According to Statista, the U.S. cloud computing industry generated about $206 billion in revenue in 2022. Expand that globally, and the industry has a value of $483.98 billion. Growth is on the horizon, too, with Grand View Research stating that the various types of cloud computing will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.1% between 2023 and 2030.

The simple message is that cloud computing applications are big business.

But that won’t mean much to you if you don’t understand the basics of cloud computing infrastructure and how it all works. This article digs into the cloud computing basics so you can better understand what it means to deliver services via the cloud.

The Cloud Computing Definition

Let’s answer the key question immediately – what is cloud computing?

Microsoft defines cloud computing as the delivery of any form of computing services, such as storage or software, over the internet. Taking software as an example, cloud computing allows you to use a company’s software online rather than having to buy it as a standalone package that you install locally on your computer.

For the super dry definition, cloud computing is a model of computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand over the internet.

Cloud Computing Meaning

Though the cloud computing basics are pretty easy to grasp – you get services over the internet – what it means in a practical context is less clear.

In the past, businesses and individuals needed to buy and install software locally on their computers or servers. This is the typical ownership model. You hand over your money for a physical product, which you can use as you see fit.

You don’t purchase a physical product when using software via the cloud. You also don’t install that product, whatever it may be, physically on your computer. Instead, you receive the services managed directly by the provider, be they storage, software, analytics, or networking, over the internet. You (and your team) usually install a client that connects to the vendor’s servers, which contain all the necessary computational, processing, and storage power.

What Is Cloud Computing With Examples?

Perhaps a better way to understand the concept is with some cloud computing examples. These should give you an idea of what cloud computing looks like in practice:

  • Google Drive – By integrating the Google Docs suite and its collaborative tools, Google Drive lets you create, save, edit, and share files remotely via the internet.
  • Dropbox – The biggest name in cloud storage offers a pay-as-you-use service that enables you to increase your available storage space (or decrease it) depending on your needs.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Built specifically for coders and programmers, AWS offers access to off-site remote servers.
  • Microsoft Azure – Microsoft markets Azure as the only “consistent hybrid cloud.” This means Azure allows a company to digitize and modernize their existing infrastructure and make it available over the cloud.
  • IBM Cloud – This service incorporates over 170 services, ranging from simple databases to the cloud servers needed to run AI programs.
  • Salesforce – As the biggest name in the customer relationship management space, Salesforce is one of the biggest cloud computing companies. At the most basic level, it lets you maintain databases filled with details about your customers.

Common Cloud Computing Applications

Knowing what cloud computing is won’t help you much if you don’t understand its use cases. Here are a few ways you could use the cloud to enhance your work or personal life:

  • Host websites without needing to keep on-site servers.
  • Store files and data remotely, as you would with Dropbox or Salesforce. Most of these providers also provide backup services for disaster recovery.
  • Recover lost data with off-site storage facilities that update themselves in real-time.
  • Manage a product’s entire development cycle across one workflow, leading to easier bug tracking and fixing alongside quality assurance testing.
  • Collaborate easily using platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox, which allow workers to combine forces on projects as long as they maintain an internet connection.
  • Stream media, especially high-definition video, with cloud setups that provide the resources that an individual may not have built into a single device.

The Basics of Cloud Computing

With the general introduction to cloud computing and its applications out of the way, let’s get down to the technical side. The basics of cloud computing are split into five categories:

  • Infrastructure
  • Services
  • Benefits
  • Types
  • Challenges

Cloud Infrastructure

The interesting thing about cloud infrastructure is that it simulates a physical build. You’re still using the same hardware and applications. Servers are in play, as is networking. But you don’t have the physical hardware at your location because it’s all off-site and stored, maintained, and updated by the cloud provider. You get access to the hardware, and the services it provides, via your internet connection.

So, you have no physical hardware to worry about besides the device you’ll use to access the cloud service.

Off-site servers handle storage, database management, and more. You’ll also have middleware in play, facilitating communication between your device and the cloud provider’s servers. That middleware checks your internet connection and access rights. Think of it like a bridge that connects seemingly disparate pieces of software so they can function seamlessly on a system.

