Author Archives: Gregory

Reasons Why Cloud Computing Is A Hot Start-up Area

Reasons Why Cloud Computing Is A Hot Start-up Area

The cloud computing business model has had a phenomenal adoption in the last decade. It scales business, private, and public operations in a way that lowers costs, takes advantage of new technology, and boosts efficiency with minimal infrastructural engagements. And because it’s been the center of many debates surrounding business operations, cloud computing sector has been a beehive of activities. In the past few months, it has suddenly become a hot start-up area, attracting more and more interest. There are a number of possible reasons for this.

1. Closing knowledge gap about the cloud

According to a survey carried out and published by the Business Insider in late 2011, close to 50 percent of all Americans were not aware of what the cloud was. When the infograph came in, it worried stakeholders in the industry and they seem to have acted upon it. Recently, there has been marked evidence of a reducing knowledge gap in the previously quiet cloud sphere. People are becoming aware of the cloud and what it can do for start-ups and innovative businesses

2. Managed cloud negative publicity

Compared to a few years ago, the way the cloud works today is more radical. Despite the negative publicity from the Megaupload piracy scandal and the website’s federal lockdown, the Sony cloud hacking situation, and other controversies, cloud advocacy stepped up. This is partially because the players have started to take responsibility for their affairs. For the industry as a whole, this seems to have worked well.

3. Less competition in the cloud

Unlike programming, software, and the other industries controlled by monopolies or conglomerates, cloud computing faces relative calm in operations. There is not much competition in the sector. This gives start-ups the opportunity to move into the sector and collect gains before competition sinks.

4. Increased cost of doing business

The cost of running businesses has increased but not because of the increase of opportunities, revenues, or markets. On the contrary, economies have been shrinking. The cloud is comfortably in the lead of options that offer businesses the opportunity of virtualized, more efficient, and cost-effective business models. Smart cloud computing providers and start-ups have moved in to provide custom solutions for these businesses.

5. General positive predictions for the sector

The essence of the start-ups is to move into new sectors and drive more or less faster changes. Looking at the current order of business, the cloud seems to be in the driver’s seat. Its future is bright. Considering we have more venture capitalists like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers getting into the fore, the sector is headed for a greener future and this will change the current business models and sector players.

By Gregory Musungu

Factors That Hurt Cloud Computing Confidence

Factors That Hurt Cloud Computing Confidence

Cloud computing has been called a saint and other great names by friends and foe. It promises great benefits, cost cuts and efficiencies at individual and enterprise level. However, even as momentum grows, uptake figures have not been at all impressive. In fact, experts indicate that the confidence in the cloud and what it can do is waning. This trend is negative. In this article, we look at some of the factors that hurt cloud computing confidence, especially among would be users.

Insecurity in the cloud

Security is one of the hottest cloud computing topics. It worries so many people. Depending on the application whose service you use with the cloud, security cannot be guaranteed. And because of the fact that cloud computing is entirely constructed on the precepts of the internet, it’s hard to convince one security is taken care of. Moreover, more and more companies are attached in the cloud by malicious hackers. These security threats deem user confidence because people love to back up their data, feel it and see it-as is the case with traditional techniques.

Control by service providers

Cloud computing service providers call the shots. The developers choose what to make accessible to the normal users. This means that, users have no say in what they get. They are dictated to by the whims of the providers. This is a negative characteristic. People love it when it’s them who decide what to customize or not.

Internet dependency

Internet dependency for computing is scary. It can limit your ability to access a program if it’s slow. This means that you could lose a lot if anything went wrong. However, with a desktop application, whether or not the internet does exist is a question of no consequence. You can use it whenever you want. Outages and breakdowns in internet communications cannot harm you.

Advertising dangers

Sometimes, the cloud is complicated. To cover expenses, some cloud computing services that are free show adverts. For users, this can be so annoying. Not only is this practice disruptive, but it also makes the user experience poor. This proliferates the malware spread on the internet, phishing, spam and other negatives associated with sudden pop ups and computer viruses.

Privacy and potential for censorships

Committing all your applications to the cloud is a huge risk. Naturally, you give all authority to a given entity, corporate, etc. to manage your personal data. In countries like China where governments are obsessed about monitoring individual liberties, the effects could be detrimental. They can actually descend on personal information at will. This is against all individual rights.

