Jyrki has several years of experience in different cloud technology-related expert tasks. At Descom, he is responsible for planning and developing current and new cloud services. In this expert interview, Jyrki shares his views on cloud services and their future.
There is lots of talk about cloud services, but what does “cloud service” really mean?
There are as many definitions of the cloud as there are users. There are many kinds of cloud services and definitions of them, but they are always from some specific viewpoint.
To put it simply, cloud services mean that cloud subscribers relinquish control over things that aren’t essential for users. Such things could include, for example, web server capacity.
Are cloud services a new phenomenon?
In a sense, cloud services have been around as long as the internet. Few people really know where, physically, certain online services are performed. But people started talking about cloud services around five years ago. Until then they were referred to as SaaS services.
What role will cloud services play in the future?
It is crystal clear that cloud services will continue to spread. Not all companies will offer their services through the cloud, but cloud technology will help them develop new types of services. What a company puts in the cloud depends entirely on its business.
Are pure cloud services only meant for consumers?
No. For example, online stores are in the cloud. Pure cloud services are also becoming commonplace in the business world. However, few companies are 100% in the cloud. Companies often purchase so-called private clouds, where the provider ensures that a server is exclusively used for that specific company’s own data.
What kind of things are cloud services good solutions for?
Usually cloud services are used when companies want to enter the market as quickly as possible. Whether you’re dealing with a business solution, providing a platform, an online store, or a marketing campaign, the cloud is the quickest way to get it on the market. Cloud services are flexible and can accommodate even rapidly growing numbers of customers.
What are the benefits and risks of cloud services?
One of the most important features of cloud technology is scalability. Sometimes you need a whole lot of capacity, sometimes not much at all. Scaling down your own data center is difficult, but for cloud services, it is mere routine.
Cloud services offer buyers the opportunity to keep developing the best, increasingly agile and most cost-effective services. There is no need for the buyer or provider to commit to the same hardware for a long time, as they can be upgraded without a break in the service.
For example, if there is a problem with a hard drive, cloud service providers usually have back-up systems, which prevent end customers from even seeing the problem at all. For the provider, one positive aspect of the cloud is that resources don’t have to stand idle at night; instead, computing capacity can be harnessed for the use of some number cruncher. Cloud services do not pose any greater data security risks than any other system. As always, common sense goes a long way.
What should a buyer take into consideration when thinking about purchasing a cloud service?
They should contact an expert and think of a cloud strategy. Don’t get hung up on minor details to begin with; instead, try to focus on mapping your risks and the big picture first.
Many people think that cloud services are either the best thing that ever happened to the IT sector, or that they are the root of all evil. They are neither. You should only use cloud services to the extent that they suit your purposes.
Jyrki Korkeaniemi, Senior Architect
+358 40 662 5888
jyrki.korkeaniemi (at) descom.fi