The ‘Key’ of The Digital Economy—Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing (Damin Pollet,2011)

Speaking of the ‘Cloud’, do you still consider the ‘Cloud’ is the white clouds in the blue sky? In recent years, “Cloud” – as the illusory word has appeared more and more frequently on the internet and technology industry. The consequent professional term “Cloud Computing” is also come to be known at the same time.

The web essay I first provide a brief history of the development of Cloud computing, which focuses on the profile of how it does have been generated as well as how it affects ours to use? I then demonstrate the online change and the connection between cloud computing and big data; cloud computing and artificial intelligence, present who owns and controls the key business in the field of cloud computing, Besides, the costs of cloud computing would be described.

Part 1: The definition and history of Cloud Computing. And how Cloud Computing affect our use?

Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing (Nippondata1,2017)

Cloud computing is an Internet-based computing method, which provides available, convenient and on-demand network access. It is a kind of distributed computing service that tens of thousands of data can be processed in a very short time to achieve powerful network services (Rouse,2019). Cloud computing is not a new network technology, but a new concept of network application. The core concept of cloud computing is to provide fast and secure cloud computing services and data storage on the website so that everyone who uses the Internet can use the huge computing resources and data centers on the network (ibid.).

The concept of cloud computing has been around for 13 years (Rouse,2019). However, the history dates can back to 1959, Christopher Strachey published a paper about ‘Time sharing in large, fast computer’, this paper was about to discuss time-sharing and multi-programming (Strachey,1959). Thus, the component concept of multi-programming ‘virtualization’ is the core of today’s cloud computing infrastructure and the foundation of cloud computing development (Oludele et al.,2014). While, with the development of network technology, cloud computing has gradually sprouted. Back in the 90s of the last century, there was a big explosion in the networks. The Internet convenient people’s lives, due to there is no other technology can make information so readily available, and thus change the way of the business, entertainment, and society to access the information (Encyclopedia,2019). Later, in 2004, the Web 2.0 conference was held which also marked the bursting of the Internet bubble, and the development of the computer network has entered a new stage (Oreilly,2005). At this stage, in order to enable more users to use network services conveniently and quickly, some companies have begun to devote themselves to the development of large-scale computing technology to provide users with more powerful computing processing services (ibid). Until August 9, 2006, Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave the first concept about ‘cloud computing’ at the Search Engine Conference (Fogarty,2012). And this is the first time that the concept has been formally proposed in the history of cloud computing.

Cloud computing improves the accessibility of services to a very beneficial level through the use of the Internet (Dadhich,2018). But how does cloud computing affect our use? Depending on the characters of cloud computing (Rouse,2019).

Firstly, the types of cloud computing:

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a service): Calculating the virtual computing resources such as virtual machine, storage, network and operating system provided by Xiang Yun’s computing provider’s individual or organization (Watts & Raza,2019).
  • PaaS (Platform as a service): A platform for developers to build applications and services over the global Internet. PaaS provides an on-demand development environment for developing, testing and managing software applications (ibid.).
  • SaaS (software as a service): Provide on-demand software payment applications over the Internet, cloud computing providers host and manage software applications, and allow their users to connect to applications and access applications through the global Internet (ibid.).
Types of Cloud Computing ( Squastana,2010)

Secondly, the deployment model of Cloud Computing:

  • Public cloud: It is the computing resources provided by a service provider shared by multiple customers. Customers obtain these resources by leasing according to their actual needs (Čandrlić,2013).
  • Private cloud: It means that computing resources are dedicated by an enterprise and controlled by the enterprise.  Private cloud is usually deployed in the enterprise’s data center, managed by the internal personnel of the enterprise. Large powerful companies tend to build own private cloud (ibid.).
  • Hybrid cloud: The mixing of public cloud and private cloud. The strategy of the hybrid cloud is to keep those relatively private operations in private cloud, deploy relatively open operations in the public cloud. Hybrid cloud can take into account the advantages of both clouds(ibid.).
Cloud computing deployment models (Squastana,2010)

Therefore, when we understand the characteristics of cloud computing, we can learn that both businesses and individual users can flexibly provide computing, storage, application and other resources on demand through the network, so as to facilitate the production and life of the broad masses of people, and stimulate innovation and business development.