Services

Cloud services are split into three categories:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

In a traditional IT setup, you have computers, servers, data centers, and networking hardware all combined to keep the front-end systems (i.e., your computers) running. Buying and maintaining that hardware is a huge cost burden for a business.

IaaS offers access to IT infrastructure, with scalability being a critical component, without forcing an IT department to invest in costly hardware. Instead, you can access it all via an internet connection, allowing you to virtualize traditionally physical setups.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Imagine having access to an entire IT infrastructure without worrying about all the little tasks that come with it, such as maintenance and software patching. After all, those small tasks build up, which is why the average small business spends an average of 6.9% of its revenue on dealing with IT systems each year.

PaaS reduces those costs significantly by giving you access to cloud services that manage maintenance and patching via the internet. On the simplest level, this may involve automating software updates so you don’t have to manually check when software is out of date.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

If you have a rudimentary understanding of cloud computing, the SaaS model is the one you are likely to understand the most. A cloud provider builds software and makes it available over the internet, with the user paying for access to that software in the form of a subscription. As long as you keep paying your monthly dues, you get access to the software and any updates or patches the service provider implements.

It’s with SaaS that we see the most obvious evolution of the traditional IT model. In the past, you’d pay a one-time fee to buy a piece of software off the shelf, which you then install and maintain yourself. SaaS gives you constant access to the software, its updates, and any new versions as long as you keep paying your subscription. Compare the standalone versions of Microsoft Office with Microsoft Office 365, especially in their range of options, tools, and overall costs.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

The traditional model of buying a thing and owning it worked for years. So, you may wonder why cloud computing services have overtaken traditional models, particularly on the software side of things. The reason is that cloud computing offers several advantages over the old ways of doing things:

  • Cost savings – Cloud models allow companies to spread their spending over the course of a year. It’s the difference between spending $100 on a piece of software versus spending $10 per month to access it. Sure, the one-off fee ends up being less, but paying $10 per month doesn’t sting your bank balance as much.
  • Scalability – Linking directly to cost savings, you don’t need to buy every element of a software to access the features you need when using cloud services. You pay for what you use and increase the money you spend as your business scales and you need deeper access.
  • Mobility – Cloud computing allows you to access documents and services anywhere. Where before, you were tied to your computer desk if you wanted to check or edit a document, you can now access that document on almost any device.
  • Flexibility – Tied closely to mobility, the flexibility that comes from cloud computing is great for users. Employees can head out into the field, access the services they need to serve customers, and send information back to in-house workers or a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
  • Reliability – Owning physical hardware means having to deal with the many problems that can affect that hardware. Malfunctions, viruses, and human error can all compromise a network. Cloud service providers offer reliability based on in-depth expertise and more resources dedicated to their hardware setups.
  • Security – The done-for-you aspect of cloud computing, particularly concerning maintenance and updates, means one less thing for a business to worry about. It also absorbs some of the costs of hardware and IT maintenance personnel.

Types of Cloud Computing

The types of cloud computing are as follows:

  • Public Cloud – The cloud provider manages all hardware and software related to the service it provides to users.
  • Private Cloud – An organization develops its suite of services, all managed via the cloud but only accessible to group members.
  • Hybrid Cloud – Combines a public cloud with on-premises infrastructure, allowing applications to move between each.
  • Community Cloud – While the community cloud has many similarities to a public cloud, it’s restricted to only servicing a limited number of users. For example, a banking service may only get offered to the banking community.

Challenges of Cloud Computing

Many a detractor of cloud computing notes that it isn’t as issue-proof as it may seem. The challenges of cloud computing may outweigh its benefits for some:

  • Security issues related to cloud computing include data privacy, with cloud providers obtaining access to any sensitive information you store on their servers.
  • As more services switch over to the cloud, managing the costs related to every subscription you have can feel like trying to navigate a spider’s web of software.
  • Just because you’re using a cloud-based service, that doesn’t mean said service handles compliance for you.
  • If you don’t perfectly follow a vendor’s terms of service, they can restrict your access to their cloud services remotely. You don’t own anything.
  • You can’t do anything if a service provider’s servers go down. You have to wait for them to fix the issue, leaving you stuck without access to the software for which you’re paying.
  • You can’t call a third party to resolve an issue your systems encounter with the cloud service because the provider is the only one responsible for their product.
  • Changing cloud providers and migrating data can be challenging, so even if one provider doesn’t work well, companies may hesitate to look for other options due to sunk costs.

