Monday, November 10, 2014

Where are the clouds?

Once upon a time
Last month, on my flight back from Bangalore, I was happy that finally the sky was clear. It was a treat for my eyes to witness the white clouds floating all over the sky. I focused on one cloud. It looked like a mighty giant right out of a fairy tale. I smiled and moved on to another one. This one looked like a lion with its mouth wide open, ready to pounce upon its prey. The third cloud that attracted me was a longer one. It gave an impression that a child with long hair was looking at a computer screen and laughing hysterically. It automatically made me smile. “The captain has switched off the seat belt sign. You can now use your laptops and electronic devices. Please keep your mobile phone in the switch off or airplane mode only”, the lead cabin attendant announced. I unfastened my seat belt and fetched my laptop. As I opened my word document and got ready to resume work on my white paper, I looked outside the window once more. I did not see that happy child anymore. I had entered my own world of cloud.

The new age cloud
Today, technology trends such as cloud, social media, digitalization, mobile, and analytics are not just giving a face-lift to computing, they are reshaping our imagination too. When we say ‘cloud’, we do not necessarily mean ‘the clouds in the sky’!  We are talking technology, 90% of the time, especially if we are sitting inside the meeting room of an IT organization. It is a fact that looking at the increasing technological complexities today, most organizations are looking at solutions like cloud computing to handle their data management needs.

What is Cloud Computing?
In simple terms, cloud computing is a technology that allows you to create a network of a large number of remote servers over the Internet. Using this network, you can share data-processing tasks, have a centralized data storage system, and access your data on the go. In other words, you can manage your data per your needs, real time, without being dependent on a local server. Magical, isn’t it? While working on an important assignment last week, my colleague had forgotten to email the file to her client before leaving office. She had saved it in her laptop. On her way home, while sitting in a crowded public bus, she was able to send it. All she did was use the ‘One Drive’ feature on her smart phone. She not only accessed the file, but also reviewed it once more before sending it to her client. Her 3G speed was good, which made the process simpler. She did not panic for a trifle second.

So, if individuals like you and me can reap the benefits of cloud computing, imagine the advantages that organizations can derive! Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook etc. make the most of Public Cloud to process piles of data every second. Companies like IBM, HP and others are offering cloud based analytic services and more to millions of customers across the world.

On the flip side
Not all organizations or applications may benefit from cloud computing. Cloud needs network connections to work. If there are recurrent outage issues with your Internet connection, cloud computing would not be advisable. Also, security threats cannot be ruled out. Despite data security systems being robust, you should not store confidential information on cloud. Providers cannot guarantee that the networks are 100% secure. If your email account is hacked, that can be a threat to your business data stored on cloud. There may be cost and compatibility issues also.

Is there a ‘Happily Ever After’?
Cloud is among the most popular metaphors for the Internet and is here to stay. But perhaps, what is important is to shut down that laptop or smart phone once in a while and look outside the window. Take a deep breath, get a glimpse of the clouds in the sky and set your imagination free. Technology will evolve and cloud computing will be replaced by a newer version tomorrow. But those natural beauties flying in the sky – they will keep your hopes alive in a ‘happily ever after’. 


  1. Interesting take on a much talked about topic.

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  3. Awesome way of looking at the topic. While we use the word all the time, i never imagined it can also be written this way. I wonder how you look at 'apple' . :-)