Part2: For now, cloud computing is a mature technology. It is not only used to store the information but used to collect big data and artificial intelligence (Rouse, 2019). However, because of the online change, what is the connection between cloud computing and big data; cloud computing and artificial intelligence? Who controls the key business in the field of cloud computing? Who is excluded from using could computing?


Big Data (Wikimedia, 2014)

We are living in a Web3.0 era that refers to the information on the website that can interact directly with the relevant information of other websites and can integrate the information of many websites at the same time through the third-party information platform (Maruya,2019). Users have their data on the Internet and can use it on different websites (ibid.). But how does it achieve these functions? CLOUD COMPUTING (Rouse, 2019) which used to collect big data and AI.

Firstly, I will explain the connection between cloud computing and big data. There is a complex general application in the PaaS layer, which is a big data platform. How does big data integrate into cloud computing step by step? The data information in big data can be divided into three types: structured data, unstructured data and semi-structured data (GeeksforGeeks,2019). The application of these data information also can be divided into data, information, knowledge, and intelligence (Ritholitz, 2010). But how can the information be sublimated into the intelligence? There are several steps to be taken. The first step is ‘planning &direction’. The second is called data collection. There are two ways of data collection (Nash,2017). The third step is ‘processing’, the fourth step is ‘analysis and production’ and the fifth step is ‘dissemination’(ibid.). Finally, it becomes a knowledge base.

What about the relationship between cloud computing and artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence programs as SaaS platforms into cloud computing. These technologies enhance the understanding of machines, enabling systems to imitate human understanding and respond to data changes, thereby benefiting businesses (Rouse,2019).

 It is obvious this is a potential modern practical technique in Cloud Computing. The investment and development of cloud computing by major corporations also signals that it will be predominantly driving IT spending overall (Dignan,2019). And according to Gartner (2019) predicts that 2019 global IT spending will increase 3.2 percent to $3.76 trillion with as-a-service models fueling everything from data center spending to enterprise software and the data center systems will have growth at around 4.2% in total in 2019. Also, several companies also gain a huge amount of the could computing area (ibid). According to Dignan (2019), the annual rate of Amazon Website Service was $25.56 billion. He claims that

“The cloud provider is the leader in infrastructure-as-a-service and moving up the stack to everything from the Internet of Things to artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and analytics. AWS is far more than an IaaS platform which grew 45 percent in the fourth quarter for the last year.”

In the first quarter of 2019, Amazon’s profits were again driven by AWS. Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said AWS now operates at an annual rate of more than $30 billion (ibid.). Meanwhile, according to Kentik’s survey, there was 97% of respondents said their company uses AWS, which means AWS takes a huge potential in this market (Dignan,2019).

Top cloud providers 2019: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud; IBM makes hybrid move; Salesforce dominates SaaS (Dignan,2019)

Therefore, based on the previous researches will find cloud computing takes a lot of benefits for us. However, according to Anna Reading and Tanya Notley (2015), cloud computing also brings some costs to society. As mentioned, ‘although commercial “digital” memory is clean, cheap, superior, and rich, it also relies on limited material resources, including different types of environments and community disruptions (Reading & Notley,2015). And according to the United Nations University, International Telecommunication Union and the International Solid Waste Association report, they said in 2016, global e-waste production was about 44.7 million tons, equivalent to 6.1 kg per resident. The report predicts that the total amount of e-waste will increase to 52.2 million tons in 2021, with an annual growth rate of 3% – 4% (Hoyle,2019). The report also mentions that “cloud computing enables all services to be accessed from the same device, which means that cloud computing can reduce some devices. But more cloud computing also means more data centers and more e-waste(ibid). Therefore, e-waste becomes a big issue for the environment.

Electronic Waste (Wikimedia,2013)

In conclusion, Cloud computing facilitates people’s daily life, such as information storage can be extracted and used at any time, as well as large data and artificial intelligence can save time and cost. At the same time, cloud computing is an incentive for the entire industry, in terms of the improvement and profit of technology. However, everything has two sides, cloud computing has an impact on the inconvenience of ‘eco-politic’, such as over-exploitation of natural resources.


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