Computing Clouds and Knowledge Management
1 April 2016
Computing clouds enable users to access information stored in cloud servers from anywhere and using any means of access: PC/laptop, tablet or Smartphone. Users (both business and private) rent from suppliers a service which provides them with a computing force accessed from distance (usually via the internet) thus sparing the user/business from purchasing and managing the computing software and hardware this requires.
There are different aspects to using computing clouds:
IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service): In these cases, computing cloud suppliers supply infrastructural elements such as: physical computing resources, location, data partitions, rating, security and backup.
PAAS (Platform as a Service): in these cases the suppliers offer a developing environment for application developers such as: an operation system, an implementation system- programming language, databases, internet servers. Application developers can develop and operate their software solutions on a cloud platform minus the cost and complexity of purchasing and managing the required hardware and software. Examples of these platforms are: Microsoft Azure and Google App Engine.
SAAS (Software as a Service): In these cases, computing cloud suppliers enable users to operate software and application from any location minus the need to manage the platform on which the application operates. This option eliminates the need to install software and operate the application on organization computers as well as the need to manage the platform in which the application operates. This simplifies the organization's need for physical maintenance required for using the application. The pricing model for SAAS applications is usually a fixed monthly or yearly fee for each user.
Utilizing computing clouds in the field of Knowledge Management:
Computing clouds have been found to be a useful tool for KM in organizations, namely through SAAS services which meet the needs of KM-related elements.
Document sharing and management: Google Drive, for example, enables saving files and folders which can be accessed from anywhere. Furthermore, this service enables sharing files with other organization workers as well as joint work on files minus the bother of merging versions.
Portals, Databases, websites and knowledge communities: It is possible to use computing cloud services in order to create knowledgebases and websites and adapt them to organizational needs: to create information architecture that is relevant to the organization and to establish applications suitable for the database. For example, the SharePoint 365 platform in the cloud environment enables setting up portals, websites and knowledge communities both for intra-organizational needs and for the establishment of external websites. This service also enables small and medium-sized organizations to set up intra-organizational websites which do not involve the cost and knowledge usually required in order to install and utilize SharePoint in the organization.
KM solutions service center: in a KM solutions service center solution in a cloud environment one can use content templates and page presentations for organizations with similar organizational structures and responsibilities such as authorities of sorts. Thus, an authority based on a cloud KM solution can quickly set up a directory by sharing and using another authority's templates based on the same solution. For more on the subject click here.
In conclusion, cloud services provide small organizations the possibility to access their required organizational information from anywhere regardless of their ability to invest in the required technological infrastructure.