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Cloud computing, beyond doubt, has arrived on the technology scene as the next big thing. But amidst this hype it is essential to identify the basic value it offers.
Firstly, Software-as-a-Service offerings have been the best contributions of cloud computing. Whatever application it is, be it a CRM or a payroll system, delivering these applications as a service makes sense. Sometimes the enterprise IT does not have the necessary skills or resources to deploy a particular application or it might not justify the cost of running and supporting a new application. In such cases utilizing a cloud based service application seems beneficial.
Secondly, cloud offers backup provisions not easily available within the conventional model. It makes a lot of economic sense to use a cloud service for recovery or backup than purchasing and installing separate infrastructure on premise for duplication of data.
The other emerging offerings that have started to provide immense value through cloud computing include specialized application services and computation intensive analytic applications. It might not be possible for enterprise IT to invest in and deploy supercomputer infrastructure and the best way is to utilize cloud based services for the same.
Having said this nowhere do we mean to say that on premise application infrastructure will nowhere be seen. There are hundreds of applications within an enterprise and transferring all of them on to a public cloud is not feasible economically. There are many basic applications which are very essential for the business and it is not suggested to move them to the cloud keeping in mind the regulatory and security issues. However as discussed already some of the applications can be based out of the cloud which are either infrastructure intensive or which require extensive resources not readily available with the enterprise IT.
Cloud computing is gradually moving to a blended model wherein a combination of public cloud applications works in tandem with the on-premise applications bringing in the best of economic benefits and security for the enterprise. Once this model is widely accepted then IT will move on to an era of flexibility which is agile and dynamic enough to meet the fast changing business requirements.
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