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So where exactly is this “Cloud”?

The answer is actually just as intangible as the puffy white clusters of water vapor we see as we look at the sky. The reality is that the cloud is nowhere. Well actually, it’s everywhere. This techie buzzword is most likely a part of your life in more ways than you could imagine. So, let’s start with the fundamentals.  Some would rather relegate the idea of the cloud as so incomprehensible that they choose to carry on their lives obliviously to how their data is actually stored, and where it goes.  Behind the obscurity of the “cloud” is actually a complex network of servers that work around the clock to provide you seamless integration of devices and information at the click of a button. These servers, that hold your information, are housed in huge data centers around the world. Everything from your previous purchases to Instagram pictures are stockpiled in these tangible warehouses for you to access whenever you feel so inclined.

Where are you using cloud now?

Think you’ve never used the cloud? Well, unless you’re living off the grid in the Alaskan wilderness, you’ve probably used the cloud without even noticing it and that’s the point. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Cloud services focus on the flexibility, scalability, and connectability of its users through the seamless integration of internet connected devices. Social media, E-mail, iCloud and Netflix are just some of countless products and services running on the cloud today. These services are mostly just cloud storage services, however, with the ever increasing capabilities of technology, cloud computing its revolutionizing the way we process information.

Where will you be using the cloud in the future?

We’ve all been there before, your computer just doesn’t seem to be pulling its weight like it used to. The now 4-year-old machine is pushing at capacity, while four years ago it would effortlessly glide through the internet like a speedboat on a still lake. So what exactly happened? The truth is - it’s not you, it’s data! When you purchased your top of the line computer, websites were smaller, pictures had less megapixels and the amount of data available was smaller. So where is all this extra data coming from? One simple example is the resolution of pictures, movies and TV shows. Every year, it seems as if high-resolution and high-definition become obsolete and something new takes its place. Now instead of that file being a couple hundred megabytes, it’s a few gigabytes. In the future, gigabytes will be obsolete and a new term that sounds like an animal from a Dr. Seuss book, will become ubiquitous. Yesterday’s gigabytes will become todays Yambobyte, and tomorrows Yandoodlebytes. But how fast is data growing? According to a research article published by IDC Research, 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years; by 2020, 90% percent of all the data ever created will be in the last second of 2020.

Okay that’s a lot of data, but what does this have to do with your computer? The truth is, what used to be a lot of storage 4 years ago is a drop in the bucket for machines produced today. Floppy disks seem archaic at their 1.44 MB’s of memory compared to my compact thumb drive that holds 128 GB’s. But here is where cloud computing can help. Computers of the future will get smaller, a lot smaller. This is because they won’t need to have processors or hard drives, instead, monitors will become just the interface and all the number crunching will be done in the cloud. This provides consumers and business alike with benefits to scale and changes in technology. Suddenly, if your computer becomes slow or stresses under the load of surfing the web, you can simply purchase more computing power or memory without having to upgrade your computer on a semiannual basis.

How can businesses benefit from this?

For businesses today, it’s vital to be early adopters of cloud computing software in their day to day activities in order to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive. If there is anything guaranteed in the market economy today, it’s that competition will grow in ferocity. Current business trends are showing that Human Capital Management (HCM), is one of the most heavily impacted areas of this cloud revolution. Companies switching to cloud enabled HCM systems have the ability to adapt to current business conditions, keep employees informed with changes in technology and create a simpler user interface. Businesses also benefit because they will require less of an internal IT infrastructure and can increase scale effortlessly, which means your HCM support grows with your company. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) giant SAP provides top of the line cloud solutions to promote growth and flexibility for firms of all sizes.

AltaFlux is a Gold level SAP partner that provides industry best practices information with clients to promote success with every deployment. This trusted SAP SuccessFactors partner’s mission is to help your firm remain a notch above the rest while improving efficiency and retaining talent within your firm.

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Vijay Nachimuthu

By Vijay Nachimuthu

Vijay Nachimuthu is a Managing Principal of AltaFlux. His blogs mainly focuses on latest cloud technology trends and its impact on enterprises.