In the post World War II period, the management at computer manufacturer Univac faced a serious dilemma. The enormous investment made for the radical concept of something called a computer during the war created a problem. The investment served its purpose during the war, but what was to be done now?
The board assigned the task of answering the question to a special group of scientists and executives. They expressed relieve when the group reported back. They told the shareholders at the annual meeting that they could relax; the study indicated at least a dozen of the multimillion computers would be sold before all the computing power needs of the government, military and large companies could be met.
The irony is that each of those computers was less powerful than the least sophisticated cell phone available today. The point of the story is that computing creates its own market.
In the early sixties, a young IBM salesman took a then-radical step. He formed a company that rented time on big computers. This concept, facilities management was the predecessor to todays cloud computing. The ability to access the power of large computers without owning them totally changes the scope and role of information technologies.
Cloud computing as a Business
The underlying premise of the cloud is that small or large businesses don’t need or want to own massive computing facilities, or to hire the personnel they require. The real desire is the ability to use the computing power that those computers represent. With the advent and growth of the Internet, cloud computing provides precisely that solution.
There are computer companies that have adopted a business model of essentially renting computer time over the Internet. That sounds remarkably simplistic, but it is the essence of the approach. Of course, backing up the concept are incredibly complex capabilities and facilities. These companies staff their hardware sites with some of the best and most talented IT people in the field. Their business requires a massive investment in basic capabilities. It also mandates a comprehensive plan for security, disaster recovery and customer responsiveness. In addition, the IT field changes and evolves so rapidly these companies invest significant resources simply tracking and implementing those advances.
The Future of the Cloud
From a general concept a decade ago, the cloud is today a $40 billion reality that shows nothing but accelerating growth over the coming decade.
A recent discussion at on a popular cloud blog quotes a prediction from International Data Corporation that the market for public cloud services will reach a remarkable $100 billion by 2016. They point out that is a quite impressive 26.4% compound annual growth rate. As noted in the article, this kind of growth is transformative and will significantly change the IT industry once again.
What it Means
The impact of the move to the cloud is being felt by businesses and individuals across the economy. Cloud computing eliminates yet another market barrier, allowing the smallest one-person office to access the computing power formerly reserved to Fortune 100 companies. For IT personnel, it radically changes career paths and patterns. Businesses no longer need the IT staffs to manage many functions available on the cloud.
The ultimate impact, of course, is as unpredictable as was the Univac prediction. A major industry issue to tackle is security and cybercrime dangers. While the final verdict is out, there is no question of massive and ongoing change in the IT world.
This post was guest written by Mac Connolly Serverlove; a UK based cloud hosting provider. As more and more businesses look to take advantage of the growth of cloud computing, Serverlove are helping you to get access to your own virtualized cloud server! Find out more on our website.