Cloud computing is a technology that makes it possible to store, process and manage data through virtual servers that are hosted on the internet. This is in contrast with the traditional way of storing data on a physical device such as a computer, phone or tablet.
This technology has grown quickly to take position as a genuinely iconic innovation that started just as the usual tech buzzwords but then went on to cause massive disruption in the way we access and use computing resources. While the term itself might feel a little exuberant, and sure it does, the use and importance is so valuable and widely entrenched.
For some, it might sound a bit distant but we use it daily without knowing. If you own a smartphone, computer or tablet, then you are already a big consumer of cloud computing in one way or the other. All the social media services we enjoy, for example, are offered as a service via the cloud. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, name it. Cloud computing relies on sharing resources to achieve economies of scale.
For those to whom cloud computing is new, questions like why is cloud computing important or why do we need cloud computing are common and expected. In this article, we'll answer those questions, explain the importance of cloud computing and more including why cloud is the future.
Why is cloud computing important?
It enables you to run programs, store and manage files without using your device's resources. In other words it makes it possible to use your device to get your work done without having to worry about the critical IT infrastructure that facilitates the programs you use. You can use your device without storing anything on it.
Instead, you store all your stuff in the «cloud», a server that is hosted on the internet. You can run as many programs as you can dream of without having to download and install them on your computer, because these programs are stored in the cloud. You can take as many photos or videos and instead of filling up your device space, you store them in the cloud. If you are a developer, you can develop and test massive projects without worrying about servers. If you are a musician, you can record lots of songs and store them all in the cloud. As you can see, cloud computing is for everyone. It is for every business, every organization, and even governments. It's that important.
What was life like before the cloud?
Before cloud computing came, you had to install any program you wanted to use, store and manage all files from your device. This was overwhelming because the space in your computer, for example, would fill up quickly and stall your work. What cloud computing did is that it literally migrated the data infrastructure component of computing from the device to the internet. So instead of storing stuff in your device, you store them online. Of course cloud computing is more than storage, as it also encompasses other important functions such as processing, streaming and management.
Why is cloud computing important for business?
Cloud computing is important for businesses because it allows them to access technology resources without the hassle and expense of building and maintaining their own IT infrastructure. With cloud computing, businesses can access the resources they need, when they need them. If the needs change, the cloud can be easily scaled up or down to accommodate those changes. By moving to the cloud, businesses can reduce or eliminate the need for on-premises servers, software, and storage, resulting in lower IT costs. Cloud-based solutions are also more secure than on-premises systems, making them a better choice for businesses that handle sensitive data.
Here is a categorized breakdown of why cloud computing is important in modern systems and business.
Collaborative importance of cloud computing in current era
Data access on the go: With cloud computing, your teams can access your business data and tools anywhere, anytime without having to install applications on devices. This allows employees to be mobile and access data on the go, whether they are at the corporate office, in the field, on the road or even from their homes. This is great for businesses that need to stay constantly connected to their customers and employees.
Multiple users: Cloud computing allows multiple users to access the same application at the same time, which saves time and increases productivity. Take the example of a document like a company report in Google docs. Many people can access and work on the same document within a short time, each doing different tasks. Contrast this with having, say 10 people contributing to such a document while working separately from their computers. It would take long before all contributions are harmonized to arrive at the final polished report.
Infrastructural significance of cloud computing
Freedom to focus on business, not infrastructure: Instead of spending your precious time maintaining complex hardware and software, you simply pay the cloud service provider to use these resources. The provider also manages the underlying infrastructure, which means your business can focus on running its core operations and not attending to infrastructure demands. Because you pay only for the resources you need, you can plan more accurately for your company's future needs.
Freedom to scale up or down: Because of the flexibility offered by cloud-based solutions, a business can easily increase or decrease its usage according to its needs. When it grows and needs more resources, it no longer needs to purchase additional hardware, which would take up valuable capital. The same is true for a business's data storage needs. Businesses can also make changes in the cloud in a matter of minutes instead of months.
Security: The security of the IT infrastructure is a key concern for all businesses. A breach of data can devastate a business's revenue, customer loyalty, and brand positioning. Cloud-based applications offer advanced security features like granular permissions, access management, and federated roles that help businesses minimize the risk of data breach. Using cloud-based services allows companies to use encryption and other security measures that are more than sufficient for their business. Further reading: Top 6 Cloud Computing Security Threats.