Poor industry regulation framework

Regulation of cloud computing has been discussed at various cloud computing forums. This is because it’s a contentious issue for many consumers. Cloud computing companies have a free hand to run all their affairs. They offer what they deem fit. In most cases, the rights of the consumers are not negotiated in the contracts. This exposes users to a lot of risk and no guarantees. To keep off these problems, people keep off this life saving technology.

By Gregory Musungu

What Cloud Consumers Need To Look Out For In Cloud Contracts

What Cloud Consumers Need To Look Out For In Cloud Contracts

Many people think cloud computing contracts look out for service providers alone. There are different factors that fuel this attitude. Even then, many consumers still feel like they have no choice. Providers tell them what they can and cannot get. This development is negative for the industry. However, if you want to be a consumer for cloud products, the future is looking bright. With more providers on the market, competition will force some of these dominating companies to think twice. In the meantime, you need to look out for yourself when working on cloud computing contracts with amicable providers.

Ownership of data

Privacy is a critical topic in the cloud. You need to make sure that you still own all content and materials stored in the cloud. The contract needs to clearly assert you as owner for the data stored on another company’s servers. This includes all ownership rights—direct, indirect, and intellectual. This will not only protect you from all the dangers that cover infringements, but it will also serve as evidence in a court of law, were this be necessary. Negotiating a language that guarantees express ownership is the best approach to the contract.

Data disposition

It’s critical that your contract has a clear clause on what happens when you go separate ways. This means that your company avoids a lock-in when the contract ends. There are different approaches to make the provider agree to this. One is for you to get access to your information on an ongoing basis. This way you would have access to the data when the contract ends, but you can also make contingency plans for temporary, emergency, and critical access to data stored on their servers.

Data breaches

Hacking and other breaches are common in the cloud. They happen once in a while, depending on who your provider is. Sometimes, breaches can happen via your root. On many occasions, breaches happen through company’s internal systems. When breaches happen, who is responsible? Naturally, the contract should have a clear direction covering the service provider and consumer duties and responsibilities. It should also state clearly what are the consequences for breaching the terms of the contract.

Legal requests to access data

The cloud contract should also stipulate what happens in the event of a request for data stored from a court of law or government body. Because ownership is entirely in the consumer’s hands, one needs to ensure the right for full disclosure is provided, to stem arbitrary checks and privacy infringements.

Security

Many people wrongly assume that the cloud has no relation whatsoever with physical data centers and infrastructure. Consumers need to know what level of security is awarded to their data, so make sure security measures are clear when you sign the contract.

By Gregory Musungu

What Cloud Service Providers Can Do To Accelerate Cloud Computing Uptake

What Cloud Service Providers Can Do To Accelerate Cloud Computing Uptake

Cloud computing is a promising technology; however, uptake by businesses remains slow in some industries despite the many benefits of cloud computing. Productivity, lower costs, and efficiency are some of the open benefits of the cloud. Even so, some businesses will never come on board. How can cloud computing providers convince businesses to adopt their services?

Close the cloud computing knowledge gap

Apparently, very few people understand what cloud computing is. According to the results of a survey, less than 50 percent of the U.S. population knows what cloud computing it. In the less developed countries, where there are less opportunities for new technology, this figure could be lower. Cloud computing companies need to move faster and spread the information about the benefits of their services. Once the people understand the basics of the cloud, its benefits, platforms and uses, more and more companies and businesses will buy into it.

Listen to end users and what they need

There are many cloud solutions and products on the market, but only a few are unique and useful to individuals and businesses. This means that providers need to study users’ needs better. Users need solutions that are valuable, simple to use, and cannot be duplicated. For this, providers need to create a larger pool of quality products to attract new users.

Clear the air of negative cloud computing publicity

Cloud computing receives a lot of negative publicity, especially surrounding the issues of privacy, security, and contracts-service charters. It appears, however, that the providers make little effort to deal with these concerns. As a result, most of those who get on board aren’t really informed about what they buy. Others prefer to wait adopting this technology, hoping that a better and more secure service (other than the cloud) will become available as technology advances. The lack of transparency regarding contracts, scrutiny, and independent audits also impede the wide adoption of cloud computing.

To correct these negative sentiments, cloud providers need to act. First, they need to make sure that privacy issues and security are taken care of. Companies also need to build trust with a more open and mutually beneficial relationship with users and buyers.

Cloud computing has a lot of potential but is as an industry that is still growing, so a lot of work still needs to be done. The responsibility of the uptake of cloud computing lies mainly with service providers. If they solve the issues that are slowing the uptake, it is likely that more businesses will adopt cloud computing.

