Research Paper Status Report - The Managerial Aspects of Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing has been an evolving concept, which in the last years has gained prominence due to increasing feasibility, the economies of scale it presents, and the savings for users, and because it implies lower barriers to entry for small businesses that provide services over the internet. Any entity considering adoption of this model, though, has to evaluate its particular needs and restrictions against the expected benefits. Cloud computing also offers some strategic value, but opens the enterprise to other vulnerabilities. This paper will examine the feasibility, the current offerings, the particular requirements of one local health care provider, its expected benefits and the new risks that this strategy entails.
II. Problem: Management and Growth of IT Infrastructure
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, IT departments must be flexible, fast and innovation. As businesses grow, it is difficult for them to anticipate IT infrastructure needs. Furthermore, it is expensive and time-consuming to manage an IT infrastructure. The procurement, setup and deployment of new servers may take days or even weeks, which could cause an organization to miss out on business opportunities.
As services grow in complexity, and IT budgets become limited, the CIO finds himself or herself balancing various competing issues: among the problems are a) reduce staff skills; b) reduced budget; c) increased computation demands; d) increased regulatory demands, and e) unique privacy restrictions, such as HIPAA in the case of a healthcare provider.
III. What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing presents a solution for the previously stated business problem. Cloud computing involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. The three main categories are Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) (What is cloud computing?, n.d.). There are three deployment models for cloud services, which are private cloud, operated exclusively for an organization; a community cloud, shared by several organizations; and a public cloud, available to paying customers (Wilshusen, 2010).
Cloud computing is the concept that any computing device can access software applications via a web browser. As long as the device has an internet connection, it can share information with the cloud application. Servers in the cloud hold all the applications that the end users are able to access, as well as perform computations and data storage.
Cloud computing and mainframe computing have in common that applications are accessed from the server or the mainframe instead that on the end user’s computer. Cloud computing is different from traditional hosting because cloud services are completely managed by the provider and the users can specify the amount service and the time of the service (What is Cloud Computing, n.d.).