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Cloud appeals come rain or shine

The recent hot weather got Billy MacInnes thinking about the benefits of paying for what you use

It’s always great to get hot sunny weather in Ireland. The scarcity makes it all the more appreciated when it arrives.

As with all good things that come after a long absence, there’s a tendency to go mad and lose the run of ourselves altogether when the sun does break through the semi-permanent grey clouds that embrace Ireland for large parts of the year.

Suddenly, shorts and T-shirts become the national dress, barbecue is the staple diet and men emerging from supermarkets and petrol stations seem to be engaged in a contest of how many slabs of cans and bags of B-B-Q charcoal they can carry.

Panic buying ensues as people scour shops for the last remaining bottles of sun screen, paddling pools and inflatables, gripped by the temporary delusion that Ireland has become a Mediterranean country which will, all too cruelly, be washed away when the rain returns. Of course, this state of euphoria brought on by the sun’s rays is not confined to the Emerald Isle, a similar collective fever grips the UK.

A couple of days later, when the rain and the temperature starts to fall, all those fripperies of summer are tossed into a cupboard or a garage, neglected and left to go mouldy.

But imagine if you could return any left over B-B-Q charcoal and sun cream, send back your paddling pools and inflatables, and only pay for what you used (I’m not going to include the slabs of cans because they’re bound to be long gone).

Aptly, considering we’re talking about sunshine and rain, that’s a bit like cloud computing. If you liken the heatwaves to sudden surges in demand, you get a pretty good idea of the pressures companies face when there’s an unexpected jump in business. The big problem has been that they have often been forced to spend money on IT to meet a temporary rise in demand only for it to sit idle for the rest of the time. Like a barbecue or a deflated plastic crocodile.

No wonder cloud computing’s ability for companies to increase their IT capability as and when demand requires, and only pay for what they use, is such an attractive proposition for so many businesses. If it works properly, cloud gives businesses exactly the IT they need when they need it, come rain or come shine.

This was last published in June 2018

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