Article critique on cloud computing

Weinhardt, C., Anandasivam, A., Blau, B., Borissov, N., Meini, T., Michalk, W.  & Stöber, J. (2009). Cloud computing – A classification, business models, and research directions. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 5, 391- 399. doi: 10.1007/s12599-009-0071-2.

Technological advancements especially in the computing arena have provided businesses with a wide range of opportunities for growth. Weinhardt, Anandasivam, Blau, Borissov, Meini, Michalk, and Stöber (2009) set out to provide a detailed assessment of such opportunities provided by cloud computing – a method of computing where users can access services remotely provided by a third party via web browsers.

As an introduction, the article provides a historical background to the development of cloud computing concept culminating into the thesis statement – “…the following sections will try to provide guidance concerning the questions if Cloud Computing is simply a renaming of already known technolo­gies or if it paves the way for a commer­cially wide-spread usage of large-scale IT resources” (p. 391). Subsequently the authors present the layout of the paper by giving what is to be covered under each section and the individual objectives for each section.

In trying to address the purpose of the paper, the authors first present a comparative assay between cloud computing and its predecessor technology – grid computing. Such comparative evaluation follows a well laid out plan where by the concepts of each technology are first discussed separately then an informative comparison provided based on various attributes identified in the discussions. Some of the attributes included in the criteria for comparison are virtualization, type of application, development of applications and access. The paper concludes this section by evaluating business implications for switching between these platforms.

After differentiating cloud and grid computing technologies, the paper lays emphasis on the cloud technology by evaluating the business models that would ensure sustainability of the technology linking these to the current solutions offered in the market. Three business models – infra­structure, platform-as-a-service and applications in the cloud – are discussed. The paper then presents links the products currently being offered, to the business model being applied while identifying the service type and pricing model for each product.

To conclude, the paper presents the main aspects discussed throughout the article and provides the key areas needed for future research that involve those directed at meeting the obstacles – such as security concerns – that would hinder full adoption of the technology in businesses. In discussing these aspects the paper appropriately references sources used with both in-text citations and a full reference list at end. The paper thus provides important information that will form the basis for evaluating how adoption of cloud computing solutions by businesses has helped IT drive better value for firms.

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