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Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing in Business

Nowadays, the information technology (IT) component of any business is an absolute necessity, which, however, can be very expensive. Daily costs for IT-infrastructure could increase total expenditures and divert away from the company’s main goal - maximum profit from the core business. However, recently the situation has changed. The approach to work with IT and software in business can be revised using the Internet. E-mail, documents, calendars, blogs, social networks and other means of business communication that use Web 2.0 design are working exclusively online through the trend, which is called cloud computing (Shelly & Frydenberg, 2011). Thus, innovative technologies have a significant impact on how the world IT-sector works and how modern businesses use information technologies, contributing to the relevance of the following research (Benson et al., 2004). As a result, the current paper is focused on the defining possible ways of implementation of Web 2.0 and cloud computing technologies in business, description of their features and discovering their potential downsides and limitations.

Literature Review

An examination of the literature on information technology shows that it has become an essential part of the modern enterprises. However, any technology has its pros and cons and must be studied thoroughly before implementing it into the business.

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Methodology

During the research, a complex of scientific and specialized methods has been used, including dialectical for describing the main principles of Web 2.0 and cloud computing, statistical for providing the necessary information for the following research, and analytical for studying the given information.

Analysis

Web 2.0 is a technique of designing systems thatby integrating network interactions become better the more people use them. The primary feature of Web 2.0 is the principle of attracting users to the content and multiple alignments of information material. In fact, Web 2.0 denotes projects and services that are actively developed and improved by users: blogs, wiki, social networking, etc. Today, an increasing number of applications get their online counterparts, eliminating the need to install software on computer (Shelly & Frydenberg, 2011). Everyone can work exclusively with web-applications - online text editor, spreadsheet, organizer, storage services, etc. The user is mobile - one can work with the system just as with a regular computer with installed applications, and most importantly, it does not require any additional technologies besides the computer (or other gadgets) with the access to the Internet. Web 2.0 is characterized by a redistribution of pre-existing roles of content creator and consumer. Nowadays, the center of Web 2.0 is people, not websites (Shelly & Frydenberg, 2011). Web 2.0 allows users to simultaneously receive information and deliver it to own website. Another feature of Web 2.0 is the use of the mechanism of collective intelligence. Pioneer the use of teamwork was the Yahoo! The company gained its popularity as the most comprehensive directory of links created by thousands and millions of users. It should be mentioned that Web 2.0 is not a technology or particular style of Web-design but an integrated approach to planning, implementation and support of Web-resources (Shelly & Frydenberg, 2011).

The proper use of Web 2.0 in business can give a prompt feedback from customers and rich features to promote goods and services cheaper and thus more efficient than by traditional advertising. In theold world, a businessman did not know how consumers would react to his/her products. In order to find out the result, it was necessary to conduct an advertising campaign, wait for response, and conduct surveys and research. In Web 2.0 environment, everything is much cheaper, easier and, most importantly, faster. What else is important, Web 2.0 projects are mostly self-organizing and sself-developing. Very often, it is only required to have a properaccount, create an attractive community and then mechanisms will work by themselves - people will discuss products and services, share experiences, and attract new users without the intervention of entrepreneur (Shelly & Frydenberg, 2011).

However, the central principle of Web 2.0 - the focus on users rather than on websites - may become its greatest flaw during its implementation in the organization. The effectiveness of Web 2.0 for business requires the active support from users of both the lower and upper level in the organization. The company is structured differently than the custom Web, and there are serious obstacles to the use of Web 2.0 products and consumer scenarios (Shelly & Frydenberg, 2011). These include difficulties in enterprise search, as there are many systems with classified information, security issues of deeply integrated and highly open applications, conflicting data models (relational data, XML, formatted data, etc.). These difficulties postpone the success of Web 2.0 in the business, and for some organizations, they are a starting point of exaggerating the risk that IT-users become too independent and IT-department of the company will lose control over them (Shelly & Frydenberg, 2011).

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Cloud computing is a way of producing and consuming the IT services. In fact, it is a pooling of resources (computing, storage and network capacity) in order to provide dynamically changing needs of power according to system load fluctuations. The cloud can be understood as a metaphor for remote computing data center, the access to which is provided on a pay-as-you-go fee (pay-per-use computing service). Thus, the software is available to the user as a service. Cloud computing user does not have to worry about any infrastructure, nor the actual software as the cloud includes all the software and hardware parts. Such a concerted allocation of resources can be automated or self-assured by business resources that interact with the cloud environment in the business (number of transactions, concurrent users, time to get the result) (Jamsa, 2013).

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