No longer is “the cloud” a new buzz term. It has been around for a decade. By now, we know what it means and its many advantages. Mobile Cloud Computing is the combination of cloud computing, mobile computing, and wireless networks working in tandem. Together, these technologies deliver robust modern digital solutions to the enterprise and consumer-based industries. Because we have been helping customers for over ten years with mobile-based systems, we offer this story to re-emphasize the many benefits of cloud computing.
We work in multiple areas of the world and with all sizes and types of organizations. We have seen enterprise customers needing to migrate legacy systems from on-prem to a cloud-based platform. Some customers are planning new projects that want to leverage cloud computing scalability. Regardless of location or the amount of capital available, the benefits of cloud computing often make the most financial sense. For that simple point to be understood, this story examines conditions before cloud computing and reviews its many advantages.
There are multiple facets to the term cloud computing, so let’s take a deeper dive into what it means. Essentially, cloud computing is an opportunity to outsource software, data storage, and processing. Users access resources, such as applications and files, from the internet. Outside third parties host data, CPU processing power, and software. This option frees up resources, facilitates global collaboration, and allows secure mobile access regardless of where the user is or what device used.
Before the Cloud
Young employees might find it hard to imagine that there was a time when employees could only access company data, email, and applications from a computer located directly at the office. These computers need to be connected to the network by physical cables. Additionally, the software got installed manually on every computer. The bulk of the company’s intellectual property was stored in special, temperature controlled rooms. The outage or failure of any single machine often represented a significant profit and productivity loss. Cloud computing has streamlined or eliminated many past risks and concerns:
- Server Rooms: Businesses no longer need to manage server farms in well-ventilated temperature controlled equipment rooms.
- Large in-house IT support: Tech talent is as prized as ever, but businesses no longer need dedicated operational staff. Tedious work outside of the companies core business, like the updating of servers, eliminated.
- Data storage devices: Employees no longer manually back up data on hard drives or external devices.
- Geographic restriction: Workers are no longer tied to the office. They can be just as productive when traveling or working remotely as when they are on company property.
Outdated software: Software updates required significant capital investment every few years to procure the latest version. Applications got installed manually and were maintained on every device.
- Information loss: Organization with local data storage risked having a catastrophic event or natural disaster destroying all of a company’s digital data.
- Data Duplication: Employees would store files in multiple digital locations to safeguard data. This lead to multiple versions stored in different servers and devices. The main file of record could often get lost in the process.
Why Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing eliminates the problems and risks that come with managing your own servers. Hardware and software operational maintenance becomes the responsibility of an expert vendor, like Amazon. Sharing infrastructure works like purchasing a utility. Consumers only pay for what is needed. Upgrades are seamless and dynamic scaling up or down is automatic. Additional benefits to cloud computing listed below:
- Accessible from anywhere — Applications and data are not restricted to a specific location or device. Because they are available from anywhere, real-time collaboration by remote teams is easy.
- Flexible and scalable — Cloud-based applications are extremely customizable. It is simple to increase power, storage, and bandwidth as demands change.
- Cost-effective — Businesses only pay for what they use, normally on a per-month, per client basis. There is no hardware appliance taking up space, needing employee attention, and using electricity 24/7.
- Hassle-free updates — Web-based software is constantly updated. The vendor handles maintenance, backups, and troubleshooting.
- Fast — Service is delivered on demand through a global network of secure data centers that are regularly upgraded for maximum efficiency and performance.
- Secure — Information is not vulnerable to a flood, fire, natural disaster, or hardware failure in one location. Security protocols and infrastructure are constantly analyzed and updated to address new threats.
For these reasons and more, businesses are running more applications in the cloud.
Mobile Cloud Computing or MCC is the mix of cloud computing, mobile computing, and wireless networking, to deliver robust resources to mobile users. The underlying idea is to make it possible for rich mobile applications to be executed on a tremendous number of mobile devices.
Typically, in the context of the mobile cloud, the storage, applications, computing, and services are all delivered through the cloud. Even though mobile devices are equipped with native apps and resources, almost all the processing is carried out on cloud servers. These servers offer remote processing, instead of doing so locally.
Mobile app backend services
Most mobile apps need a backend service for things that can’t be done entirely on the device, such as large file sharing and heavy data processing. Providing a backend service for a mobile app often has unique requirements:
- Lower data storage limits per device
- Synchronization of data across multiple devices
- Manage offline operations gracefully
- Send push notifications and SMS messages
- Minimize battery drain
The cloud continues to going to grow in importance. In the years to come, it will evolve and face new challenges, but its significance will not soon diminish. Companies that understand the benefits of cloud computing can make better infrastructure decisions. Now is always a better time than later to be better prepared for the future than more conservative competitors.