Cloud Computing Is the Present and Future

For all of the challenges inherent in the cloud computing model, it’s clear that it isn’t going anywhere. Techjury tells us that about 57% of companies moved, or were in the process of moving, their workloads to cloud services in 2022.

That number will only increase as cloud computing grows and develops.

So, let’s leave you with a short note on cloud computing. It’s the latest step in the constant evolution of how tech companies offer their services to users. Questions of ownership aside, it’s a model that students, entrepreneurs, and everyday people must understand.

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Il Sole 24 Ore: 100 thousand IT professionals missing
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
May 14, 2024 6 min read

Written on April 24th 2024

Source here: Il Sole 24 Ore (full article in Italian)


Open Institute of Technology: 100 thousand IT professionals missing

Eurostat data processed and disseminated by OPIT. Stem disciplines: the share of graduates in Italy between the ages of 20 and 29 is 18.3%, compared to the European 21.9%

Today, only 29% of young Italians between 25 and 34 have a degree. Not only that: compared to other European countries, the comparison is unequal given that the average in the Old Continent is 46%, bringing Italy to the penultimate place in this ranking, ahead only of Romania. The gap is evident even if the comparison is limited to STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) where the share of graduates in Italy between the ages of 20 and 29 is 18.3%, compared to the European 21.9%, with peaks of virtuosity which in the case of France that reaches 29.2%. Added to this is the continuing problem of the mismatch between job supply and demand, so much so that 62.8% of companies struggle to find professionals in the technological and IT fields.

The data

The Eurostat data was processed and disseminated by OPIT – Open Institute of Technology. an academic institution accredited at European level, active in the university level education market with online Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the technological and digital fields. We are therefore witnessing a phenomenon with worrying implications on the future of the job market in Italy and on the potential loss of competitiveness of our companies at a global level, especially if inserted in a context in which the macroeconomic scenario in the coming years will undergo a profound discontinuity linked to the arrival of “exponential” technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and robotics, but also to the growing threats related to cybersecurity.

Requirements and updates

According to European House Ambrosetti, over 2,000,000 professionals will have to update their skills in the Digital and IT area by 2026, also to take advantage of the current 100,000 vacant IT positions, as estimated by Frank Recruitment Group. But not only that: the Italian context, which is unfavorable for providing the job market with graduates and skills, also has its roots in the chronic birth rate that characterizes our country: according to ISTAT data, in recent years the number of newborns has fallen by 28%, bringing Italy’s birth rate to 1.24, among the lowest in Europe, where the average is 1.46.

Profumo: “Structural deficiency”

“The chronic problem of the absence of IT professionals is structural and of a dual nature: on one hand the number of newborns – therefore, potential “professionals of the future” – is constantly decreasing; on the other hand, the percentage of young people who acquires degrees are firmly among the lowest in Europe”, declared Francesco Profumo, former Minister of Education and rector of OPIT – Open Institute of Technology. “The reasons are varied: from the cost of education (especially if undertaken off-site), to a university offering that is poorly aligned with changes in society, to a lack of awareness and orientation towards STEM subjects, which guarantee the highest employment rates. Change necessarily involves strong investments in the university system (and, in general, in the education system) at the level of the country, starting from the awareness that a functioning education system is the main driver of growth and development in the medium to long term. It is a debated and discussed topic on which, however, a clear and ambitious position is never taken.”

Stagnant context and educational offer

In this stagnant context, the educational offer that comes from online universities increasingly meets the needs of flexibility, quality and cost of recently graduated students, university students looking for specialization and workers interested in updating themselves with innovative skills. According to data from the Ministry of University and Research, enrollments in accredited online universities in Italy have grown by over 141 thousand units in ten years (since 2011), equal to 293.9%. Added to these are the academic institutions accredited at European level, such as OPIT, whose educational offering is overall capable of opening the doors to hundreds of thousands of students, with affordable costs and extremely innovative and updated degree paths.

