Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Does “The Cloud” Mean to You and Your Communications Systems?

The decision between on-premise and off-premise infrastructure is becoming more relevant and important with each major company's commitment to providing Software as a Service (SaaS). There's still plenty of speculation on the actual transition and immersion, but the prospect for cost-effective production attracts small businesses of all kinds.

The phrase 'cloud computing' has been thrown around a lot and sometimes we forget the basic foundation - the internet. Typically, cloud computing is summarized as a model of IT services based on and provided over the internet with on-demand access to network materials while experiencing little to no service provider interaction. The software and data are stored on servers and the software is delivered through online web services or software (i.e. browser).

With a lot of confusion regarding a transition to the "cloud," are we using the term too loosely to define a more precise shift in IT services?

In a post over at, Jonathan Eunice explains how many people are throwing the vague "what comes next in IT" label on cloud computing, emphasizing "overhyped" and "overused." He does not agree with the general viewpoint, and later goes on to say this:

"Cloud is the realization that what comes next in IT isn't a specific technology, but the infusion of flexibility, variability, and elasticity into what was previously a static, front-loaded, inflexible world."

While some may question the definition, others still debate over the cloud's security standing and performance factors. Over at, two experts make excellent points for and against the readiness of cloud computing. While one stresses the need for "significant answers to the significant questions," the other insists that the cloud is ready for specific tasks and edging closer to the ultimate 'platform' which businesses await.

Of course, for most enterprise users, the most important aspect of cloud computing that needs to be established is security. stresses that cloud service outages and criminals operating in the cloud threaten the overall participation in the model. The good news - there is plenty of research, partnerships, and products being developed to further enhance and advance the cloud arena. Click on the Computerworld link or check out how puts the enterprise cloud to the test.

If there ever was a "hyped" IT model, cloud computing takes the cake. Will we continue to see slow enhancements, a faster acceptance, or a slippery slope of denial when it comes to cloud computing capabilities and adaptation?