Cloud computing: In the age of comprehensive data, change and impact have arrived
In the context of capitalist political economy, data is everywhere, and obtaining information may have become one of the most influential behaviors in modern history. As a newly proposed computing model, cloud computing provides a large degree of convenient services for today’s digital society. The word cloud computing could be defined as a kind of distributed computing model that pays for usage. As shown in the figure above, this model provides an efficient and convenient network access on-demand and enters a configurable computing resource database, and these resources include networks, servers, storage, application software, and services. The resources can be quickly provisions, requiring only investment in management work or minimal interaction with service providers (National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2011).In addition, cloud computing technology is an intangible network infrastructure, and it has a physical presence globally.
In terms of political economy, the contribution of cloud computing technology to economic growth is undeniable; in terms of culture, cloud computing technology has also played a relatively obvious role in promoting globalization cultural exchanges and promotion. This essay will argue that the various impacts of cloud computing technology on society in the data age. It will focus on the origin of cloud computing; how cloud computing has become part of the historical trend of information management; who owns and controls the key business of cloud computing; and who benefits from the changes in cloud computing technology, and who does not.
The origin of cloud computing
The basic concept of cloud computing comes from central resource sharing, and the birth of this concept can be traced back to the 1950s (Briddock, 2015). Cloud computing technology, which has been widely used in today’s society, appeared in the 1990s.This concept of cloud computing originated from Dell’s data centre solutions, Amazon EC2 products, and Google-IBM distributed computing projects. The word cloud computing is used because these two projects are closely related to the network. “Cloud” in many cases, means Internet-related. The meaning of cloud computing is computing on the Internet. The earliest commercial cloud computing products started in 2006, Amazon EC2 products. At that time, cloud computing was named “Elastic Computing Cloud”. However, Dell was the first company in the enterprise Hierarchy proposes cloud computing companies. According to Briddock (2015), during this period, cloud symbols began to appear on the drawings to show the dividing point between service providers and users. For reasons of efficiency and cost, these service providers have established larger server groups, and many commercial Internet companies have discovered a surge in providing network services to customers based on cloud computing technology.
how cloud computing has become part of the historical trend of information management
According to the development trend of the big data era, cloud computing is becoming a powerful network architecture for performing large-scale and complex calculations. Currently, cloud computing technology is being applied to access and security in global jurisdictions. Because cloud computing technology has many different computing models that can adapt to different information management needs.The concept and architecture of cloud computing reflect this technology’s strong adaptability, adjustable flexibility and high efficiency. At the same time, this characteristic also determines that cloud computing technology has a wide range of applications and a high degree of trust (Hu, Qiu, Li, Grant, Taylor, McCaleb, Butle& Hamner,2011). However, cloud computing is also risky to a certain extent. They usually come from network security and privacy protection. It is obvious that the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing models of different architectures are reflected in different directions.
In general, the advantages of cloud computing technology are reflected in the following aspects：
- Low cost
Cloud computing does not require high-performance and high-priced computers to run web-based applications. It reduces the cost of hardware used for individual users.
- Faster update and more robust compatibility
Cloud computing eliminates the need for customers to spend a lot on software upgrades. When the program is web-based, it will be automatically updated.
- Unlimited storage capacity and data reliability
In theory, cloud computing has unlimited storage space. Cloud computing’s available space reaches hundreds of petabytes (million gigabytes) and can store any content. For example, in desktop computing, a hard disk crash may destroy all valuable data, while the cloud crashes. The computer does not affect data storage.
Disadvantages of cloud computing：
- Internet is required
Cloud computing must require a continuous Internet connection. If you cannot connect to the Internet, you cannot use cloud computing. Therefore, the promotion of the use of cloud computing technology imposes rigid requirements on the global Internet infrastructure
- Need high-speed Internet
Cloud computing does not work well in low-speed connections. Web-based applications require a lot of broadband to download. Because all kinds of documents and programs must be sent back and forth from the customer’s computer to cloud computing.
