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Cloud computing refers to technological computing that depend on sharing of computing resources as opposed to having organizational devices or local servers to take care of the applications in the organization. The word cloud is metaphoric to the internet. In a nutshell, the phrase cloud computing refers to computing based on the internet where dissimilar servers applications and storage are delivered to the computers and devices of the organization.
How Organizations use Cloud Computing
Today, businesses use cloud computing to access business information anywhere by use of compatible devices.
Unlike storing information in the computer or having office servers, cloud computing enables data storage on the internet. Khan& Zaheer, (2012) asserts that the application works by availing the information from a central web based hub that enable anyone in possession of accurate credentials to access the information anywhere with internet connection. This allows mobile working which further reduces the cost of office space renting expenditures. Perhaps, most importantly, the technology is widely used in data back-up.
This prevents loss of vital information in-case of system failure or any disaster. The cloud allows automatic update of the data while at work as well as creating copies of data off-site safe from any disaster. Cloud computing also allows data synchronization for all the devices connected to the cloud permitting constant update with real-time information. The organizations use the cloud to access all types of files, use the office information and further collaborate with staff members while working on a similar project in different locations which enable sharing of information.
Businesses use cloud technology to plan for future growth of the business and Business owners always aim at reducing the cost of production and overall business costs without sacrificing their ability to compete and run business. For this reason, most businesses use the computing process to store functional programs which might include customer service tools, accounting services and remote desktop hosting. A recent study noticed that businesses that focus on cloud technology have higher competitive edge than their competitors who do not use the technology. They mentioned areas such as efficiency in customer service, digital information storage, marketing, quick information up-dates and proper employee management.
Technology Required in Operating Cloud Computing
The organization must poses business and financial, technological skill to effectively operate cloud computing. Innovations in return on investment making judgment on business metrics based on performance versus costs of subscribing the cloud. Secondly, the staff must have technical skill to build on the clouds. Knowledge based on internet applications such as java and NET, languages and open source tools are required. Architectural development and management skills also come forefront in the management of the cloud computing. This is essential for laying elaborate road map of IT services and speaking the language of the business. The organization must also marshal key stakeholders to agree on the timelines, goals and meet the project objectives. Furthermore, the company must invest in technological security measures to provide protection for confidential information.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud technology offers wide advantages to the users. The technology is cost effective and easy to update and maintain. Traditional desktops are financially ineffective and increase business costs. The company can, therefore, maximize on returns by lowering the costs. Secondly, it offers unlimited storage for data hence no worry of storage space. The technology has recovery and backup for stored data that eliminates loss of data in case of any damages. Lastly, cloud computing offers easy access to information by the users anywhere they are, and the cloud integrates software automatically.
However, the drawbacks of using cloud computing technology are double. Firstly, implementation of cloud computing in the organization requires personnel training. Additionally, it demands the establishment of elaborate and effective troubleshooting system during and after the launching of the cloud. Organizations are further charged with challenges of addressing hesitant employees who are unfamiliar with the cloud computing technology. Secondly, security risks are major concerns of cloud technology (Khan& Zaheer, 2012). The owners of the businesses and decision makers majorly worry vulnerability of sensitive data in the cloud to the unauthorized users. Although the users are provided with passwords and usernames, the verification of these details remains a top challenge. These threaten the safety of information in the cloud as the internet hackers can access confidential information.
Web 2.0 refers to the term used to describe the second generation of the World Wide Web aimed at the ability of the users to share information and collaborate online. It mentions the transition derived from static HTLM web pages to advanced and dynamic web based on serving applications of the web users in an organized manner.
How Organizations use Web 2.0
Today, according to Richardson, Helen, & Hope, Beverley. (2003) businesses embrace web 2.0 technologies to build relationships with customers and to improve the employee welfare while reducing costs. Web 2.0 services such as YouTube slide share and twitter can add value to businesses. The technology is used to empower the organization’s employees through sharing of productive business innovative information which in turn leads to high sales, assists in strengthening the company brand, corporate identity and image. Furthermore, the organizations use the web 2.0 technologies to aid recruitment of employees and simultaneously improving their working environments and relationships.
Research one by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (2013) shows that businesses create pages in facebook and invite the users and customers to become fans of the page. In the page, all the fans will receive notifications on news feeds. With time, the page develops into many fans of the business that creates room for spreading awareness of the corporate identity and the brand of the business. Therefore, social pages such as facebook offer excellent advertising services at a lower cost as opposed to media advertisement which is very expensive. The social sites offers good program for the target audience and location. Additionally, the social sites offer grounds for receiving feedback from the customers as a process of the tracking system of the business. Using the fans’ feedback, businesses can adjust to the needs of the customers in product services and eventually grow.
Also, YouTube offers online videos allowing the site users to watch countless times. People register in YouTube for free and once they have registered, they can download the videos and share via email, or post on blogs. Advertisements can be done through YouTube and people will have a chance to rate the products by commenting on the videos.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is user-centered that allows collaboration, interaction and sharing of information. Web 2.0 users enjoy the freedom of sharing thoughts, likes, philosophy’s views and dislikes. The technology assists in media marketing at a lower cost and use of optimum search engines for business development. Social networking increases the circles of friends who have the chance to post their comments and views regarding the business. Furthermore, it promotes online business for products and services and constant posting and update of information.
Contrastingly, the technology has some drawbacks which include loading of information by many users who post their views. This creates confusion to the users and sometimes the content of information posted is unreliable. Additionally, the freedom of posting can create a chance for competitors to post negative comments about the business creating unfavorable business environment. Lastly, online hackers and forgeries can create crime by accessing confidential information (Richardson, Helen, & Hope, Beverley, 2003).
Technology required in Operating Web 2.0
Web 2.0 covers wide range of technologies. Widely used are blogs, podcasts, prediction markets, wikis, and information tagging and social networks. New technologies should be adopted to run these applications as the world continues to evolve. The companies must understand the potential of the staff in the management of the project using technological means. Finally, the business must innovate in technological measures that can allow the company to offer optimum security measures. The use of web 2.0 often attracts criminals who can derail the business. Therefore, technology in security comes on forefront in the management of the web 2.0 technology.
Khan, Zaheer, Ludlow, David, McClatchey, Richard, & Anjum, Ashiq. (2012). An architecture for integrated intelligence in urban management using cloud computing. (BioMed Central Ltd.) BioMed Central Ltd.KI Voigt, & M Ernst. (2011). Use of Web 2.0 applications in product development: an empirical study of the potential for knowledge creation and exchange in research and development. (International Journal of Engineering, Science and Technology; Vol 2, No 9 (2010).) MultiCraft Limited.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (January 01, 2013). Ensuring the Global Participation in the Internet Economy for Development.Richardson, Helen, & Hope, Beverley. (2003). The Role of Information Systems and Technology in Case Management: a case study in health and welfare insurance. (Australasian Journal of Information Systems; Vol 10, No 2 (2003).) Australasian Association for Information Systems.
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