Wednesday, March 31, 2010

TCS, Infosys betting big on Cloud computing

Till a few years ago, the IT industry had three categories of companies - hardware companies, software product companies and IT services companies. If an organisation wanted to computerise a certain function such as payroll, it first bought the hardware, then the licences for the software, and finally hired the services of a third company to customise and implement the application according to its specifications. Naturally, it was an expensive and time-consuming process and managements debated on whether they had the budgets for it before embarking on such an exercise.

Smaller companies were the hardest hit because most of them didn't have the budgets for expensive hardware and even more expensive software licences. Many of them were forced to choose between postponing automation, building their own in-house applications or investing a huge amount money, which could have otherwise been invested elsewhere.

Now imagine if there was a choice of outsourcing all these requirements to a single provider and there were no investments in hardware, licences, or implementation to be made but just a single fee based on the usage of the application, wouldn't it be much more simpler and less expensive? That is the flexibility that cloud computing offers.

Cloud computing is an evolving technology that brings together all the elements of hardware, software and services in a single package. But despite being in popular use for last couple of years, there is still no standard definition for the term 'cloud computing'. Unlike terms like open source software (which indicates the source code software is open to all) or free software (which means it is free for users to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve) which have specific definitions, cloud computing is a more loosely defined term that can refer either to infrastructure, services or applications.

"Many market observers have offered up definitions of cloud and cloud computing - to no avail. Every party wants to adapt the definition to their own needs," pointed out technology research firm, Forrester, in one of its reports on this hot new technology.


1 comment:

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