Analyzing the figures

An analysis of Eurostat statistics relating to the year 2021 highlights that 27% of Europeans aged between 16 and 74 have attended an entirely digital course. The highest share is recorded in Ireland (46%), Finland and Sweden (45%) and the Netherlands (44%). The lowest in Romania (10%), Bulgaria (12%) and Croatia (18%). Italy is at 20%. “With OPIT” – adds Riccardo Ocleppo, founder and director – “we have created a new model of online academic institution, oriented towards new technologies, with innovative programs, a strong practical focus, and an international approach, with professors and students from 38 countries around the world, and teaching in English. We intend to train Italian students not only on current and updated skills, but to prepare them for an increasingly dynamic and global job market. Our young people must be able to face the challenges of the future like those who study at Stanford or Oxford: with solid skills, but also with relational and attitudinal skills that lead them to create global companies and startups or work in multinationals like their international colleagues. The increasing online teaching offer, if well structured and with quality, represents an incredible form of democratization of education, making it accessible at low costs and with methods that adapt to the flexibility needs of many working students.”

Point of reference

With two degrees already starting in September 2023 – a three-year degree (BSc) in Modern Computer Science and a specialization (MSc) in Applied Data Science & AI – and 4 starting in September 2024: a three-year degree (BSc) in Digital Business, and the specializations (MSc) in Enterprise Cybersecurity, Applied Digital Business and Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI), OPIT is an academic institution of reference for those who intend to respond to the demands of a job market increasingly oriented towards the field of artificial intelligence. Added to this are a high-profile international teaching staff and an exclusively online educational offer focused on the technological and digital fields.

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Times of India: The 600,000 IT job shortage in India and how to solve it
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
May 2, 2024 3 min read

Written on April 25th 2024

Source here: Times of India 


The job market has never been a straightforward path. Ask anyone who has ever looked for a job, certainly within the last decade, and they can tell you as much. But with the rapid development of AI and machine learning, concerns are growing for people about their career options, with a report from Randstad finding that 7 in 10 people in India are concerned about their job being eliminated by AI.

 Employers have their own share of concerns. According to The World Economic Forum, 97 million new AI-related jobs will be created by 2025 and the share of jobs requiring AI skills will increase by 58%. The IT industry in India is experiencing a tremendous surge in demand for skilled professionals on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, cybersecurity and, according to Nasscom, this is leading to a shortage of 600,000 profiles.

 So how do we fill those gaps? Can we democratize access to top-tier higher education in technology?

These are the questions that Riccardo Ocleppo, the engineer who founded a hugely successful ed-tech platform connecting international students with global Universities, Docsity, asked himself for years. Until he took action and launched the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT), together with the Former Minister of Education of Italy, Prof. Francesco Profumo, to help people take control of their future careers.

OPIT offers BSc and MSc degrees in Computer Science, AI, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and Digital Business, attracting students from over 38 countries worldwide. Through innovative learning experiences and affordable tuition fees starting at €4,050 per year, OPIT empowers students to pursue their educational goals without the financial and personal burden of relocating.

The curriculum, delivered through a mix of live and pre-recorded lectures, equips students with the latest technology skills, as well as business and strategic acumen necessary for careers in their chosen fields. Moreover, OPIT’s EU-accredited degrees enable graduates to pursue employment opportunities in Europe, with recognition by WES facilitating transferability to the US and Canada.

OPIT’s commitment to student success extends beyond academics, with a full-fledged career services department led by Mike McCulloch. Remote students benefit from OPIT’s “digital campus,” fostering connections through vibrant discussion forums, online events, and networking opportunities with leading experts and professors.

Faculty at OPIT, hailing from prestigious institutions and industry giants like Amazon and Microsoft, bring a wealth of academic and practical experience to the table. With a hands-on, practical teaching approach, OPIT prepares students for the dynamic challenges of the modern job market.

In conclusion, OPIT stands as a beacon of hope for individuals seeking to future-proof their careers in technology. By democratizing access to high-quality education and fostering a global learning community, OPIT empowers students to seize control of their futures and thrive in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

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