Computing services, just like traditional services, such as electricity, are changing in a manner that users are allowed to pay for the services based on their usage. In such a service, users are allowed to access the goods they require without knowing where they come from or who provides them. Cloud computing is a technology that allows users to share resources, such as memory, operating systems, software applications, servers, and networks. It saves organizations from the costs associated with purchasing, installing, and maintaining computer infrastructure, as they are done in the server by the service providers. It is used even by Thesis Writing Services.
Cloud computing allows users to expand and reduce the quantity of the resources according to their requirements, i.e. it is scalable. This means that users can use huge quantities of resources for a specific duration of time and release them after finishing. It also allows users to pay for those services on a per-use basis. Cloud computing allows users to use the resources on a demand-basis. This means that the services cease to be part of an organization's IT infrastructure when not in use. In case of a problem in a server, work is transferred to other servers either through virtual means or physical means without user noticing. Cloud computing allows workloads to be migrated from one server to another for users to access better services.
Information technology has been improving at a very fast pace. The invention of the internet has made great changes in the world of information technology. The idea of networking was developed by Licklider J. C. R. in the 1960s. His intention was to see many people accessing files and programs from a centralized place irrespective of their location in the world. The invention has given to many people an opportunity to share files and resources, and save their information in central servers, which could be accessed by other users, who had access rights. Cloud computing has seen tremendous development, with Web 2.0 as its most recent evolution. Cloud computing for many people began increasing in popularity in the 1990s, when the bandwidth of the internet improved. The introduction of Salesforce.com in the 1999 marked the beginning of providing various enterprise applications through websites. This encouraged many firms dealing with software to start providing their applications to clients through the internet. In 2002, Amazon Web Services improved the services that could be provided through cloud computing to include storage, human intelligence, and computation. The trend continued with improvements made regarding the services offered in the cloud. Currently, many cloud providers such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft offer browser-based applications to various enterprises around the world. Many organizations have now ventured into using cloud-based services as a means of saving costs and utilizing efficient and scalable services.
Cloud computing offers many benefits to the organizations and individuals. It offers flexible services to its users by providing a large amount of services in its servers. In this regard, it is able to quickly meet the demands of various users. Since cloud services are offered by the service providers who are committed to ensure that their clients get high quality services and are able to recover their data in case of disasters, the organizations using cloud services do not need to design and implement complex disaster recovery plans. The cloud service providers implement such plans for their clients, and recover data faster in case of any disaster; thus, encouraging continuity of businesses.
Cloud computing service providers offer automatic software updates to their clients. This ensures that the clients use updated software, which is able to detect any malicious software; thus, guaranteeing enhanced security. Software updates also make clients offer high quality services to their customers. Cloud computing also encourages collaboration. Since cloud services can be accessed from any location, employees are able to share documents, work together on projects, and get critical updates in real time, regardless of their location. This also eliminates the need of telecommuting, which saves a lot of time; thus, increasing productivity.
There is almost unlimited storage space in the cloud. Therefore, the organizations are able to store large amounts of information in the cloud without worrying about running out of space. Cloud providers give users the scalability option, which allows them to scale their services according to their demands. In this regard, users are able to increase or decrease their services, according to their requirements. Scalability also enables businesses to effectively and quickly respond to the changes in business needs, as many operations are taken care of by cloud service providers.
The main aim of many businesses is to maximize profits using minimum costs. Cloud computing helps organizations to save money, since the work of maintaining and updating applications and hardware stays in the hands of cloud providers, organizations need to spend less to do the same. Many organizations do not have to employ experts in order to develop and maintain applications, as these are done by cloud providers; thus, saving on costs. Cloud providers also enable users to use their Software, such as Service, SaaS, or Platform as a Service, PaaS, making them pay only for the services they use. The cost of licensing of the new software is also reduced, as the services of the cloud develop and grow without the need of purchasing high-priced software licenses.
Legal and Ethical Issues
There are no laws that protect personal information of cloud users; therefore, preventing it from being adopted by many users around the world. While there are some laws in some countries that protect users' data, such as in the EU member states, the laws are not similar; thus, derailing the legal aspects of data protection. In the United States for example, the government implemented the Patriot Act that enables it to request cloud providers to disclose information of any organization or user stored in any server around the world, provided that the organization or user operated in the United States.
Data stored in the cloud can be accessed by the cloud providers, who might disclose it to a third party for personal benefits. There are also ethical concerns regarding the access to clients' personal details without their consent. Many clients store critical and personal information in the cloud, and cloud providers have access to it. In addition, there are concerns regarding the kind of data stored in the cloud and the ownership of the data. Users might have their data stolen or altered, or users might store inappropriate information, such as pornography, in the cloud. In such a case one my wonder who will be held responsible: cloud providers or users.
The biggest concern in cloud computing is security and privacy. Many important users' information handled in the cloud provides great worries to users. Many managers may be reluctant to store their important information in the cloud fearing that it can be accessed or stolen by third part. However, cloud providers try to maintain their reputation by ensuring that their clients' data are safe and secure. They, therefore, put in place the security measures that ensure that the clients' data are safe. With regard to privacy, there are concerns that privacy of users might be compromised, when they log into the cloud at any location to access their information. However, many cloud service providers have implemented authentication and authorization techniques in order to ensure that privacy of their clients' information or applications is upheld.
Another security concern in cloud computing is service traffic hijacking. If a third party accesses client's information in the cloud, he or she can do a lot of haring actions with it including eavesdropping, redirecting of clients to illegitimate websites, and manipulating data. This can cause a lot of troubles to businesses and organizations. Since it is a new technology, many hackers or malicious software developers try to utilize its security vulnerabilities to compromise it, though various preventive and protective measures are put in place by cloud providers.
Cloud computing encourages sharing of information over the internet, which poses huge risk, as many people can access it in case they compromise security measures put in place. Users might also face problems when they want to share data, but the cloud provider face outrages.
Further Require Research
There are concerns that cloud computing might negatively impact IT professionals and businesses, who rely on computer maintenance and repair. In case all companies shift to cloud computing, the need for computer maintenance will reduce, rendering some IT professionals jobless, and making businesses go out of the market. There should be further research done in order to evaluate the effects of cloud computing to such businesses and IT experts.
Another topic for further research concerns autonomic computing. This is an area of computing that enables computer systems to monitor themselves, identify problems, and take measures to maintain or repair themselves. If this field of technology is implemented, then many IT maintenance jobs will be out of the market.
Further research should also be done in the areas of security, privacy, and legal and ethical aspects in order to come up with conclusive direction that can make cloud providers serve their clients better, and encourage users to use cloud services without fear.
Cloud computing is by no means a technology that transforms the operations of many businesses. While there may be social, legal, security, and ethical aspects of cloud computing, users should concentrate on accessing its benefits, while finding solutions to the issues in question. Further research should also be done with regard to IT maintenance and repair, autonomic computing, and legal, security, social, and ethical aspects of cloud computing.