Mell, (2009) defines cloud computing as an on-demand computing model that creates a network platform where its users conveniently share a pool of resources that includes; applications, storage, services, networks and servers. The model demands minimal service provider interaction thus requiring the application of very little management efforts. The paper majorly focuses on the organizations that have adopted cloud computing, the merits, and demerits of the model.
There are various characteristics of organizations that are more likely to use cloud computing. Enterprises that need agility may adopt cloud computing that helps in innovativeness and introduction of new products and services. Other organizations have a need to build new business processes as they change the existing patterns; such will require them to change the supporting IT resources. Enterprises with an objective to have increased productivity and collaborative working have a reason to venture in cloud computing. Organizations with inefficient IT sector are likely to adopt cloud unlike those with a well-established IT sector. Cloud is very vital for multinational enterprises with a broad customer base (Marston et al., 2011).
In the past decade, some people in the technology field had been skeptical about cloud computing. The technology has continually advanced since its inception; thus, industries have found more ways to adopt it. Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) embraced the cloud computing technology as from 2010. They have an in-house cloud data center from such providers as Amazon. IHG has a privately-built cloud platform that has moved its salesforce CRM systems onto company-standard equipment off the initial mainframe. The move has made their Web faster in response. The company applies public cloud model for application building and testing, as well as to host Internet content closer to their global pool of customers. IHG runs several websites like HolidayInn.com. RehabCare Group is a company that has offered therapeutic services for more than two decades. Since they expanded their workforce, there was a need for a system to track the treatment progress of their patients. To facilitate this, they developed a customized software where their clientele get information access via the Apple iPod without much struggle (Wang et al., 2011).
Businesses can reap huge returns from cloud computing with no doubts. One of the most important advantages of cloud computing is its cost savings in IT. Cloud computing cuts down on the amounts needed to be spent on software, hardware, and licenses. The affordability of cloud makes it feasible even for other projects. Cloud’s service platform aides its reliability and consistency as compared to an indoors IT infrastructure. RehabCare group has reaped a lot on the reliability of the Apple iPod touch. In the recent past, they have h ad more than 7000 therapists using iPod touch to monitor their patients. The centralization of vendor infrastructure and resources administration facilitates the possibility of Cloud computing technology to offer a well advanced but simple management capabilities. With the cloud, it is also possible to vary direction with minimal or no cost implications and even people involved. Cloud gives Intercontinental Hotel Group the allowance to think and focus on their key business goals and activities while it saves them the time of marketing new services (Wang et al., 2011).
As much as it has several pros, cloud also has its drawbacks. There may occur technical outages whenever one lacks access to data. This is because the service providers may get overwhelmed with the enormous numbers of clientele served daily. It may result in suspension of the business temporarily. According to Koehler Bryson, a senior VP, any outage experienced in IHG that leads to a downtime of one hour would result to a loss of millions of dollars. Cloud computing is open to hacking as much as the service providers device the best security measures and certifications. The service provider ultimately owns and manages the cloud infrastructure, hence leaves a slight privilege for control to the client. The clientele only leads and control the services, applications, data but not the infrastructure. IHG reports that cloud has not cut down so much cost regarding online infrastructure even though Koehler acknowledges that savings could be made in other areas. Dick Escue, the RehabCare CIO admits that relying on a cloud may have its drawbacks. According to the CIO, an update to their IOS server deactivated the clock used to make time treatment records. It is, therefore, crucial for any company to understand the merits and demerits of the technology to realize the most out of it. As explicitly discussed it can be inferred that the advantages of cloud in companies outweigh the disadvantages by far (Wang et al., 2011). It is, therefore, commendable for the two companies to continue applying this technology to realize more benefits as well as be efficient in service delivery.
Cloud computing is essential for intelligence unit in the USA. There is a need for various kinds of clouds adapted for missions. Adopting of cloud in the IT departments of the government agencies cuts down on the cost of service delivery. For instance, it would cost the CIA so much to put together the IT infrastructure that would handle their nature of business operations. Already NSA and CIA have two different clouds in the intelligence community enterprise. The CIA cloud is referred to as “C2S” and the NSA cloud is referred to as Gov cloud. This increases their efficiency and flexibility in service delivery (Anastacio et al., 2013). Similarly, from the NSA and CIA experience with the Amazon, it can be inferred that other government agencies are also candidates for cloud computing.
Anastacio, M. M. B., Blanco, J. A. R., García, L. J., & Villalba, A. A. (2013, May). EGOVERNMENT: BENEFITS, RISKS AND A PROPOSAL TO ASSESSMENT INCLUDING CLOUD COMPUTING AND CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE. In International Conference on Information Technology.
Marston, S., Li, Z., Bandyopadhyay, S., Zhang, J., & Ghalsasi, A. (2011). Cloud computing—The business perspective. Decision Support Systems, 51(1), 176-189.
Mell, P., & Grance, T. (2009). Draft NIST working definition of cloud computing. Referenced on June. 3rd, 15, 32.
Wang, W. Y. C., Rashid, A., & Chuang, H. M. (2011). Toward the trend of cloud computing. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 12(4), 238-242