Traditional desktop computing has been the most popular form of computing in business for decades now. However, it is expected to soon make way for cloud computing, a new form of technology that is already changing the way in which many businesses conduct their operations. In this article, the key differences between the two platforms; cloud computing and conventional computing will be analysed.
Cloud Computing vs. Conventional Computing
The term cloud is a basically a metonym for the internet; and it is this that represents the most significant difference between cloud computing and conventional computing. While conventional computing takes place on physical hard drives and onsite servers, cloud computing takes place on remote servers that are kept by a third party hosting company.
A company can access these servers via the internet.
Software in the cloud is offered as an on demand service. Use of such programmes does not require the order and purchase of discs; instead a business simply needs to plug in to the service it desires as and when it needs to use it. Not only does this save a business time and money, it also means that software is highly scalable. Because the service is not hard written onto a disc it can be changed quickly to suit the needs of a business, whether large or small. Moreover, the services can be expanded or shrunk depending on whether a company itself is in a period of growth or compression. There is a range of different cloud available offered by specialists such as McLaren Software that can be used to help in a number of different areas of business.
The costs of cloud computing are generally reduced in comparison to those of traditional computing. One main reason for this is because the running and upkeep of servers is shared between a number of different parties, which reduces utility costs. A company is also able to save on capital costs, as it does not have to buy expensive hardware.
Because cloud computing takes place exclusively on the internet, it is vital that it is used in conjunction with a constant, reliable and fast internet connection to get the most out of the platform. However, as long as this connection is present, then the data is accessible anywhere, which can be hugely beneficial to a business, as this article in the Guardian explains.
There are a number of well-versed security fears with regards to cloud computing, many of which are discussed here. In truth, it can seem a little unsettling to have data stored on remote servers. It is likely that a company will not know the exact location of the servers, or the specifications of the servers. However, this does not mean that the data is not in safe hands; it is the job of the third party hosting site to keep it safe, meaning that the company will probably focus more attention and resources on its safety than the company that actually owns the data would do.