cloud computing

Cloud Computing: Are you in the clouds?

cloud computing

What is it? Is it something new? Does it save costs?
In a very simple way we could define “Cloud computing” as a platform to offer services through the Network, accessible from any place and with any type of device, or in other words it allows us, among other things, to install applications to work in Internet, hosting them externally and without having enough capacity to organize the information.

From a more technical point of view, integrates in a unique way Saas (software as a service), Paas (platform as a service) and Iaas (infrastructure as services). Forgive the acronyms, but I think it’s interesting to name them because they are well-known terms in the sector and it is good that when they offer this type of service, they know its meaning and do not sound like ‘Chinese’.

All these concepts are not new even many experts claim to have heard of cloud computing since the early nineties. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon or Salesforce offer their infrastructures, technologies, applications and services under this model for many years, sometimes completely free of charge financed by advertising.

According to a study prepared by the IDC consultancy, the cloud computing market in Spain reached a turnover of 217 million euros in 2011, which represents a growth of 42% compared to the previous year.

Cloud computing can encompass all the computing resources needed by companies and users: networks, servers, storage capacity, applications, programming tools, etc. It is managed in large remote data centers, with high levels of security, which serve multiple clients that access them through the Internet. This means that the storage capacity is multiplied, providing significant cost savings, maximizing the return on investment with much more efficient energy consumption.

This savings is given among other things because it is not necessary to purchase licenses for the programs to be used, no servers or software are needed. The payment system is by subscription, a monthly amount is paid for its use and nothing else, the updates are made automatically obtaining improvements in security and performance. Microsoft, for example, is offering professionals and small businesses Office 365 starting at 5.25 euros per user per month.

As a summary of the advantages that cloud computing can offer us, there is the possibility of personalization, the outsourcing of services (security copies, e-mail, document storage, etc.), access from any point, cost savings since it is paid only for what is used, also gives us the possibility to expand the service as we need it.

We are at a point where cloud computing technology has matured enough to think it is a good alternative. A new horizon of possibilities for communication, collaboration and way of working is open to both users and companies in the ICT sector. An example of this is the initiative of Eticom (Association of entrepreneurs of Information Technologies and Communication of Andalusia) that with the collaboration of Microsoft and Vodafone have created the Cloud Innovation Center in order to stimulate and enhance its use and with the aspiration to become a reference at national and international level.

Jose María Vassallo

CEO Besoftware BSW

Article included in Vida Económica Magazine Cloud Computing: ¿Está usted en las nubes? (pdf)