Tommy Coney, Jr.
CIS 106 – Introduction to Information Technology
Week 10 Term Paper
Professor Clifton G. Howell, Ph. D.
The technology that I feel has created a paradigm shift and is now as well as further in the future is Cloud Computing. By definition Cloud computing is s a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. (Mell & Grance, 2011) Cloud computing is one of the leading buzz terms in the world of IT today. Seemingly every possible solution has been enhanced with the mere addition of the word “cloud”. Cloud computing refers to applications and services offered over the Internet. These services are offered from data centers all over the world, which collectively are referred to as the "cloud." This metaphor represents the intangible, yet universal nature of the Internet. The idea of the "cloud" simplifies the many network connections and computer systems involved in online services. In fact, many network diagrams use the image of a cloud to represent the Internet. This symbolizes the Internet's broad reach, while simplifying its complexity. Any user with an Internet connection can access the cloud and the services it provides. Since these services are often connected, users can share information between multiple systems and with other users. Examples of this technology include online backup services, social networking services, and personal data services such as Apple's MobileMe. Cloud computing also includes online applications, such as those offered through Microsoft Online Services. Hardware services, such as redundant servers, mirrored websites, and Internet-based clusters are also examples of cloud computing. ("Technology terms," 2009) In its own way, “paradigm shift” has lost much of its meaning over the past twenty years through overuse. Each year, changes in technology are heralded as paradigm shifts, changes that will alter the IT landscape. There are two keys to this definition. The first is the recognition of value produced from an IT environment. Value is less clearly defined than a more concrete metric like cost or performance, but value multiplies throughout an environment and increases with the expansion of the scope and reach of systems. Reduced cost for the same eventual value is a plus, but mere lower cost does not create the dramatic value required in the definition of a paradigm shift. The second key is the recognition that the value must be accrued by the eventual users in an organization. Once again, allowing IT departments to fulfill their mandates better or for less expense is certainly positive, but without the demand for value driven by consumers of IT services, you will not see the sort of changes required to classify an innovation as a paradigm shift. Cloud computing does, when properly implemented, deliver vastly more value to IT consumers, it does in fact, fit the definition of a paradigm shift. And cloud computing will, over the next 3-5 years, dramatically change the landscape of information technology. Because of this, an errant choice could not only waste money but, more importantly, lead you down a detour that will delay your adoption of cloud computing and leave you at a competitive disadvantage (Greenwald, 2011) A paradigm shift can produce a tidal wave of increased value from IT resources, but nothing comes for free. In order to get these great accumulations of new value, IT departments may have to modify the way they think about, design and implement systems. To understand this, you only need think back to the dawn of graphical user interfaces, where old applications were created with a “GUI” (Graphical User Interface) interface, but ended up as just a bit of makeup on an earlier generation of...