Cloud Computing has evolved to the point of meeting the standard definitions of an emerged technology as suggested by Drs. Elliot Soloway (2014a, 2014b), David Thornburg (2013b, 2014a), and Everett Rogers (2003). Soloway (2014a, 2014b) used such factors as decreasing costs, increasing number of reviews, and increasing popularity translated as access for personal use as indicators to qualify a technology as an emerged.one. Thornburg (2013b, 2014a) proposed acceptance of a given technology anywhere to determine its emergence status. Rogers (2003, p. 343) offered the concept of “critical mass” as “the point after which further diffusion becomes self-sustaining”. The research and data on the state of adoption of Cloud Computing all but concur to proclaim Cloud Computing as an emerged technology in the area of Higher Education. This blog aims at investigating the nature of Cloud Computing as an emerged technology in Higher Education by coping with the following agenda:
- Provide a definition of cloud computing.
- Report the statistics on the rate of adoption of cloud computing in Higher Education.
- Explain the problems or challenges that have been associated with this technology,
- Explain the societal needs this technology meets and what its benefits are.
- Explain the pitfalls of this technology. Share what would make this technology even better, avoiding the identified pitfalls you identified.
1. Definition of Cloud Computing.
According to The National Institute of Standards and Technology (retrieved from http://www.nist.gov/itl/csd/cloud-102511.cfm ) “cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. The term Cloud Computing was first coined in 1997 by Professor Ramnath Chellappa (retrieved from http://www.bus.emory.edu/ram/ ) as a new paradigm to illustrate the provision of computing services via the Internet. This new paradigm is grounded on five characteristics, and three service models. While the characteristics are defined as on-demand service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service, the service models refer to IaaS for Infrastructure as a Service; PaaS for platform as a Service, and SaaS for Software as a Service (retrieved from http://www.service-architecture.com/articles/cloud-computing/cloud_computing_definition.html). These characteristics and service models can be further investigated via the internet using Google, YouTube, and other search engines and resources.
2. Statistics on the rate of adoption of cloud computing in Higher Education.
I am here introducing figures 2, 3, and 4 which are slides from a narrated presentation on the topic: A Value Proposition for Adoption of Cloud Computing by Higher Education I uploaded to You tube last year (retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMoDrylkjAw&feature=youtu.be).
Figure 2: Growth of Cloud Computing
Figure 3: Growth of Cloud Computing Adoption and Diffusion.
Figure 4: Growth of Cloud Computing Adoption between 2011 and 2012.
Figure 5: Growth of Cloud Computing Adoption per sector in 2011 and 2012.
Figure 6: State of Cloud Computing Growth per Application types in Higher Education.
Figures 2 to 6 clearly demonstrate the growth and actual state of Cloud Computing as an emerged technology. The rapid rate of adoption of cloud computing cannot be more convincingly stated than the following argument from forbes.com (retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/sungardas/2013/12/10/seven-cloud-computing-trends-in-2014/ ):
Cloud computing took companies by storm this year, with nearly 60 percent of current small-to-medium businesses using cloud services and 72 percent of them virtualizing significant portions of their servers. 2014 promises even bigger growth as cloud technologies expand on every front from infrastructure and software-as-a-service to customized security and platform independence.
Cloud Computing Problems and Challenges.
There have been a number of problems and challenges associated with Cloud Computing. Some of them relate to the law and compliance especially when the data is hosted in a foreign country (Cervone, 2010). Katzan (2010) raised the issue of “the privacy of business and personal information”, while Ogigau-Neamtiu (2012) warned “Organizations which consider adopting cloud based services must also understand the many major problems of information policy, including issues of privacy, security, reliability, access, and regulation”. The bottom line is, the problems and challenges associated with online computing remain a constant challenge primarily geared towards the integrity, the security, and the privacy of data hosted outside of the organization or outside of the country. I conclude this section with the following list of problems and challenges (retrieved from http://www.moorestephens.com/cloud_computing_benefits_challenges.aspx ):
- Data location.
- Commingled data.
- Cloud security policy / procedures transparency
- Cloud data ownership
- Lock-in with CSP’s proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs),
- Compliance requirements with today’s cloud computing services.
- Disaster recovery
Social Needs and Benefits of Cloud Computing.