By Gregory Musungu

Treading Carefully With Cloud Computing Solutions, Contracts, And Services

Treading Carefully With Cloud Computing Solutions, Contracts, And Services

Many businesses have joined the cloud because it’s a technology that promises a lot. And in the race to gain the most from the cost subsidies and efficiencies that come with it, businesses are unknowingly taking on significant risks. This is because some of the cloud solutions they are buying into could be detrimental in the long run. This article looks at some of the challenges businesses will face with cloud computing, the realities surrounding them, and tips to overcome them.

Ignorance is no defense

Many businesses that have adopted cloud computing have little or no idea of what service they expect. Some businesses assume cloud computing will automatically solve their offline problems. They need to understand that cloud computing is no different from their original computing models. It just gives them the advantage of hosted hardware and software that otherwise would cost them more. This means businesses need to be aware of what their provider offers in order to evaluate their options.

Ambiguity in contracts

Most cloud computing contracts favor service providers. As a result, if you buy a cloud service from a company, they tie you to their terms and conditions. Most cloud computing providers strip themselves of responsibility in their contracts. Experts advise businesses to shop around for cloud computing providers who offer fair contracts, with terms and conditions free from ambiguity.

Study the laws that bind the contract

Different cloud computing contracts are created according to different laws. This means that there are duties and responsibilities for both parties to the contract. Sometimes, some of the activities you intend to do could be seen as breaking or bending the rules, so it’s essential you understand your responsibilities in the contract. This will not only help you avoid penalties, but it will also ensure you are legally protected.

There is no way you can make your company responsible for security in your cloud

In general, security and privacy are contentious issues for most cloud computing providers. No provider will allow you to audit them or question their services. As such, when they say security is taken care of, their word is law. There is no way you can make them enforce something, or verify if they did what they promised.

In general, cloud computing is not fully proofed because its uptake is rather young. As the sector grows, many changes will have to be implemented. In the meantime, you must use cloud computing at its best considering the above challenges.

By Gregory Musungu

Top 5 Cloud Computing Trends Of The Future

Top 5 Cloud Computing Trends Of The Future

Cloud computing as a technology trend has caught up fast in recent years. It has revolutionized IT in a way never seen before. It has clearly changed how the traditional software works for businesses. This has many benefits, considering many of the former models are rather physical, coupled with expensive licenses. Cloud computing is a dynamic technology and the following are some of the trends that experts and analysts have identified.

1. Cloud computing is scaling investment value

Cloud computing streamlines how software, business processes, and services are accessed. More than ever before, this is helping businesses scale operations and optimize their investments. This is not only through lower costs, efficient business models, or greater agility in operations. It has a lot to do with how businesses use it to optimize their investments. In the same breadth, businesses are scaling into more innovation with their IT capacity. This will certainly help them make more investments and draw corporate income.

2. The emergence hybrid cloud computing

Hybrid cloud computing combines local and cloud computing. Businesses are using cloud computing (both private and public) to supplement their internal infrastructure and applications. Experts predict that these services will optimize business process performance. The adoption of cloud services is a new development in business functions. Under these circumstances, scaling down on the strengths of both worlds will become a common feature, if it’s not already happening as it is.

3. Growing popularity for cloud-centric design

More than ever before, organizational design is incorporating cloud computing migration elements. This simply means the need for optimal cloud experiences is on top of the list of the companies that are adopting this technology. This is a trend that is expected to grow more as cloud computing expands into different industries.

4. Cloud services optimized for mobile

The future is firmly mobile, one way or another. The exceptional rise in the number of mobile devices— tablet computers, iPhones, and smartphones—comes into play here. Many of these devices are used to scale business processes, communications, and other functions. To make cloud computing useful to business owners and employees, the cloud is taking a ‘mobile’ approach. More cloud computing platforms and APIs will become accessible on mobile.

5. Security

Cloud computing security is one of the most documented cloud computing issues. People are worried about the security of the data they store in the cloud. Because of this, you should expect to see more secure security applications and techniques coming up. The number of new encryption techniques, security protocols, and so much more will grow in the future.

