The Great Debate UK
‘Cloud computing’ essentially describes an approach whereby IT resources are provided as services via the internet. Instead of purchasing physical servers, databases, middleware and applications separately, organisations will be able to order these services over the internet in ‘virtual’ form, as demand dictates.
In theory, cloud computing will deliver all the benefits but none of the financial costs and technical headaches associated with wholly-owned IT assets. Consumption of computing power will be billed using a simple ‘utility’ model – a per-unit approach similar to that used by energy companies.
Whatever the wider economic environment, the recent stampede toward cloud computing has been startling. As big players like Google and Microsoft jostle to position themselves as Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), so relative arrivistes like Amazon.com are also being increasingly seen as technology providers rather than mere retailers. In this brave new world, the rationale goes, why shouldn’t buying computing power online be as straightforward as purchasing books or DVDs with a simple mouse click?