How Cloud Computing Affects Real People
“Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.”
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the most famous scientist of the 20th century.
Any business decision is invariably taken considering its impact on different stakeholders. In this context, stakeholder refers to any individual or entity that influences or influences the business. Consequently, the term encompasses as wide a variety of people as owners, managers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, customers and even the local community. We will use the same approach in evaluating the effects of migrating to cloud computing. In other words, we will look at how cloud computing affects real people.
Here, we present some stakeholders and their likely views on cloud computing. Note that this is intended to be representative and we do not profess it to be 100% accurate. Also, stakeholders, like all individuals, are prone to individualistic behavior that may not agree with that of the majority.
First of all, let’s consider the Chief Information Officer (CIO). Well, he (note that “he” is gender-neutral here) will love the operational efficiencies and enhanced reliability that redundancy will bring. If one data center goes down, there are always two to back it up now. However, if the broadband connection is giving problems, he will be concerned. As he will regarding the security of client data stored on third-party servers. These issues are discussed in detail in Cloud Computing Risks (And How to Deal With Them).
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will love the lower costs that this move will result in. Sign one annual contract for cloud computing services and all maintenance costs are covered for a fixed figure. Using SaaS (Software as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) in the on-demand mode will ensure there is no expensive hardware to spend on or software licenses to buy. Compared to such savings, initial installations expenses seem minimal.
IT managers will have mixed feelings, at least initially. While they will love data redundancy and ease of sharing information, concerns over loss of some control and monitoring ability will color their judgment. However, once they see that real-time tracking is possible with cloud computing, they will lean towards the technology.
System designers and developers will welcome the universal, platform-independent outlook of cloud computing as an opportunity to develop products with high portability across platforms and systems. Archivists and bookkeepers will appreciate the permanence that cloud computing, with its shared storage facilities, can provide.
The environmentalist will appreciate this change. A recent study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Accenture and WSP Environment & Energy, demonstrated cloud computing’s potential to operate business applications more efficiently, resulting in a potentially lower environmental impact. Hence, in today’s age of global warming, cloud computing is the greener option.
Now we come to the most important question of all – how will the end consumer, the man (or woman) on the street, be affected by cloud computing? In all likelihood, the results will be positive for the customer. Work will be done cheaper and faster; hence, it is expected that some of the cost savings will be passed on the consumer, who will also get deliveries faster than usual.
As can be seen, almost all the effects on real people are expected to be positive. Of course, there will be exceptions, but the weight of results favoring a move to the cloud as evidenced by recent stakeholder reactions is overwhelming.
By Sourya Biswas
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