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Cloud Computing - Exactly Where Could It Take Us


I spend a lot of time scouring the web to find out the latest news or articles relating to cloud computing У not only to keep in the loop, but so I can find something interesting to benefit my readers.

However, this one seemed a bit different from my usual reads.

You may wonder why I thought it so different? Well, frankly speaking, I haven't even imagined an association of cloud computing and ATM machines У well as they say, you learn something new everyday. I don't know about you, but I have never approached cloud computing from this perspective.

On reading the article, it seems to make sense to manage those thousands of ATM machines in the cloud: there are actually 400 000 ATM machines in the U.S alone and they are expected to reach a worldwide deployment of 3.2 million ATMs by 2016. But if we look closely, an ATM machine, while being very expensive (around US$20 000 according to the article from The Australian) are computers with cash inside. We all know that a higher number of computer applications are now brought to the cloud. In fact, in this article today, I'll have more questions than answers У so if you have answers, feel free to step in :)

Some of the common objections to cloud computing apply here: people are hesitating to move their personal banking data to the cloud. This is a legitimate fear and I fully understand it. But at the same time, I can't help but wonder how different it is from that remote ATM in Romania that checks the Visa or Mastercard network on remote servers in the US or in the UK? When you get into an ATM machine, put your card in, enter your PIN: in the background, that ATM machine (remember, it's a PC after all) will query a remote server (or a "cloud server") so as to verify your credentials as well as the available funds.

One thing that actually strikes me is, the innovation that the ATM manufacturers want to bring into the ATM field: instead of putting your card in, they are thinking of getting you verified from your veins: wait, wait, wait: are we in a sci-fi movie here?

So what's my point on this article? You may wonder why I'm reporting these innovations as well as showcasing the security objections to cloud computing that will no doubt arise in this specific field. Well, if you have read some of my previous articles, you'll know that considering to show the view at both sides of the fence with regard to cloud computing is paramount to giving my readers and unbiased view У not to mention an interesting read... So yes, discussions are underway to get those new technologies integrated into those old ATMs, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some pilot projects deployed soon. But most of all - and in case you are still hesitating - this cloud computing movement isn't a passing fad, nor a gadget from some tech-geeks or computer-nerds that just want to create the latest Шpointless' invention in time for Christmas. Cloud computing is bringing disruptive change in the field of technology: more and more people from other verticals (not necessarily technology-related) are considering integrating cloud-based applications into their system. I always say that cloud computing can't be a one-size-fit-all solution to every single issue that enterprises have, but it's good to see examples of how people are considering it's integration.

By: Nick J Davies