By Gregory Musungu

How Small Businesses Can Optimize Their IT Efficiency And Costs With Cloud Computing

How Small Businesses Can Optimize Their IT Efficiency And Costs With Cloud Computing

Cloud computing services are becoming more popular day by day. As more businesses get onto the platform, the results are different. Some companies complain of lower efficiency and sometimes higher costs in their daily activities. Given that cloud computing has many benefits, adopting it might be a good strategy. Many businesses, especially small ones, don’t know how to optimize their cloud dependence, use, or strategy. This article looks at some of the ways businesses can optimize their operations with cloud functions to meet their needs and boost their cost efficiency.

Reducing server and recurring costs

Many small businesses scale their operations with more server expenses. These servers require scaling to lower the maintenance costs. With a consolidated cloud server, small businesses can take advantage of the lower cost incentives. This is because private cloud servers significantly lower labor, maintenance, and support costs. Moreover, the cloud server utilization increases, optimizing its use and hence, its benefits. This cloud function also extends to optimizing your databases to free up space and scale on efficiency.

Cutting labor costs with staff redistribution

Labor costs, especially those surrounding operations and management, can be high. Businesses need solutions that can help them scale these costs down. With cloud computing solutions, they can redistribute their IT workforce. Instead managing servers, the IT personnel can instead be involved in more strategic roles. With this, a business can free up more resources and increase efficiency by optimizing operations at a lower cost.

Lowering power costs

For some businesses, the utilities’ costs, such as electricity, can be exorbitant. Recent statistics indicate that IT costs make the largest part of the total electricity cost for most businesses. Cloud computing reduces IT energy consumption directly and indirectly. When physical servers are eliminated or consolidated, power consumption decreases. Decommissioning underused servers also cuts the energy needs. This directly cuts the costs of electricity.

Improving security for data and company information

The current business environment differs from how it was a few years ago. Employees are more mobile than they were. Cross-industry migrations, poaching, and talent hunting are higher than ever before. There are also more and more devices and gadgets employees come with in and out of the business premises. The risks of information leak, protocol breach, and others have never been higher. To protect their information, businesses need effective security measures. Under traditional circumstances, the costs are high. Cloud computing helps businesses scale down on the physical security dangers and costs attached. By partly or wholly eliminating the physical interactions, businesses can feel more secure on the cloud while keeping costs low. Cloud computing is a good way for businesses to scale down losses, security breaches, and expenses.

By Gregory Musungu

Cloud Computing For The Telecommuter

Cloud Computing For The Telecommuter

Cloud Computing For The Telecommuter

Telecommuting is the new way of working. The days when people had to be physically present at work are far behind. Working from home is a more cost effective, efficient, and easy option. That is why many companies have adopted it fully or partially. Cloud computing helps telecommuting to be effective because there are so many applications hosted online you can use to work efficiently from home.

Managing projects

The life of a telecommuter can be hectic. You probably have different current project, briefs, timelines, and so much more. This means that if you don’t have an effective project management system, disorganization and mismanagement will be the result. Different project management systems are available via cloud computing. These allow you to manage your projects, keep track of correspondence, assign to-do lists, and so forth, to ensure that your projects run smoothly.

Invoicing clients

Invoicing can be a nightmare for telecommuters. Keeping track of all of your clients’ details and payments due may force you to hire an accountant. This can only happen for an extra expense. There are different cloud-accounting systems like Freshbooks which allow you to invoice clients in a straightforward manner. This can cut the stress that comes with manually creating invoices and chasing after clients to pay for your services or products.

Managing documents

Most telecommuting jobs require you to handle documents: write, keep records, send, and receive reports. They make the lifeline of a telecommuter. There are different documenting platforms available for telecommuters, such as Google Documents. Such a solution not only allows you to complete word processing tasks, but also to create spreadsheets and presentations, without having to pay for a software package that does the same tasks.

Sharing files

Telecommuters often need to share files too large to be sent via e-mails. There are different cloud file sharing solutions online you can rely on for this function. Some of them allow you to share a substantial amount of data for free. Others are paid hosting, where, for a fee, you can share huge files with clients easily.

Sending and receiving e-mails

For most telecommuters, e-mail communication is crucial. Although the free versions of the e-mail hosting platforms, such as Gmail or Yahoo can offer sufficient data capacity, sometimes you may need extra megabytes and this comes with an additional cost.

Video calling

There are some clients who prefer face-to-face communications with their contractors. For telecommuters, VoIP calls or Skype are excellent choices.

Overall, cloud computing has a solution for any function that is part of a telecommuter’s job. These are only few of the cloud solutions you can rely on to boost your efficiency.

By Gregory Musungu

CloudTweaks Comics
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