Beginning from the invention of the centralized server and ending up with revolutionary exploitations of multi-nodal online connections for data management and program processing, the future of computing has evolved out of a network-based model. As businesses actively pursue efficiency and cost reduction throughout their systems and operational framework, the intrinsic value of a flexible, dynamic, and intuitive computing platform has become significant. At the core of such evolving priorities, additional considerations regarding security, integration, and consistency are directly influencing the nature and architecture of the future computing environment. For developers, the introduction of cloud computing not only represented a formal departure from the expensive, bulky, and oftentimes technically-prohibitive servers employed for business management, but it prescribed a robust paradigm shift towards systems architecture that was much more flexible and dynamic. For this reason, the introduction of cloud computing is arguably one of the most significant and influential innovations in computing and networking in the past three decades.
At the foundation of the cloud computing model, developers have actively pursued a mixture of systems and services which computing specialist Michael Armbrust et al. (2010) describes as an internet-based, comprehensive computing solution. Due to the elimination of the need for separate system architecture and hardware, businesses are now able to utilize the resources of service providers, reorienting the purpose of computing towards goal acquisition and task completion, as opposed to systems manipulation and software management. As this innovative resource continues to expand in diversity, accessibility, and functionality, Armbrust et al. (2010) posit that the resolution of scalar challenges (e.g. software needs, infrastructure demands, hardware consistency) will result in radical new capabilities that are far beyond the scope of the current cloud-based model.
The value of cloud computing is extensive, especially considering the mobility agenda of the modern generation and the capabilities and expectations associated with new mobile technologies (CCAS, 2014). In critical analysis of the underlying needs associated with the ‘mobile cloud,’ Professor Niroshinie Fernando et al. (2013) reflect on multiple exchange-based scenarios, whereby cloud computing is an essential conduit for resource accessibility, sharing, and interactive applications. With new systems now operating off of distributed infrastructure, the ability to extend internal connectivity across an entire framework of interconnected devices and access ports is quickly revising the concept of mobility in computing operations (Fernando et al., 2013). In fact, the speed of advances in this field is signaling a significant shift away from localized memory and hardware requirements towards computing capabilities that are entirely built upon external architecture (Armbrust et al., 2010).
Although much of the vision of cloud computing is based upon mobility and the portability of information resources, Professor Sean Marston et al. (2011) propose that there are explicit business-based opportunities and advantages that must be identified and integrated into this system before widespread adoption can take place. Researchers introduce a variety of contributory and inhibitory measures that will most likely influence the design and purposing of these systems, ranging from regulatory oversights to market-based initiatives (e.g. strategic partnerships between computing firms) (Marston et al., 2011). Ultimately, it is the inability to adequately predict the exact dynamics associated with these diverse, online environments that has led to such diverse, multi-faceted academic analysis in this field.
A broad spectrum of 20th century inventions and advances had a direct influence on the behavior and practices of modern society; however, it was the advent of cloud computing that served to rehabilitate a hardware-based paradigm and introduce the capabilities associated with multi-dimensional, multi-network computing (Queensland Government, 2014). For businesses, the opportunities underlying cloud computing are significant and will substantially reduce inefficiencies and expenses stemming from hardware purchases and upgrades. For society in general, the mobility solutions afforded by cloud computing offer a much more robust platform for interconnectivity, sharing, and productivity. Ultimately, it will be the subsequent century of testing, revision, and adoption that will determine the true value of cloud computing; however, to date, it is evident that this technology is a catalyst for revising the nature and concept of computing in its entirety.
Armbrust, M., Fox, A., Griffith, R., Joseph, A.D., Katz, R., Konwinski, A., Lee, G., Patterson, D., Rabkin, A., Stoica, I., Zaharia, M. (2010). A View of Cloud Computing. Communications of the ACM, 53(4), 50-58.
Fernando, N., Loke, S.W., Rahayu, W. (2013). Mobile Cloud Computing: A Survey. Future Generation Computer Systems, 29, 84-106.
Marston, S., Li, Z., Bandyopadhyay, S., Zhang, J., Ghalsasi, A. (2011). Cloud Computing—The Business Perspective. Decision Support Systems, 51, 176-189.
Cloud Computing Advisory Services [CCAS] (2014). Why Cloud Computing is Important. Retrived at: http://firstcloudteam.com/overview/importance-of-cloud-computing/
Queensland Government (2014). Benefits of Cloud Computing. Retrieved at: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/business/running/technology-for-business/cloud-computing-business/cloud-computing-benefits
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