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Why Cloud Computing Matters

Why is cloud computing important?

For developers, cloud computing provides increased amounts of storage and processing power to run the applications they develop. Cloud computing also enables new ways to access information, process and analyze data, and connect people and resources from any location anywhere in the world. In essence, it takes the lid off the box; with cloud computing, developers are no longer boxed in by physical constraints.

For IT departments, cloud computing offers more flexibility in computing power, often at lower costs. With cloud computing, IT departments don't have to engineer for peak-load capacity, because the peak load can be spread out among the external assets in the cloud. And, because additional cloud resources are always at the ready, companies no longer have to purchase assets (servers, workstations, and the like) for infrequent intensive computing tasks. If you need more processing power, it's always there in the cloud—and accessible on a cost-efficient basis.

For end users, cloud computing offers all these benefits and more. An individual using a web-based application isn't physically bound to a single PC, location, or network. His applications and documents can be accessed wherever he is, whenever he wants. Gone is the fear of losing data if a computer crashes. Documents hosted in the cloud always exist, no matter what happens to the user's machine.

And then there's the benefit of group collaboration, for both individuals and organizations. Users from around the world can collaborate on the same documents, applications, and projects, in real time. It's a whole new world of collaborative computing, all enabled by the notion of cloud computing.

For everyone concerned, cloud computing does all this at lower costs, because the cloud enables more efficient sharing of resources than does traditional network computing. When you tap into the power of the cloud, you get supercomputing power at PC prices—something that offers particular appeal to individuals and small businesses. And, with cloud computing, hardware doesn't have to be physically adjacent to a firm's office or data center; cloud infrastructure can be located anywhere, including and especially areas with lower real estate and electricity costs.

Bottom line? Cloud computing is set to change the way everyone uses computers. End users and organizations will be able to tap into more computing power at lower prices, and do their computing from any location in the world. Add to this the untold benefits of enhanced collaboration, and you see why cloud computing is set to be the "next big thing" in the computing world. The cloud is coming—are you ready for it?

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