Q & A What is Cloud Computing?

Today, each employee of a company or an individual has a computer (the hardware) on which he runs different kinds of applications (software). Not only does the company have to buy a computer for each employee, it also has to purchase the licence to operate the software for each one. That costs a lot of money.

Instead, imagine another company that provides the same employees all the application software they need, but from a remote location. By installing just one application (user interface), the employee can have unlimited access to any software he needs at any time and place, from a ‘cloud’ floating in cyberspace. The company pays only the service provider maintaining the ‘cloud’ of dedicated computer servers.

In fact, we are already using cloud computing. For example, we can store emails, photos and documents in Gmail, Picasa and Google Docs, that would otherwise occupy valuable disk space on our computers, on the Google server for free!

Cloud computing eliminates the need to buy sophisticated hardware and software. Data can be accessed anywhere at any time and not only on a personal device or on an internal network or from a hard drive. Physical space for large servers is no longer required. Maintenance and tech support costs come down.

Is cloud computing secure? It is as secure as any other Web-based service, for

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