Thursday, 7 August 2014

Cloud Technology - The Future?

I have recently been reading this article on the Future of Cloud Computing that was written in 2010 discussing how we would be working by 2020 and thought I would look at how the technology has developed in just 4 years not the 10 years as predicted by the article. I have selected just a few points from the article and the comments I am writing are my personal opinion.

Quote: "A solid majority of technology experts and stakeholders participating in the fourth Future of the Internet survey expect that by 2020 most people will access software applications online and share and access information through the use of remote server networks, rather than depending primarily on tools and information housed on their individual, personal computers. They say that cloud computing will become more dominant than the desktop in the next decade. In other words, most users will perform most computing and communicating activities through connections to servers operated by outside firms."

I agree that a lot of software applications are now online, but from experience some firms are still skeptical about using cloud technology and like to have information held on their own devices. Using cloud technology firms are able to allow their employees to work from various devices, mobiles, tablets etc. This allows a more flexible way of working as employees are able to access documents etc not just when sat at their desk but when away for work or if they work from home. In this respect cloud computing is starting to become more dominant for those firms that operate flexible working policies.

Quote: "The highly engaged, diverse set of respondents to an online, opt-in survey included 895 technology stakeholders and critics. The study was fielded by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center.  Some 71% agreed with the statement:

By 2020, most people won’t do their work with software running on a general-purpose PC. Instead, they will work in Internet-based applications such as Google Docs, and in applications run from smartphones. Aspiring application developers will develop for smartphone vendors and companies that provide Internet-based applications, because most innovative work will be done in that domain, instead of designing applications that run on a PC operating system.”

Rather than using Google Docs, in my business we access documents etc using Microsoft's Office 365 but there are certainly many ways in which to access your documents using cloud technology. Documents can also be saved and/or shared using OneDrive or a similar document storage application. These applications can be used from a range of devices, including a smartphone or tablet device. There are now many more developers that specialise in the development of Apps for these devices, but I feel that there is still a place for software that is developed specifically for PC's, especially if it specific for a business and they have no need to access their applications via cloud technology.

Quote: " A number of people said cloud computing presents difficult security problems and further exposes private information to governments, corporations, thieves, opportunists, and human and machine error."

When selecting a cloud computing provider, it's imperative that you check that you will be using a provider that offers security protection for you and secure servers your data. You must also ensure that the servers which hold your data are located in a country that will conform with any local data protection laws. Yes, human error can occur, but this can happen even when you are using a network server or local PC.

Why not take a look at the full report and form your own opinion? I strongly believe that cloud technology is the way forward and we have been using it and offering cloud solutions to our customers for quite a while now.