Who do you think benefits from a growth in cloud computing? Businesses, certainly they’re able to cut costs and work more flexibly. Providers benefit clearly because it gives them a bigger customer base and it enables these firms to grow and reach more people. But like any industry Cloud Computing has a supply chain. How far can a surge in the use of Cloud Computing help sectors and industries you might not have considered?
The Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan has been looking at just that. Taiwan has long been a global marketplace in technology, think of computer build and electronic engineering expertise and manufacture. Yet the cloud is all about moving away from the need for a physical infrastructure, is it not? How can cloud computing impact on a marketplace traditionally associated with traditional computing.
In fact it plays a significant role. Taiwan works closely with cloud providers and server builds. Currently it working closely with Facebook in its drive for more energy efficient cloud-based servers. The rising demand for cloud applications as well is thought to impact on the shipments of global servers by a fifth to 12.2 million units.
Cloud computing still needs to rely on physical servers. Facebook’s Open Compute Project (known as OCP) is looking at how data centres can reduce how much power they are using. For technology and electronic manufacturers this is as important as the search to make a carbon neutral vehicle for the automotive industry. The effects are felt right along the supply chain from researchers to designers, manufacturers and sellers. The desire to make the industry greener is part of the next generation and development of cloud computing, which can only benefit those looking to work it and profit from it.
This growth exponentially affects not just SMEs and firms benefiting from the use of the technology as the end user but those further along the supply chain who make the components and are involved in the research happening within the industry. This inevitably means that the Cloud becomes more profitable. It becomes the focus itself of innovation and research – how can it be greener, cheaper, benefit from smaller and faster chips. Cloud Computing has often been seen as the death knell for traditional computing but for those manufacturers within the industry in fact it is an opportunity to take it to the next level and develop it further. There are pockets around the world, like Taiwan, benefiting from cloud computing.
What does this mean for the end user, the businesses that are using the cloud? It means there will be greater diversity and choice. Once there is focus on how a technology or practice can be developed and improved the end user gets to see rapid transformation; more applications, new ways of working, innovative technology. It is an exciting time to be part of the Cloud.