In contrast to its shortcomings, Cloud Computing does satisfy significant social needs and benefits to its adopters. We live in an era and civilization constantly in need for fast, reliable, ubiquitous access to data, especially via mobile devices at an affordable price. Services such as Carbonide.com, dropbox.com, facebook.com, google.com, amazon.com are examples of how Cloud Computing has responded to social and societal need. From a cost-saving perspective, Aljabre, A. (2012) Argued, “In today’s business world with the amount of economic downturn and loss happening every day, the need for reliable, yet affordable technology is needed more than ever; cloud computing fills that void”. Below is a list of benefits which summarize the advantages of Cloud Computing (retrieved from (retrieved from http://www.moorestephens.com/cloud_computing_benefits_challenges.aspx ) :
- Optimized server utilization
- Cost saving
- Dynamic scalability
- Shortened development life cycle
- Reduced time for implementation
Pitfalls of Cloud Computing and recommendations.
Bewley, CTO of uptime software claimed that “Cloud computing has the potential to offer organizations dramatic operational efficiency and cost savings, but when improperly managed it can have disastrous results” (retrieved from http://www.uptimesoftware.com ). ITBusiniessedge.com has identified the following as “six pitfalls you should avoid when migrating information services to the cloud, as (retrieved from http://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/show.aspx?c=86480 ):
- Avoid migrating too much or moving too fast in order to prevent loss of control.
- Have proper mechanism in place for performance visibility monitoring.
- Avoid the “out of sight, out of mind” dilemma of losing track of applications residing on-premise or in the cloud. Be always mindful and knowledgeable of what is going on.
- Avoid the “Perils of platform lock-in”. Have a safe strategy to retrieve your data if things go wrong or you decide to leave the cloud vendor.
- “Set expectations both internally and externally concerning how applications will perform”. Obtain “mismanaged performance guarantees”.
- Avoid compromising “Privacy and Security”. Make sure “the correct processes and performance monitoring are in place”.
In terms of recommendation, this blog is proposing adoption of these measures by www.ITBusinessedge.com in addition to the following:
- Have competent legal representation experienced with Cloud Computing credentials to negotiate your contract with full participation of your IT Department.
- Conduct a thorough search of the market in order to select a track proven Cloud Computing vendor.
- Demand that a copy of periodic backup of your data is regularly routed in retrieval format, a one or more secure locations of your organization.
I am concluding this blog with table 1 which offers a list of some important links about Cloud Computing:
|Site/Company Name||Site URL||Site Description|
|https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/cloud-computing||Google Cloud Computing Discussion forum|
|IBM||http://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/us/en/index.html?cmp=usbrb.||The IBM Cloud Computing.|
|IBM Workload Automation||http://www.service-architecture.com/articles/cloud-computing/cloud_computing_definition.html||Cloud computing definition.|
|National Institute of Standards and Technology||http://www.nist.gov/itl/csd/cloud-102511.cfm||Cloud computing definition.|
|Business Insider||http://www.businessinsider.com/the-15-most-valuable-cloud-computing-companies-2013-7?op=1||The 15 most valuable-cloud computing companies|
Aljabre, A. (2012). Cloud computing for increased business value. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(1) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/913056373?accountid=14872
Carr, Nicholas. 2014. “Cloud computing.” Encyclopædia Britannica Research Starters, EBSCOhost (accessed September 14, 2014.
Cervone, H. F. (2010). An overview of virtual and cloud computing. OCLC Systems and Services, 26(3), 162-165. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/10650751011073607
Hajibaba, M., & Gorgin, S. (2014). A Review on Modern Distributed Computing Paradigms: Cloud Computing, Jungle Computing and Fog Computing. Journal of Computing & Information Technology, 22(2), 69-84. doi:10.2498/cit.1002381
Khalid, A. A., & Shahbaz, M. M. (2013). CLOUD COMPUTING TECHNOLOGY: SERVICES AND OPPORTUNITIES. Pakistan Journal Of Science,65(3), 348-351.
Katzan, H.,Jr. (2010). On the privacy of cloud computing. International Journal of Management and Information Systems,14(2), 1-12. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/365828926?accountid=14872
Laureate Education (Producer). (2014a). David Thornburg: What is emerging technology? [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2014b). Elliot Soloway: Emerging vs. emerged technologies [Audio file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.) New York, NY: Free Press.
Ogigau-Neamtiu, F. (2012). CLOUD COMPUTING SECURITY ISSUES. Journal of Defense Resources Management, 3(2), 141- 148. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1288095353?accountid=14872