From software to service
In essence, cloud computing means that you no longer operate your IT infrastructure yourself, but instead use the Internet in a way which is tailored to your requirements. The American author Nicholas Carr likens this development to the transition to a nationwide power supply at the end of the 19th century. Whilst electricity had been produced since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution for those who needed it, inventions by Edison and Co. advanced the expansion to nationwide power networks, powered by large power stations.
Software in the cloud
Translated into today’s terms, this means that data storage and software programs are no longer located on their own computers but “in the cloud” – an IT infrastructure which is available worldwide over the Internet.
Software which is provided in the cloud is based on a Multi Tenant Architecture, which means the same infrastructure is provided to all customers independently of each other. Internet access and web browsers are the only individual system requirements.
Acceptance of cloud computing
According to an ongoing study by the US market research company Forrester Research, a fifth of companies already use solutions from the cloud, or have piloted corresponding projects. Comparable results also exist in market research by Gartner, because in times of tight IT budgets, interest increases in new, straightforward usage models for software applications.