Some clarity on what ‘the cloud’ is and how it can help

There’s been a lot of buzz in recent years surrounding the topic of cloud computing. Business leaders everywhere are talking about it, the media is covering it and countless corporations are investing millions of dollars into it. There’s just one problem, though. People are still struggling with a very basic question – what is “the cloud,” anyway?

The question is both very easy to answer and impossibly difficult. On one hand, everyone knows that the cloud is a basic term used to describe saving data on the Internet rather than locally, enabling people to access and share it online. But what does that entail? Even today’s brightest tech minds are still just beginning to scratch the surface.

According to the Wall Street Journal, there’s still a lot of work to be done before we can gain clarity on this issue. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, former vice president of technical strategy and innovation at IBM, says that the only consensus on cloud computing is that there is no consensus.

Wladawsky-Berger said that in a recent conference with his fellow IT leaders, he met with a group of his peers and collectively, they struggled to define what cloud computing was all about.

“I finally concluded that the reason we were excited, but had trouble articulating what we were excited about was because cloud isn’t any one thing,” Wladawsky-Berger explained. “Rather, it’s a new model of computing, only the third such model in the history of the IT industry, with centralized and client-server being the two previous ones. There is no single dimension around which to define a computing model, which accounts for the variety of definitions.”

So what is it?
While there is indeed a great deal of confusion surrounding the cloud and its specific applications, we’re beginning to gain some understanding.

The way Wladawsky-Berger puts it, corporate CIOs are discovering the benefits of the cloud in terms of business agility. Companies are able to keep up with the pace of technology and market changes by turning to cloud providers. In turn, this can help them with internal processes in HR (such as employee time tracking software) as well as many external operations (for example, client billing software).

The cloud is adding some much-needed flexibility to the daily grind for numerous companies. BMI Cloud Solutions is there to help companies search for new ways to bring more efficiency to everyday tasks.