Modern business has become more and more about the bottom line. Companies are looking for ways to maximize on earnings while improving on service delivery. To this effect, companies have now turned to cloud computing companies looking to rent software and hardware as a service instead of investing in their own physical asset, which can be expensive. Cloud solutions providers market Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (Paas) as versatile cloud solutions for businesses. These are marketed in the form of shared, private, and dedicated cloud networks for service delivery over remote locations on the internet.
While the proponents of cloud computing maybe right in touting this technology as the future it is far from ready for wide scale full implementation.
First, service delivery by managed hosting providers is still in its infancy. The cloud solutions providers are currently undertaking the design of platforms that offer more than the present limited functionalities such as document storage, collaboration, and simple data processing. In order for cloud computing services to replace traditional computing, they must provide better services; the limited functionality of the applications focuses on document processing and storage.
Secondly, APIs are still under development. Application Programming Interfaces which are the backbone of the entire cloud computing technology are still at primary levels meaning the applications that can be built on them are limited and not significantly complex. The biggest problem is that each cloud vendor develops his own API standard, and the development activity is taking part simultaneously but independently. One of the foundations of cloud computing is shared access to pooled resources; however, currently it is only possible to share resources pooled on one cloud host due to differences in cloud API programming. This frustrates the sharing purpose. APIs with cross platform functionality have been designed, but since they are not vendor supported, they provide functionality that is even more limited.
Thirdly, cloud computing solutions are completely dependent on the availability of functioning high-speed internet access. Since these services need to be delivered on a shared network which is the internet, their uptake is tied to the improvement of internet services across the board. The reliability and stability of the internet connections they link to must be guaranteed and the bandwidth provided must adequately cater for the needs of the business.
The current service delivery of managed hosting providers is far from spectacular, and they have some way to go.