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Understanding the Ins and Outs of Cloud Computing Technology

Cloud computing offers significant benefits to well-versed businesses prepared

Cloud computing technology has become more popular in industries worldwide. The network components and applications greatly enhance connectivity, efficiency and access to information for companies with multiple locations, partners or a mobile workforce. As more sophisticated cloud computing solutions continue to hit the market, offering specific benefits that can enhance a competitive advantage, more companies are investing in the technology.

What is virtualization
Cloud computing technology, commonly referred to as server virtualization, allows companies to maximize their physical resources by storing information and accessibility in a virtual space that can be accessed by any device connected to the network. Multiple desktops, applications and communication tools can be supported from a single dashboard, allowing for increased functionality and mobility.

Cloud computing platforms can be public or private and come with a variety of management options that allow internal IT departments to monitor the technology or third-party providers can oversee network management through a contract agreement. Cloud computing technology provides significant data storage capabilities that are more cost-efficient than traditional, physical storage units. Companies can keep vast amounts of information stored in a remote location, easily accessible through the network and protected through fast disaster recovery processes.

CDW explained the most widely enjoyed benefits of cloud computing technology include:

  • Greater server utilization
  • Centralized control of desktops and applications

  • Lower power requirements
  • Increased oversight of virus control

  • Easier management of application updates
  • Reduced device theft

  • Improved data security and remote access

To properly maximize the benefits of cloud computing technology for an individual company, decision makers should set some goals, requirements and a budget for the IT adoption to ensure it falls within the priorities of the organization. Company IT experts should assess existing infrastructure and applications to see what will be needed to keep the business running smoothly. IT experts can also conduct evaluations and research into available vendors to see what providers work well in the industry and which come highly recommended by competitors or partners. After reviewing all the options, and weighing the costs from each vendor, a product selection must be made and deployed throughout an organization.

Leveraging the technology's benefits
CDW's 2013 State of the Cloud Report revealed IT managers plan to spend 38 percent more on cloud computing upgrades, maintenance and application upgrades in 2013 than they did in 2012 as more companies are reporting gains from adopting the technology. About 42 percent of small companies used cloud services in 2012, up from 21 percent in 2011, while larger companies report a 40 percent penetration rate, up from 21 percent the year prior. Similarly, 68 percent of IT experts reported requests for cloud services from employees have increased over the past two years as comprehension and understanding of the many benefits associated with the tools becomes more widespread.

After the solutions have been implemented, companies can start utilizing the tools to increase business agility, launch new business models, reduce operational concerns and disturbances, make better use of resources and spend less money on technology-related expenses. Cloud computing technology provides faster access to real-time data to enhance decision making in a highly competitive market. The technology allows businesses to combine efforts and existing infrastructure to develop hybrid business models that focus on efficiency. Because the solutions are highly standardized for ease of use across multiple devices, fewer operational issues pop up to hinder productivity. Access to information on the go and from remote locations boosts functionality and capabilities with available resources, which in turn drives down the cost of operations and reduces the need for IT maintenance of antiquated technology, Wired explained.

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