Category Archives: SaaS

Weird Assumptions About Cloud Computing And How To Solve Them

Weird Assumptions About Cloud Computing And How To Solve Them

Cloud computing is a dynamic field. It’s been incorporated and used by many people, companies, non-profit organizations, and so many more. The technology, which allows you to use other people’s applications, is still growing. There have been so many useful things associated with it. Some are good and some bad. Cloud computing, however, remains a progressive tech sphere in 2012.

One interesting thing, and in a way weird about cloud computing, is the association it has with weather. Somehow, people still imagine cloud computing has something to do with the weather. According to a recent survey carried out by Wakefield Research and commissioned by Citrix, 51 percent of non-tech people think cloud computing is related to the weather.

For other people surveyed, cloud computing is associated with smaller things. Drugs and toilet paper were the answers some of the respondents gave when asked what they know about the cloud and its services. A question that one would beg to answer is why the public has so little information about cloud computing, or rather, is it a question of lack of interest in the subject matter? Here are some of the arguments that explain why in 2012 so many people have no idea what cloud computing is.

The first, most obvious reason not so many people understand cloud computing is their lack of knowledge. People are not interested in asking questions about the technology they use. You could blame this on the present education systems around the world, but there is a possibility that people just don’t care about what it is they use.

Another reason why people fail to understand cloud computing is because of the thin information available in the sphere. More commonly, the information provided by the content vendors is either too vague or too technical for the regular person. This means that people rely on television, newspapers, and magazines to find out about cloud computing. Knowing that only hot topics become news stories, and that sometimes these are inaccurate reports, it justifies why people may get a wrong picture about the cloud.

People also have lots of misconceptions about cloud computing because the general slow uptake of the technology by corporations. Compared to technologies like social media that have been embraced rather fast, cloud computing uptake has not been viral. There is a relatively slow uptake of cloud computing because of the traditions that have characterized most corporations. This means that very few people are aware of the interactions, even if they use it.

Overall, there is no single direction you can use to explain why cloud computing is confusing. However, what is needed is more interaction, training, public campaigns, and publishing on the same to get the information out of the door. This will tremendously boost its popularity and skew the knowledge graph.

By Walter Bailey

Mobile Cloud Computing Future

Mobile Cloud Computing Future 

When industry pundits forecast in 2006 that the usage need of data would surpass that of the voice market, not many could not conceptualize such a market outlook. Five years later and the ratio would pitch data market at nearly 70% of the mobile market and growing. The mobile technology has witnessed tremendous advances in recent years such that experts have reckoned that mobile cloud will colligate cloud computing in the next few years.

Mobile cloud computing is set to impact and transform the mobile communication landscape and the whole computing infrastructure. This means that cloud computing services, whether at home or at the work place, is getting more accessible and more utilized. So what more does the future hold for mobile cloud computing?

Mobile cloud-enabled and cloud-based services will inevitably rise to new heights as it is evidenced by recent market surveys. In a world where hundreds of thousands of mobile apps are churned out daily, cloud computing services have formed an integral part of many third-party app developers. A survey (Q2 2012) by Appcelerator showed a fascinating trend whereby 84% of the respondents (third-party developers) reported to using a cloud enabled or cloud based services in their daily applications. Companies are betting big on this trend e.g Microsoft has come up with a Microsoft Windows Phone Mango, a cloud platform integration on mobile devices. Some of these mobile applications are available for free while others are purchased and others are just links that will work in any or compatible browsers. In translation, all this could mean applications access that comes in more than one format but they will use the cloud to store and process your data and services respectively, all remotely from the cloud as opposed to your device.

There is a trend dubbed the BYOD (bring your own device) that is being embraced universally by organizations and businesses. This can be attributed to the entry of powerful portable devices like IPads, Tablets and Smart Phones and complemented by cloud computing. Cisco in a recent study reported that more than 90% of organizations supported the use of these portable devices and more and more of these mobiles will depend on the cloud. According to the CTO at Cisco, Padmasree Warrior, this trend is beneficial and will continue to grow because it is essential in improving productivity by enabling employees to work from anywhere at anytime.

What is influencing the inevitable mobile computing upsurge? For starters, there is an influx of adapted mobile devices (smart phones, IPads, Tablets) that are also encouraging advance in mobile Operating Systems like Android and IOS which are slowly phasing out the basic handheld devices. The mobile networks are too advanced and we can now easily access “4G” networks, with more bandwidth to complement the efficiency of the cloud.

In a word, the evolution of mobile computing has already taken off and we are on course to witness more integration of the mobile and the cloud for various applications and services. The few challenges, both anticipated and unanticipated, will see the market surge on and gorge out a technological course of its own.

