PUBLICATION:  ENGINEERING NEWS ONLINE

DATE:  23 FEBRUARY 2009

Company Announcement: Take IT to the clouds above

Robert Sussman, CEO at Integr8 IT

Take IT to the clouds above

By Robert Sussman, CEO at Integr8 IT

Amid the shroud of financial uncertainty gripping global markets and the climate of pressure squeezing operators in almost every sector, there is a buzzword that is emerging as the next ICT trend to watch – one that offers opportunity to strategic and proactive users.

The trend is cloud computing and it is a brewing ICT outsourced managed service based on the use of the Internet to meet computer requirements  – and it is poised to take the networking industry by storm.

This scalable, location-independent resource stems from the prevalence of technology-focused trends like Software as a Service, virtualisation and Web 2.0.

Cloud computing could be seen as a general move from location-based networking and, in its simplest form, refers to network management via the Internet.

Essentially the online environment is used as a source of management to meet any PC related requirement, eliminating the need to source and install software.

Flexibility and cost efficiency are sought after in most industries today. Competition and market positioning is directly related to how effectively organizations can position themselves technologically and the extent to which they are able to curb costs and lower the total cost of ownership.

One of the key advantages of cloud computing is that it fulfils a pivotal role in accommodating the modern mobile knowledge worker and the requirements of handling up-to-date applications and impact on operations.

As far as the management of applications within a cloud computing networked environment, there are options available to users.

This environment can be separated into zones – one being location based computing, the other a private cloud network (a company that runs network applications via its own infrastructure to its own client and user base) and another in the form of a public cloud network that provides applications from one site to multiple parties.

Essentially private and public clouds facilitate a seamless Web interface through which businesses can better managed the computer resource on demand.

The benefits to business are real and include speed enhancement, improved overall performance and better network management.

This is a natural progression in the development of the networking space and reinforces the level of maturity that the industry has reached.

However, consistent pressure and the need to produce, to deliver and to maintain service levels and turnaround time will continue to influence the picture.