Cloud computing is an often-misunderstood term, but it gives companies one thing in particular: Flexibility. Especially in an industry, such as the textile, sports and footwear industry, where a lot of trade fair events still happen, it is necessary for an IT system to function reliably at all times. In the past, either very expensive dedicated hardware was purchased or rented from an IT provider with term contracts. These systems often run 24/7 at full power, although such performance is only really needed at certain peak times. Not only does this cause unnecessary costs, it also has an impact on the eco-balance. Cloud solutions provide a chance to dynamically power server performance up and down as the current situation demands. Cloud providers, in turn, distribute their server infrastructure to multiple customers, and can expand or roll them back as needed, with appropriate backups. A high degree of automation, for example through the use of technologies such as Terraform, allows even more complex IT systems to be set up and copied as often as desired within a few minutes. (e.g. for test systems or for other projects). With software development techniques such as code reviews and automated testing, an IT system suddenly becomes just a piece of software and undergoes similar quality assurance procedures. There can be a quicker response to unexpected events that require more power from the IT system. In contrast, traditional IT systems with dedicated hardware often require a lot of manual intervention, with the risk of human error. IT is often outsourced today there is a lack of staff with the know-how that can manage the systems correctly. Larger cloud computing providers therefore offer a variety of managed services, such as ready-to-use databases, mass storage for distribution of media and already proven solutions for load distribution. In traditional IT systems, these components are often manually installed and maintained, with correspondingly higher security and availability risks. You can buy flexibility in the cloud at slightly higher prices when compared with pure services with 24/7 IT systems. But with the use of dynamically scalable servers and reserved instances with longer durations, there enough room to keep prices in check. The cloud is the central building block in a fast-paced world on the way to digitisation. Author: C. Zeller, Head of Development Department MobiMedia AG What do you think about cloud computing? Are you already using cloud solutions? Write us about your experiences and opinions!

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