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Cloud Computing and its Effects on Operations in the Service Industry

Cloud Computing and its Effects on Operations in the Service Industry

As a general purpose technology in the IT (information technology) field, cloud computing has expanded incredibly since becoming available at the start of the century. However, despite the technology being a catchphrase in technology circles, it remains elusive as far as the definition is concerned. Indeed, cloud computing has often been compared to with the virtualization of such things as applications, computing power plus storage. In addition, it has been thought of as a form to deploy services that are termed as pay-as-you-go as well as perceived to look like grid computing. Nevertheless, cloud computing is widely known to share traits with these technology paradigms plus has more to offer. The NSIT (National Institute of Standards and Technology) explains cloud computing as a model which is pay-per-use and facilitates convenient and on-demand access to the network including computing resources. The computing resources (storage, applications, servers, network plus services) can also be swiftly provisioned plus released with negligible management service provider interaction. All in all cloud computing facilitates availability.

As mentioned earlier, some of characteristics defining cloud computing include on-demand self service as well as pay per use. The former characteristic may include unilateral provisioning of computing resources including server time, network bandwidth and others necessitating human interaction with a service provider. On the other hand, pay-per-use relates to a characteristic/capability that is charged through a metered advertising-based/fee-for-service billing model with the aim of optimizing resource use. Nevertheless, cloud computing has impacted virtually all sectors including the service industry. Operations in this sector have been impacted heavily considering that service industries have been their clients to focus on their core competency. Indeed, this very suggestion has driven the existence of the service industry - firms deciding that various tasks are best attended to by external specialists.

For many services firms, operations in information technology fall into the category whereby they do not constitute core competency. Some operations such as maintaining firm’s email server plus customizing back-office systems are likely to be deemed costly in terms of finances, time and other much-needed resources. This is where cloud computing comes into play. Majority of the service industry is likely to view operations such as maintaining a data center in the same way they would view maintaining a power plant. Simply, a wasteful distraction. Worth noting is that the services constituting the cloud are regularly divided into three categories including software-as-a service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service plus infrastructure-as-a-service. Each of these categories provides a service firm with an opportunity to spend fewer resources on IT and increased attention on clients. Cloud computing achieves this by handling related operations, and thus leaving a service firm attending to its core function.

In terms of operations in the service sector, the benefits of cloud computing lie in the technology’s potential to rationalize a range of IT processes. This includes user support as well as the ongoing management plus maintenance of company’s systems. Today, the service industry has millions of clients including some of the largest and innovative firms in the world. Expectedly, managing the industry’s operations and or growth necessitates improved systems to engage clients, consultants as well as the broader community via various techniques. IT-related operations throughout the service industry are no longer client/server based but internet or cloud based. Conclusively, the entire service industry continues to change as operations are left to expert providers.

Published on  27.12.2016