By John Omwamba

Cloud Confusion: The ‘Fluffy White Thing’ And The Potential Within

Cloud Confusion: The ‘Fluffy White Thing’ And The Potential Within

A recently conducted national survey has revealed that the layman American consumer is not precisely aware of what cloud computing in actual is and how, in essence, does it function. The research survey, initiated by Citrix and carried out by Wakefield Research, incorporated responses from more than 1000 American adult consumers.

A significant percentage from amongst the surveyed lot was convinced that cloud technology is linked with weather, has kinship with heaven, is closely related to happenings in the outer galaxy and even has something to do with toilet paper (huh?).

One has to admit that the survey, at some points, was evidently crafted to bring some humorous specks to the main. Consider, for example, the inquiry that posed what the cloud is, about 29% declared it being a ‘fluffy white thing’ (a real cloud) or a close variant; a mere 16% were able to read between the lines and correlate to computer network, remote storage, data sharing and the internet.

The utterly encouraging part is that despite the evident lack of sound knowledge (and a strongly felt presence of absurd beliefs) about cloud computing, the majority of participants, 68% to be exact, frequently recognized the potential inherent to cloud computing endorsement – lowering the cost of the operations was agreed upon by about 35% of the respondents, small business promotion and growth was marked by about 32% of those interviewed. Furthermore, about 35% expressed their belief that customer relations can be bolstered by cloud adaptation.

In addition, about 60% of the respondents thought they are yet to use cloud computing. Clearly they are unaware of the fact that whether knowingly or not, 95% of those surveyed actually made use of cloud computing in one form or the other. The breakdown includes using online banking, purchasing stuff online, being socially connected, enjoying online games, saving photos online and file sharing – powered at the core by cloud computing technology.

Participants of the survey are quite sure about the changes that cloud endorsement would bring about at ventures. A hefty 59% are confident that workplace of the future would reside on the cloud in its entirety. The associated fun side of cloud computing has captivated a mammoth percentage of Americans. An estimated 40% found the ability to use the cloud as a primary work-from-home tool an enriched experience. A startling 33% found direct access to their digital content in the middle of a sunbath truly fascinating.

The question remains whether it truly is important for the general public to understand the dynamics behind cloud computing? Well, it sure does. The cloud is expected to reshape on-job responsibilities of a significant proportion of those working in the US. And this holds true nor only for IT professionals but for a broad spectrum of employment genres. The cloud continues to add novel facets to sales, operations, finance and marketing.

By Humayun Shahid

 

Cloudless Europe: Most Europeans Have Yet To Hear Of Cloud Computing

Cloudless Europe: Most Europeans Have Yet To Hear Of Cloud Computing

Europe has been at the forefront of global development, having led the colonization of a huge portion of the world. Economic and social empowerment has been on an upward scale, making it a developed country. Surprisingly, a huge proportion of the population is yet to venture into cloud computing. Considering that, there is only one Europe, and most of us would not expect such slow uptake of a game-changing innovation, let me state that again.

A study by BSA, 34% of Europeans were aware of cloud computing service and had actually consumed such. In the study, over 4000 individuals were interviewed from across Europe, with the aim of assessing their views regarding cloud computing. Reponses to questions regarding what cloud computing is ranged from ‘I have no idea what it is’ to ‘I have never heard of it’. It is impossible to overlook the weaknesses of scientific study, sampling and other aspects of surveys, but these figures were actually the product of a widespread study across the whole of Europe. Of the few people who reportedly utilized cloud-computing services, close to 90% relied on it for personal uses. As a result, the contributing of cloud computing to strategic placement by businesses was still at elementary levels.

Similar trends were observed in the US, with some individuals reportedly associating cloud computing with brands of consumer goods. This comes in the wake of concerted efforts by high profile marketers and harmonized campaigns, aimed at preparing consumers for the upcoming challenges and benefits. The findings of the study were baffling in more ways that one. First, a wide range of individuals pretended to know what cloud computing is, while others were already consuming the services without knowing what it entails. However, it was common knowledge that most people who actually conversed about cloud computing relied on hearsay and that factual expertise was seriously lacking.

With regards to the recent cloud movement, it is expected that countries with the highest consumption of internet services would be the primary consumers as well. Past studies have indicated that socio-economic status of the residents in the US and Europe provides the most opportune environment for consumption of internet.

