On Oct. 11 Mark Davis, the CEO of cloud-based company Scenios, gave a lecture to the television production majors at SCAD on the advantages of working in the cloud. While the concept may seem foreign to others, this rapidly growing system is changing the way we think about technology. “Most of you are already working in the cloud without even knowing it,” said Davis. “Google docs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Dropbox are [examples of] using the cloud to share and store information.” His broad definition of cloud computing is, “[a] service that can be accessed over the Internet.”
With the cloud, functions that were traditionally used with software on an individual computer or server can now be stored and hosted by a data center.“The cloud is just a data center; all things are now stored in one central location,” said Davis, which creates a “virtualization” of use. Businesses run on a shared data center located elsewhere and all you would need to get access to the information on your virtual computer or server is a mobile device and Internet access. An easy way for newcomers to grasp the concept is to think of using an email account — just log in, access the necessary files and log out. There is no need to worry about upgrades, storage space, IT and so on.
In fact, as one of the fastest growing industries in the world, cloud computing could possibly change the face of the IT industry. Working in the cloud eradicates the financial strain that big and small businesses alike face when hiring IT staff, buying office space, and taking into consideration things such as power, networks, bandwidth, servers and storage. Instead, the cloud takes care of these services by using a pay-as-you-go system like a utility bill.
Some risks are involved when working in the cloud, but measures can be taken to make sure information stays protected. Davis suggested multiple backups of information and using trusted cloud data centers that have high security measures. He also suggested storing information onto more than one cloud.
Leaders in the computer industry such as Apple have leaped into this new way of working by introducing iCloud. According to their press release, “iCloud automatically and wirelessly store[s] your content in iCloud and automatically and wirelessly push[es] it to all your devices. When anything changes on one of your devices, all of your devices are wirelessly updated almost instantly.” Apple has invested over $500 million in its Maiden data center to support the expected customer demand for the free iCloud services.
With this new wave of virtual technology coming into play, certainly more questions in regard to security and privacy will arise. Concerns about proliferation of computer viruses and hacking will likely increase as consumers share more of their lives online.