The Advantages of Cloud Computing for Holiday Shopping

Posted by Grantham University
December 20, 2016

advantages of cloud computingHow often do you hear someone say, without using a sarcastic tone, “The crowds, traffic and packed parking lots are the reasons I love spending time holiday shopping.” Probably not very often. Holiday shopping, specifically Black Friday and Cyber Monday, has become a huge opportunity for retailers, with over $5.5 billion spent on these two “shopping holidays” last year.1 Blood, sweat and tears were shed to reach that total. However, the advantages of cloud computing are making things a little bit easier.

At Grantham, we know information technology continues to play an increasingly important role in our daily lives. You may have heard of “The Cloud,” but what, exactly, is it? “The Cloud, or cloud computing, refers to an application that is hosted on or run on internet servers. All the companies that have these services — Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Flickr, Apple — have servers or server farms,” explains an article on abcnews.go.com. “That’s where your media is actually stored … but, hey, if you want to think of it as a floating bubble or hard drive in the sky, we won’t tell anyone.”

Regardless of whether you envision the Cloud as a server farm or a floating bubble, here are the advantages of cloud computing when it comes to holiday shopping:

It Ensures Website Availability When Online Shopping

When a website experiences periods of extremely high traffic, it is likely that before long, you will see the dreaded error page. In other words, the website crashed. To prevent this from happening, websites must be hosted on a service that provides auto-scaling.

In an article on ibm.com, Cloud Advisor Rick Weaver stated, “Auto-scaling is fairly straightforward to implement. Cloud service providers have auto-scaling policies that are created when these workloads are deployed on Cloud. These policies are defined and triggered based on environment resource usage (such as CPU, memory usage, or network traffic) or time-based settings (for example, Friday at 6 a.m. until Sunday at 7 a.m.). Once deployed, additional instances are spun up and scaled when these thresholds are exceeded.”

When the website experiences high traffic, the Cloud service provider can adjust the website to accommodate the traffic and avoid a website crash.

The Website You’re on Will Load Faster

Shopping online to avoid store lines is useless when you still spend significant periods of time waiting for the website you are shopping on to load. This is when the advantages of cloud computing come in to play.

With about half of all web users expecting a page to load within two seconds2, pages that take too long are abandoned and holiday shopping turns into a very slow process of constantly switching to a new website. Now, websites are turning to the Cloud as their service provider because it accelerates the delivery of websites.

You Aren’t Charged More for Overhead Costs

One of the best advantages of cloud computing is avoiding the overhead costs of traditional Data Centers. For example, “[Amazon Web Services or AWS] operates based on a consumption model, meaning you pay for what you use. Thus, much of the overhead costs that come with running servers 24/7 are eliminated. These costs typically include rack space, sysadmins for configuration, electricity bill for cooling, and more. With AWS, there are no upfront costs, long term contracts, or minimum spend requirements, making this an even better deal than the ones you’ll find shopping on Black Friday,” according to an article by AWS Advanced Consulting Partner Stratalux.

It’s the same reason you save money shopping at a more basic grocery store, such as Aldi, instead of the more high-end Whole Foods. Less overhead means lower cost, but not necessarily lower quality.

Learn More About the Advantages of Cloud Computing at Grantham

The advantages of cloud computing came about because of people who took the time to advance information technology in a computer-driven world.

We live in a digitally-connected information age, which is not going to change anytime soon. So, why not take advantage of all that connectivity to advance your career? Use technology to get the skills — and the degree — you need to pursue an information technology career, and maybe even to improve the Cloud as we now know it. Take online classes from Grantham University and earn your Master of Science in Information Technology. Contact us today to get started!

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For more information about the graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit http://www.grantham.edu/disclosures/MS-IT/

1http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/30/news/companies/cyber-monday-sales/
2https://blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/