the product to market quicker and without such disturbances as the fear about the basic infrastructure maintenance and other associated costs. According to Armbrust, M. (2010, p. 50-58) cloud efficiency is the ability to release and acquire resources only when necessary.
Another efficiency of cloud comes in the form of energy savings. A six-month study led by Berkeley Lab found that moving to the cloud businesses can save up to three-thirds of the IT energy consumption. According to the example provided in the survey, “by moving 86 million U.S. office workers to the cloud, we would use up to 87% less energy, which is enough to power Los Angeles for a year” (Crd.lbl.gov, 2017).
Figure 3 – (Crd.lbl.gov, 2017).
Davidson, M. (2015) Cloud is About How You Do Computing Not Where You Do Computing – Nuvollo. [online] Nuvollo. Available at: http://nuvollo.com/cloud-is-about-how-you-do-computing-not-where-you-do-computing/?page_id=35539 [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].
Trapp Technology (2016) Enterprise Cloud 2016 – Infographic. [online] Available at: http://trapptechnology.com/enterprise-cloud-infographic-2016/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].
IBM (2017) IBM – Benefits of cloud computing. [online] Ibm.com. Available at: https://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/learn-more/benefits-of-cloud-computing/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].
Romeder, S. (2017) Why flexibility in cloud services is key to ERP success in today’s age. [online] Cloud Tech News. Available at: https://www.cloudcomputing-news.net/news/2017/feb/08/why-flexibility-cloud-services-key-erp-success-todays-age/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].
Armbrust, M. (2010) A view of cloud computing. Communications of the ACM, 53(4), 50-58.
Crd.lbl.gov. (2017) Study: Moving Computer Services to Cloud Promises Big Energy Savings. [online] Available at: http://crd.lbl.gov/news-and-publications/news/2013/study-moving-computer-services-to-the-cloud-promises-significant-energy-savings/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].
Amazon Web Services (2017) Global Infrastructure. [online] Available at: https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2017].
AWS re:Invent (2016) AWS Enterprise Fundamentals 2016: Design Your Account and …. [online] Available at https://www.slideshare.net/AmazonWebServices/aws-reinvent-2016-enterprise-fundamentals-design-your-account-and-vpc-architecture-for-enterprise-operating-models-ent203?from_action=save [Accessed 29 Apr. 2017].
Amazon Web Services (2017) Get More CPU or Memory for Your EC2 Instance. [online] Available at: https://aws.amazon.com/premiumsupport/knowledge-center/resize-instance/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2017].