Cloud computing is an innovative ‘‘disruptive’’ technology that is changing how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are accessed and used. Its perceived benefits include lower costs, scalability, portability and reduced software and hardware obsolescence.
Cloud computing has been linked to entrepreneurship and innovation with its ‘‘pay on demand’’ model making it ‘‘easier and cheaper than ever for anyone anywhere to be an entrepreneur and to have access to the best infrastructure of innovation’’. Commentators suggest that these changes will lead to innovative business models as organisations increasingly leverage the opportunities provided by the cloud.
Cloud computing services today offer common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, though more traditional computing models of the 1960s through the 1990s involved users accessing software resident on a computer owned by the company or (after the introduction of the personal computer) on the precise computer they were using. Hardware and software companies— whether they sold large mainframe computers, PCs, or any size in between— made their basic living with this model. Now a days, some companies continue to sell software licenses to companies for multiple users to access a software package, but that business model is challenged by the attractiveness of the cloud computing model.
The goal of cloud computing is the application of traditional supercomputing, or the power of high performance computing, that are typically used by military and research institutions to carry tens of trillions of calculations per second, in applications to discredit oriented consumers, such as financial portfolios, to provide personalized information for data storage or for the supply of large computer games, immersive.
Cloud computing has credited with increasing competitiveness by reducing costs, greater flexibility, resilience and optimum use of resources. To do this, cloud computing networks with large groups of servers on which to spread typical low-cost technology with specialized consumer PC connections to data processing tasks through them. This common infrastructure contains large reserves of the systems are interconnected. Often used virtualization methods to maximize the power of cloud computing.
HRM departments can play a positive role in this process, including bringing ICT units ‘‘in from the cold’’, so that they can be better integrated into business decision making processes. The development of cross-functional teams may advance this process. For many organisations this will require a change in the mind-set of senior management in relation to their perceptions of ICT departments. Technically-oriented process innovations linked to the introduction of cloud computing technologies will therefore need to be accompanied by organisational innovations (de Leede and Looise, 2005, p. 109), including dynamic HRM strategies that complement and support cloud-based business models. HRM departments will need to facilitate the required changes in ICT worker roles and skill sets. Some ICT staff, for example, will perform less hands-on technical work, as their job shifts towards a cloud supply chain management role.