The first key point to remember in assessing the impact of "Cloud Computing" on business operations is this: The Post PC-Era is upon us.
What has replaced the PC is not a single device class but a range of mobile devices that allow employee access to the Internet anytime and anywhere. Mobility via the tablet computer, the smartphone and the laptop is the engine driving the inevitable advance of cloud computing.
Only the "cloud" can make exabytes of data available to mobile devices on demand, anytime-anywhere via the Internet.
By 2013, there could be some 667 exabytes of data (10 followed by 18 zeros) in annual global Internet traffic. Of this "exaflood," of information, global mobile data traffic will rise at a compound annual growth rate of 131% between 2008 and 2013. It will reach over 2 exabytes per month by 2013.
What we have now is a post-PC era where mobility is the new king and where people -- not software -- finally get the paramount importance they deserve. Cloud computing is transforming software into a simple service just like texting.
Mobile computing will enable employees to work and collaborate anytimeanywhere. The challenge facing business is how to harness this new and more productive class of mobile employee who might increasingly resist the traditional 8-5 routine and opt for a new arrangement.
The ECCP Cloud Computing Forum held last May 9 sought to reveal a clearer picture of cloud computing and its importance to this country. The forum was co-organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) in cooperation with DataOne Asia, which is at the forefront of moves to advance cloud computing a key business advantage for Philippine firms.
What is the Cloud?
Cloud computing is basically the outsourcing of computer resources. Companies who use the cloud rent applications from service providers instead of purchasing expensive software and hardware.
They access these applications over the Internet through a secure Web-browser.
The services accessed via the cloud are hosted online on secure servers. A network of servers and computers acting together is collectively referred to as the "cloud".
Companies save money by avoiding the initial heavy capital expenditure demanded by complex IT systems. The absence of hardware also means that companies also save money by requiring fewer IT staff.
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