As a people, we have altered the way we do business and execute tasks through digitalization. Digitalization is defined as, the process of taking something from its physical form, and converting it to an application which can be accessed via any internet connection. Now that we have digitalized just about everything that can be digitized, the current industry is shifting towards a new way to access that digitalized information. Cloud computing is, very basically, servers available by way of the internet. A user can access applications, storage, and data management while the actual servers are kept in remote locations, called data centers. Cloud computing is, by no exaggeration, changing the technological world as we know it.
One standard use of Cloud is for software applications. Streaming music, videos and apps, like Tumblr and Flicker, utilize the Cloud as the means of delivering products or services to the user. You can also rent a server for gaming when necessary. Take for instance, Netflix. By streaming videos on to your device (laptop, PC, Smartphone, Roku, gaming console etc.), you are accessing Netflix’s Cloud. You are watching a video, which is stored remotely on the Netflix servers, available to you through your internet connection.
Another way, in which Cloud is steering the IT industry in a new direction, is through its data management accessibility. With the rise of digitalization we, as users, have accumulated quite a bit of ‘stuff’. And as with all ‘stuff’, you are going to need a place to put it. Cloud computing offers an easier alternative for users, as it provides a place to remotely store files and information onto remote servers. The traditional methods of upgrading your hard drive for more capacity, or storing locally on storage devices (i.e. flash drives and CD’s), are also available, but backing up data to the Cloud server saves space on your computer, or internet connected devices, and also saves the effort of compiling a library of local storage devices. Unlike the use of a hard drive, you don’t have to be on your device to access your stored data, Cloud servers can be accessed from any internet connection, at any time. Data is also available to more than one person at a time. Rather than sharing a document via email or storage device, and then having to merge multiple sets of changes and additions, Cloud allows for collaborative work to be done in real time and saved so the next person can just pick up where the other left off. While Cloud computing is a revolutionary technology, it is still in its infancy and there are major concerns businesses and individuals are weary of.
One prevalent concern users have about Cloud computing is reliability. Customers need assurance that the data they are entrusting to the Cloud company is readily accessible when it is called upon. For this reason, Cloud storage companies use a process called Redundancy, where the same data is saved multiple times in various places, with different power sources. This is done so if a server does fail, or if there is a power outage, the data is still available.
Although reliability levels do make some users a little apprehensive, the major objection across the board lies in data security. The threat of hackers, some say, is increased due to the constant transfer of information to and from the cloud. Cloud’s open accessibility also has users on high alarm. “What if the server gets hacked? What if my information is stolen? What if the server crashes and my data is damaged or lost?” These are the kind of questions and worries which generate careers in the Software Security Industry! The best way to tap into this developing market is to arm yourself, with software security certifications. The CSA (Cloud Security Alliance) Has released “The Industry’s First Examination of Cloud Security Knowledge” , the CCSK (Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge). Earning software security certifications, in addition to the CCSK, will pad your repertoire and put you in a position of high demand, and profitability!
As Cloud’s popularity reaches soaring levels, companies are jumping on with Cloud services faster than they went Green. Cloud applications, storage and data management is the developing means by which we will operate as a technological society. Businesses that require customers to download software on to their devices, will become a thing of the past, and will be replaced by companies who do offer the Cloud. As for IT professionals, the Cloud market is growing exponentially. Tapping into this resource now, in the early stages, is essential to a flourishing career in the tech industry. Businesses, IT Professionals, and individual users, can ensure success by obtaining adequate tools to weather this Cloud-y forecast!