Cloud computing, that much touted game-changing technology for the enterprise, has been the focus of many IT forums and seminars in recent years. And interest in it continues to grow as a number of companies are now claiming that it has helped them improve their efficiency while allowing them to save on costs. But despite the hype that surrounds it — which has made cloud computing the biggest buzz word in the tech arena today — there are issues that have yet to be settled and clarified with regards its true worth.
Having a nose for the next big technology or killer app is, of course, a requirement for CIOs and IT managers wishing to go up the competitive ladder. And while cloud computing is being hyped as one of those technologies that can do wonders for a business, many are still reluctant to jump on the bandwagon.
For companies, security remains a top priority. With the continuous growth of data within enterprises, and their ready accessibility via the Internet, an easy-to-scale solution like the cloud is definitely an answer. But some questions remain: Is moving up to the cloud a truly safe journey? How can businesses join the bandwagon without the risks?
For its April 2013 Executive Briefing, Computerworld Philippines invited some of the country's experts in the cloud computing space to explain what this technology really is, and how businesses can leverage it to reap its benefits without too much worry.
DEFINING THE BASICS
John Alabastro, president and director of Pan Pacific Computer Center Inc., and CIO of House of Investments, described cloud computing as a catalyst in the sense that it is a type of service that enables companies to rely "on sharing computing resources" instead of having local servers to handle applications.
For his part, Drexx Laggui, principal consultant at Laggui & Associates, admitted though that "a lot of people have different definitions for cloud computing." Citing Facebook as one cloud-based utility that both public and private institutions use for marketing and public service purposes, he said the cloud is "a computing model that defines what we want and what we need.".
Depending on the particular need, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS), are the three most utilized service models that businesses can easily get from cloud service providers, Laggui said, adding these models provide business with a good alternative to purchasing hardware, licenses, and applications.
For business executives who constantly worry about allocating hefty funding to put up an agile IT infrastructure, cloud is definitely an answer. "It's on demand, [and it allows] faster time to market because you don't need to pay for anything to be installed or set up," Jose Niño Valmonte, marketing director at IP Converge, pointed out. "Normally this is on an OPEX (operating expense) model" and you can "expand as much as you like anytime you want."
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