Cloud computing is a popular term at the moment, but what does it mean and why should I do it?
Every day people use computers to access applications and services to deliver their work. Traditionally these have been installed locally on the computer, or accessed over a network. True cloud computing is about having these applications and services accessed via the Internet taking away the need for organisations to have to manage software and services locally.
What's the point? Well, its much better for an organisation to focus its energy on making sure it can uses the tools it has to their best effect, rather than worry about maintaining the services that support them. Why not off set the worries about how these things work and how to keep them running to someone who specialises in those kinds of services.
Ultimately this means that the organisation can benefit from reduced costs, and less administrative worries, and make more effective use of their staff.
What other options are there?
It can be a big step to move to true cloud computing and for some organisations they have decided to make an initial first step and create a private cloud. Services are hosted on the organisations servers but are delivered over the organisations network. This means that while the same economies of scale and subsequent cost savings are not available it does provide increased flexibility, and some cost savings, while helping an organisation develop the approach it might wish to adopt when considering moving fully to the true cloud approach.