As the EC prepared to dust its coats and develop a cloud computing strategy for the EC, the relevant government bodies are keen on enjoying the efficiencies of the services. Numerous efforts are required to ensure that the EU leapfrogs to the global standards in consumption of these services. Since the region has sufficient infrastructure to handle the requirements, it is necessary for decisive and focused steps to be taken.

By Rick Watson

Cloud Computing: A Quiet Game Changer In Education

Cloud Computing: A Quiet Game Changer In Education

A Quiet Game Changer In Education?

Cloud computing or simply ‘the cloud’ as is often referred to in IT circles, is increasingly changing the education landscape. Many classroom educators didn’t see this coming, safe of course for a selected few technology professors who have consistently sought to bring the light of cloud to the academia. But isn’t this the beauty of technology? It sneaks into hitherto organized systems, rips them apart, and creates new opportunities that only the wise can grab upfront and walk to the bank.

This is the exact kind of ‘harm’ that cloud computing is posing to traditional education systems. We have already witnessed the rise of virtual learning centers, personal learning, and the all-popular long-distance learning. Thanks to could computing, students from different locations around the world can collaborate on assignments, rendering them interactive among their peers in education.

The ability to bring together students and teachers via a device and enable them to accomplish entire learning tasks as if they were together in one classroom is not very far from  ‘magical.’ Yet this is not even the entire capability of the cloud effect in education. There is the whole aspect of ‘information durability’ which allows information to be stored in the cloud for as long as the universe remains active. What if Archimedes of Syracuse was somehow able to upload videos of his findings in YouTube or some supportive cloud computing environment?

Many schools have moved their resources online with libraries filled with hundreds of thousands of books that students can access at any time. The advent of online video has made the idea of cloud in education even more exciting because schools can produce teaching videos in any subject, upload them to their libraries in the cloud, and make them available to their students. This alone is a game-changing possibility that dedicated educators cannot ignore and hope to compete with in this sector. Luckily such opportunities are within the reach of any learning institution

The cloud is also taking learning opportunities to those who have never gone through the traditional education system or indeed those who never quite finished their course at the right time, perhaps for lack of resources. If someone never finished their degree or diploma course, they have all the chances to obtain diplomas and degrees through cloud learning systems. Meanwhile, people changing countries in search of new opportunities can carry on with their education right from the cloud.

We’re not shy to mention that there are still countless challenges that cloud computing is dealing with, whether in normal business or education. But the pace of adoption of the cloud into the learning environment is sufficient proof that the rules of traditional learning are undergoing a revolution that is dominantly inspired by the cloud space. The changes can only grow because the amount of cloud innovation we are experiencing is phenomenal.

By John Omwamba

Key Features Of Cloud Computing

Key Features Of Cloud Computing

Key Features Of Cloud Computing

The most talked-about term currently in the IT industry is cloud computing. Everyone is thinking about cloud computing from different perspectives. Some emphasize the cost benefits associated with it, while others are still cautious about security and privacy. It has become extremely important to understand the key defining features of cloud computing.

 1. Resource Pooling and Elasticity

In cloud computing, resources are pooled to serve a large number of customers. Cloud computing uses multi-tenancy where different resources are dynamically allocated and de-allocated according to demand. From the user’s end, it is not possible to know where the resource actually resides.

The resource allocation should be elastic, in the sense that it should change appropriately and quickly with the demand. If on a particular day the demand increases several times, then the system should be elastic enough to meet that additional need, and should return to the normal level when the demand decreases.

2. Self-Service and On-demand Services

Cloud computing is based on self-service and on-demand service models. It should allow the user to interact with the cloud to perform tasks like building, deploying, managing, and scheduling. The user should be able to access computing capabilities as and when they are needed and without any interaction from the cloud-service provider. This would help users to be in control, bringing agility in their work, and to make better decisions on the current and future needs.

3. Pricing

Cloud computing does not have any upfront cost. It is completely based on usage. The user is billed based on the amount of resources they use. This helps the user to track their usage and ultimately help to reduce cost. Cloud computing must provide means to capture, monitor, and control usage information for accurate billing. The information gathered should be transparent and readily available to the customer. This is necessary to make the customer realize the cost benefits that cloud computing brings.

4. Quality of Service

Cloud computing must assure the best service level for users. Services outlined in the service-level agreements must include guarantees on round-the-clock availability, adequate resources, performance, and bandwidth. Any compromise on these guarantees could prove fatal for customers.

The decision to switch to cloud computing should not be based on the hype in the industry. A good understanding of the technology enables the user to make smarter decisions. Knowing all the features will empower the business users to understand and negotiate with the service providers in a proactive manner.

