Cloud, Big Data, and the Internet of Things

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Advantages of Cloud Computing | @CloudExpo #IoT #M2M #Microservices

What the cloud is and how it has the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work, just like the automobile

What Are the Advantages of Cloud Computing?
By Chris Boorman

Here's a bold claim: Cloud computing has the potential to be as transformative as the advent of the automobile. Before the age of cars and buses, everything was undertaken at a fraction of the pace it is now-transport, distribution, socializing. The automobile revolutionized all of that, changing forever the way we moved, made friends and worked. Make no mistake, cloud computing is the 21st Century equivalent of the automobile.

In case you've just returned from several years orbiting Mars, let me just explain what we mean by cloud computing. It refers to storing and accessing data, programs and services over the Internet instead of your computer hard drive. Working off your hard drive is how the computer industry functioned for decades-all your data lived somewhere inside that desktop PC. With cloud computing, you divest of the hard drive and enjoy the freedom of working anywhere, anytime, on any device. Your data, however much there is of it, is stored in huge data centers and storage farms often in places people have never heard of.

The cloud is everywhere!
Let's put it into context. If you streamed a movie recently from Netflix, you used the cloud. If you posted a photo of last months' vacation on Facebook, you used the cloud. If you save your documents to Google Drive, you used the cloud. If you emailed a friend using Hotmail... well, you get the message.

In the corporate world, the advantages of cloud computing are cost reduction, greater flexibility, elasticity and optimal resource utilization. Corporations are clamouring to use ‘Infrastructure-as-a-Service' solutions on a pay-per-use basis, for example, to eliminate the cost of acquiring, managing and maintaining their own IT infrastructure. They use the cloud to access, store and retrieve files from any web-enabled interface. And they use it for test and development: a readily available environments tailored for their needs. The list goes on.

Ignore the cloud and you'll be like the guy at Decca Records who ignored the Beatles: missing out on a lifetime opportunity. It creates opportunities that simply weren't possible before.

Cloud computing is rewriting and rewiring society

The advantages of cloud computing mean we can be quicker, more powerful, have more capacity and be more efficient-in the same way that the automobile allowed us to. For example, you can seamlessly work with a client in New York, even if you're based in Los Angeles. You'll all have access to the same data and because your data doesn't sit on your physical hard drive, you can access it anywhere-from a tablet on the train, from a phone on holiday in the Philippines, or from a laptop in the office.

The barriers and restrictions of geography are completely removed. The mechanism of the cloud is irrelevant here. What matters is that this way of working brings with it completely new capabilities.

Then there is the innovation advantage of cloud computing. Organizations used to phone the IT team when they wanted to innovate: IT set up a technology infrastructure for development and testing. But it took time, projects were delayed and costs rose. With the cloud, computing resource is instant-there's no upfront hardware or software investment costs, no people to train, no worries about availability. Free from the shackles of IT intervention, organizations can collaborate more freely, share ideas and launch innovative new solutions more quickly.

Thirdly, cloud computing is making the average business user more productive, flexible and collaborative. For example, staff can work remotely at home, in a hotel or on a train-they aren't tied to their desktops anymore. While initial fears were that employees who worked remotely would sleep until twelve and then spend the rest of the day on Facebook prove to be unfounded, working remotely cuts down on interruptions and travel time while increasing employee satisfaction and retention rates.

The application economy

Finally, everyone's talking about ‘apps'. According to many commentators, the ‘application economy' is the next new wave in computing. Banks, airlines, telecommunications providers and more are all using applications to attract customers and gain a competitive advantage. Think of a car ad, for example, and chances are it now touts in-car applications and connections as much as styling and horsepower.

This is the application economy in action. The emergence of a connected, mobile, application-based world where consumers are far more likely to experience a brand and interact with an enterprise through a software application than a live person. From desktops and laptops to mobile and cloud, applications are the key to a competitive user experience, and it is all enabled by cloud computing.

Automating in the cloud

A word of warning for IT departments here: Owing to the universality of cloud computing, your business users expect the same levels of service at work as they can get in their personal lives. They expect to go online, request a new application or compute resource, and receive it in a matter of minutes, not days or weeks. This is pushing up demand for private clouds businesses, which are increasingly competing with the public clouds for management. If IT cannot deliver this level of services, the business will look for alternatives that can deliver more quickly. And that's the moment IT control slips away. So private clouds have formed in businesses to compete with public clouds and need managing.

A cloud automation solution automates the delivery of these IT services, providing a single solution for private and public cloud release automation. For example, users can request and manage a wide range of multi-vendor, multi-cloud applications, infrastructure and custom services, all through a self-service catalog. Quickly, securely and cost-effectively.

Cloud can transform your organization. Indeed, it might already be doing so. As it becomes ever more popular-driving more and more of your services-you can't hang onto manual delivery of private and public cloud-based services. Automation enables you to fast track cloud services delivery, keep control, and ensure users receive a new application or compute resource in minutes, not days or weeks.

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Automic, a leader in business automation, helps enterprises drive competitive advantage by automating their IT factory - from on-premise to the Cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things.

With offices across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Automic powers over 2,600 customers including Bosch, PSA, BT, Carphone Warehouse, Deutsche Post, Societe Generale, TUI and Swisscom. The company is privately held by EQT. More information can be found at www.automic.com.