Multiple cloud options: Businesses can choose to use the public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud, based on what best meets their needs from time to time. Each option offers different features.
Cloud computing importance in terms of costs
Capital equipment investments: With cloud computing, you do not require capital equipment investments. As a result, you don't have to worry about equipment obsolescence. With cloud-based services, you can add additional bandwidth whenever you need it, and it is more affordable than ever. As a result, your cash flow will be in line with the actual operating costs.
Salaries & wages: Using cloud storage can help reduce the number of full-time IT employees required to maintain the IT infrastructure. Additionally, when in need of cloud computing maintenance and upgrades, the service providers handle all that, reducing the amount of IT FTEs needed to maintain them. This means that it's not your responsibility to keep it maintained. And you'll save a lot of money in the process.
Advantages of cloud computing vs on premise
Why do we need cloud computing?
This question can also be rephrased as why do we use cloud computing? We need cloud computing more than ever as businesses, individuals, and even communities to perform tasks more efficiently.
Let’s have a quick look at why we use cloud computing or why we need cloud computing from the perspective of a few categories of users in society.
Instead of having to store your files and data on multiple external hard drives, you can store and access it in the cloud from anywhere. And if you ever experience unfortunate incidents like natural disasters or massive power disruption that end up destroying your device, you will always be able to find your data intact. All you need is a new device, connect it to the internet, get your data and resume your work.
As a software developer, cloud computing enables you to move quickly on projects and test concepts, without large upfront costs. You only pay for the resources you use. You can scale up or down quickly, without the costly need of purchasing your own server infrastructure.
Groups and communities
The cloud environment makes collaboration between groups and communities easier. A group working on the same project from different locations can access the same data and collaborate without a hassle. The streamlined processes of cloud computing allow project communities to work faster, which in turn means greater productivity. Communities can join together from different parts of the world and work on a massive project with huge benefits for their communities.
The computing power of the cloud can and has generated exponential impact among artists and creatives, a one of a kind impact that would never have been achieved in the absence of cloud computing capabilities. Platforms like YouTube have opened doors for millions of artists and creatives around the world, from musicians to dancers and actors. All you need is a good video, no worries about where to store the video, where to upload, server costs and all. If you are good the world will soon know about you, and such is the power of the cloud. You certainly need it.
Why is cloud computing important for the future?
Cloud computing is important for the future for the simple reason that it offers a better IT infrastructure. The future of cloud computing will still embrace the current benefits of cloud such as the ability to access services on any internet-enabled device.
Going forward, cloud computing will be important for emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics and Blockchain which are already being offered as services through the cloud and this will grow even bigger. Different industries will tailor the cloud to better serve their needs. It’s no wonder that big tech corporations like Google, Microsoft and Amazon are already accelerating their innovations in cloud service offerings, a clear signal of the impact of cloud computing in future business strategies.
Most if not all companies will by default offer their services through the cloud and this will ultimately cement cloud computing as perhaps the most transformational technology of the 21st century.
Cloud computing has grown quickly to become an important aspect of our lives with enormous benefits for businesses and individuals alike. Whether you're an ordinary device user, a developer, a small business just starting out or a larger company, cloud computing can help you save time and money, increase efficiency, and improve communication. Cloud service providers are adept at maintaining the stability of their systems, which is crucial in the fast-paced world of business.
Cloud computing is also important for the future and will only become more widespread and important as time goes on. Competition will intensify and compel businesses that want to survive to embrace agility, which is a key strength of cloud computing. You will not only save costs associated with infrastructure management and storage but will also unlock the immense potential of the cloud that will certainly give you a competitive edge.
FAQ about importance of cloud computing
What is most important for cloud computing?
Constant availability is most critical for cloud computing. You want to be able to access and use your data whenever you need to, from wherever. Without this, then cloud computing loses its importance.
What plays an important role in cloud computing?
Elasticity plays an important role in cloud computing. This is the ability of the cloud to expand or contract automatically whenever required. It helps to foster efficient workload management whenever there is a sudden fluctuation in resource requirement.
What are examples of cloud computing?
Examples of cloud computing include File Sharing, Data Storage (including HIPAA compliant cloud storage), Software-as-a-Service (Saas), document management, Platform-as-a-Service (Paas), communication management e.g. emails, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas), and Cybersecurity.