- Stored data may be unsafe and lost.
Unauthorized users or hackers may access the user’s confidential data, causing user privacy concerns. In theory, the data stored in the cloud is very safe, but once the data is lost, if the user does not perform a local backup, will lose data forever.Hence, the various shortcomings of cloud computing technology at this stage also reflect the environmental problems of the cloud computing industry, especially in terms of privacy protection and data security
Who owns and controls key businesses in cloud computing
At present, Amazon Web Services (AWS) company controls more than 50% of the world’s cloud computing business (Piper, 2019).AWS is a cloud service platform of Amazon, which provides computing power, database storage, content delivery and other functions. Cloud computing includes three main types: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). According to Adler (2016), AWS is the first company to bring cloud computing products to the market and has achieved a considerable lead.And there is a reason why Amazon Group, including AWS, has such a huge market share in the Internet market. The reasons can probably be classified into the following aspects: AWS is proficient in the use of distributed systems and low-cost infrastructure; customer demand for Amazon cloud computing services is showing a more obvious growth trend; and the company has invested a lot of research and development costs to protect User data method development.However, Amazon including AWS is particularly concerned about how to use digital platforms to achieve crowdfunding jobs (Bergvall,2014).This means that they usually employ crowdsourced labor employment methods. The biggest difference between crowdsourcing and traditional labor is flexibility, scalability, access to a wide range of skills and experience at a much lower cost, and lack of employment regulations. It is attractive to companies because they can obtain labor that can expand and contract according to demand without any huge transaction costs or logistics barriers.This method will of course bring huge profits and market share to the company, but it also has some drawbacks such asthe legitimate rights and interests of workers cannot be fully protected, and the labor-capital compensation ratio is unbalanced, etc.
Who benefits form cloud computing industry? And who does not
From the perspective of political economy, the groups that benefit from cloud computing technology mainly include:
Cloud computing technology is widely used to manage access and security work in global jurisdictions, which greatly improves the work efficiency of relevant government departments and reduces the difficulty of information resource management
- high-tech company
High-tech companies have expanded their business scope due to the development of cloud computing technology, which has increased company revenue to a certain extent
- Start-ups and venture capital
Entrepreneurial companies and venture capital companies realize their profit mainly through large-scale data surveys and statistics. After the introduction of cloud computing, they will obtain a larger range of true and reliable data, and can further realize more reasonable fund allocation and risk aversion
- Academic researchers
Cloud computing technology can give scholars a quick turnaround in their research tasks, especially those in economics and social science experiments. Because they usually need to conduct large-scale, multi-category social experiments to produce research results. Cloud computing technology can provide them with scientific and objective research and analysis data (Bergvall,2014).
On the other hand，the groups that cannot benefit from the cloud computing industry are mainly：
- Large crowdsourcing of hired labor
Crowdsourcing is attractive to companies because they can obtain a labor force that can be expanded and contracted according to demand without any huge transaction costs or logistics barriers. However, for hired personnel, the form of crowdsourcing often means many unavoidable drawbacks such as the overtime working, low salary, and inability to protect legal rights and interests.
- the union
When labor relations become increasingly tense, the regulatory and protective role of trade unions often becomes more important. With the continuous popularization of cloud computing technology, labor relations conflicts will also evolve more intense.
Therefore, Bergvall (2014) points out that the term “flexible working system” is still popular. Amazon’s AWS is not only a promoter of digital outsourcing services, nor is it just a passive broker in a long supply chain; its brand and market position mean It plays an active and fundamental role in creating conditions for the masses to work, which also makes the platform possible to control employment relations.
In Conclusion, as an emerging Internet technology, cloud computing has established a wide range of user groups in today’s digital society. It is not difficult to see that although cloud computing technology provides users with a greater degree of convenience in a wide range, its technology still has a certain degree of risk. Therefore, the relevant government agencies, scientific researchers, and technology developers may need to consider the fair and reasonable distribution of Internet resources and the public value guidance of logistics media.
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