While some purveyors of cloud-based technology solutions may be inclined to tout this as the “new, new thing” to hit business, cloud computing is not a new concept. Defined as “…the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet)[,]” cloud computing dates back to the 1960s. Computer scientist (and originator of the term “artificial intelligence”) John McCarthy theorized that someday computation might be delivered as a public service or utility.
Following the collapse of many Internet companies in the early 2000s (i.e., the proverbial dot-com bubble), Amazon realized that at any given time their computing infrastructure was only using roughly 10% of available capacity with the remainder sitting idle but necessary to accommodate spikes in demand. By deploying a new cloud-based architecture they realized that not only could they bring new features and capabilities to market more rapidly, but they could also open their infrastructure to other companies as an on-demand service and Amazon Web Services was born (in late 2006).
Today cloud computing is all the rage for consumer data storage and applications, as well as for businesses large and small – and for good reason. Based on the infographic below, most companies deploying a cloud solution have seen financial benefit – albeit small. That said 93% of those companies who deployed a cloud solution saw benefit in their IT department and that’s improvement we can call love.