By Jack Rosenblum

Cloud Computing For Small Businesses And Why Penetration Remains Low Past 2012

Cloud Computing For Small Businesses And Why Penetration Remains Low Past 2012

In the last decade, cloud computing has become a hot topic, both in the media and at individual level. It’s estimated that close to 80 percent of all modern businesses use a form of cloud computing. The most surprising thing here is that most of them don’t even know they are using it. This has denied most of these businesses a chance to move forward, compete with peers, and grow. In the face of the benefits cloud computing offers to your business, the choices are wide open. However, recently, there have been reports that new small businesses are not taking advantages of the opportunities cloud computing offers. This article focuses on the challenges most small businesses face in uptake of commercial cloud computing products, services, and business models.

It does not make sense to delve into reasons why small business uptake cloud-computing at significantly lower rates without looking at the current situation. The most common cloud computing services implemented by small businesses are hosted e-mail services like Gmail and their supported applications. There is a bit application for VoIP services like Skype, especially for tech-savvy small businesses. Storage is also a common choice, especially for open-source applications like Google Docs. This is where most small businesses start and stop on the cloud computing front.

Here are some of the reasons for this.

  • There is an evident knowledge gap between small business owners and the solution providers. This is because very few businesses understand they even use the cloud computing and enjoy its benefits. To solve this gap, it’s essential for knowledge creators and cloud-computing providers to work together to inform people about these products and services. Once small businesses understand cloud computing, more will uptake the services and small business solutions.
  • Most small businesses feel like they don’t need cloud computing – it’s a preserve for the big corporates. Whereas this assumption has become widespread, partly because of the way most cloud computing companies package their products, cloud computing is a good thing for small businesses. More cloud computing for small businesses awareness, cloud computing service packaging and marketing need to be revisited.
  • The nature of operation for small businesses sometimes renders them ignorant to new technologies –cloud computing included. Small businesses have comparatively less employees, information files, or chains of command. Most of these can be managed easily without a significant technological output. In front of this, cloud computing penetration rate for small businesses remains significantly slow – not without good reason. There is, however, an urgent need that should equip small businesses project their growth into the future, including all the economies of scale associated with a cloud computing move.
  • The last reason why there is a slow penetration for cloud computing among small businesses is high costs. Many small businesses, especially start-ups, shun from any extra expense. Cloud computing costs are some of those they avoid.

Over the long haul, for businesses keen on future growth, capacity expansion, and security of their records and files, cloud computing is an inevitable choice.

By Walter Bailey

Cloud Storage Has Turned Into A Throw Down Between Providers

Cloud Storage Has Turned Into A Throw Down Between Providers

The cloud storage battleground has started to really pick up over the past few years. With more providers entering the marketplace and offering a variety of features (most of which are free), it is no wonder that cloud storage providers are conducting a throw down of their own against the competition.

Now with Google’s Drive making its way into the marketplace as well as Microsoft’s SkyDrive, the competition is only going to heat up further. Though there are the bigger cloud storage providers, they are not the only ones out there offering the cloud to private and business users, but for the first-time shopper, it is good to have a little comparison.

DropBox

DropBox is a mature and compelling cloud storage provider that offers users the ability to store, update and retrieve from a variety of platforms and devices. Unfortunately, when it comes to mass storage, DropBox is significantly more expensive than other providers. With DropBox, users can look forward to features that include:

  • Multiple platform
  • Free storage of up to 2GB
  • The ability to upgrade storage in increments of 50GB
  • An unlimited file size capability
  • Public folder features
  • Easy sharing
  • Easy collaboration

Google Drive

Google Drive is basically the big brother of Google Docs. This new feature from Google will allow cloud storage users to update, collaborate and have the same features of Google Docs, but with an application downloaded to their desktop. With Google Drive, users can look forward to features that include:

  • Multiple platforms
  • Free storage of up to 5GB
  • The ability to upgrade storage
  • A file size limit of 10GB
  • Multiple features

SkyDrive

SkyDrive is a cloud storage service provided to users by Microsoft. SkyDrive decided to upgrade and release their new features just one day prior to the launch of Google Drive, but unfortunately their ploy did not work when it came to who got more attention. Even though SkyDrive was low on the media watch list, it does provide cloud storage users a variety of features that include:

  • Multiple platforms
  • Free storage of up to 7GB
  • The ability to upgrade storage
  • A file size limit of 2GB
  • The ability to recover synched files even if the computer has not updated them

Today there are hundreds of cloud storage and cloud computing services to choose from. Users should consider their needs and amount of storage in general. For most users, free cloud storage is more than capable of handling their back up and media storage needs.

By KoriLynn Johnston

CloudTweaks Comics
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