Potential of cloud computing ‘not fully realised’

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The potential of cloud computing will only grow in the coming years, an expert has said.

The growing importance of cloud computing is just the beginning to what will eventually become a major change in the way that IT departments across the world are structured.

Gordon Bell, principal researcher in the Microsoft Research Silicon Valley Laboratory, said that the cloud will become the key platform for the majority of applications within the next ten years or so and as a result, those who are early adopters could have a major advantage.

Speaking to the Gulf Times, he explained that even now, cloud computing offers much more flexibility and effectiveness than it is currently used for and further training in the idea would be "super important" in the short-term future.

Most IT staff and end users are not even aware that they already use many cloud computing applications in their day to day activities, Mr Bell said.

Although they are currently thought of as an IT solution, the expert believes that cloud applications have the potential to be used in any service that requires constant and up to date monitoring and in many areas they would improve the services dramatically, with traffic and transportation being the ideal candidate to try cloud computing.

"Cloud will enable traffic sensor data to identify each car as a special entity and will have specific Internet-protocol (IP) addresses. The cloud platform will be the modern equivalent of the traffic infrastructure. Wherever you are, you will be able to connect with the cloud. This will enable traffic and other applications [to be a] lot more intelligent and smarter," Mr Bell explained.

He also thinks that the health sector could benefit from the cloud.

Mr Bell said that he has trialled many applications for himself which measure his pulse and other body movements.
                                                                                                                                                          
Cloud computing is the perfect platform to make wider use of many of these health applications and specialist devices. They can be used to monitor heartbeat or the amount of sleep that a person gets in real time and the array of data that would be at the disposal of medical professionals and the self monitoring individual could result in a "huge advancement" in human development, he concluded.

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