A Look Up at the Clouds: An Overview of the Encyclopedia of Cloud Computing by San Murgesan and Irena Bojanova–by Student Hope Hills

What is cloud computing, anyway?’ Many people both inside and outside the LIS sphere have asked. I too was wondering that same thing, so here we are all pondering together. But of course, asking this question may only begin the conversation about the latest buzz surrounding cloud computing. Here, I will attempt to offer a succinct overview of this new ready reference book by Murugesan and Bojanova (2016) entitled, Encyclopedia of Cloud Computing.

The book is designed to help answer the question of what cloud computing is, while informing information professionals of the labyrinthian, trending subject. A caution here, this is an encyclopedia, so you may find it necessary to carefully peruse the content section to scour the topic that you are most inquisitive about right now. Later you can always refer to another section as more questions surface for you. That is the beauty of ready-reference—it is usually always ready, willing and able to answer your most pressing information questions quickly.

Cloud Computing: it’s Not Only for Techies
The authors seem to have taken on a raging river of a task when it comes cloud computing. The book is well thought out, planned and presented. While there are two editors on the front cover, there are multiple editors and even more reviewers that have added their expertise to the subject of cloud computing in general but also, more importantly, their distinct area of experience. These are experts from all spectrums and places around the globe.

While the audience might be Techies at the heart of it, this encyclopedia can be beneficial to everyone – the information professional who has basic knowledge of the Internet, digitization and data storage but does not necessarily claim Techie status. Despite the complexity of this trendy topic, the encyclopedia is filled with layers of interesting themes, so pick your topic and delve in.

The Grand Canyon of Cloud Computing
As noted earlier, this book is an in-depth and lengthy encyclopedia spanning over seven hundred pages (744) as a print version and a bit under seven hundred (699) as an eBook. It has ten parts, each part has a central theme, such as a standard introduction, along with an overview. The first section is a definite read, and if you can read the preface, it is immersing and worth the read also. The book additionally lays out sub-topics within cloud computing presented as chapters (e.g., Research Topics in Cloud Computing, etc.), and includes 56 engaging themes.

Exploring the North Rim of Cloud Computing
While exploring through the crevices of cloud computing, parts one through five (see note above) get you going onto the pathway that begins easy enough. But eventually the path leads up to the top of the layers of complexity as to what cloud computing is in real time. Each chapter then expands on its snippet of the subject, most times in laymen’s terms, but some more complex sections may need decoding as some of the language does tend to get extremely technical in nature.

Traversing the South Rim of cloud computing
The next parts, six through ten, add to the complexity of the subject while getting more into the nitty-gritty of cloud computing dynamics, its outlooks for what cloud computing might entail beyond the horizon, and where it might be headed for the next generations.

So, how should I use this book?
There is certainly a lot to take in when soaring through the atmosphere of cloud computing but the authors’ goal– “to offer a compendium of the key elements of cloud computing,– systematically defined in this book (as either print or eBook) can make a great ready-reference resource for users.

The overall recommendation of this book is that you locate the topics that are interesting to you, those that you need to find relevant answers to, and use it as a ready reference resource for yourself as an information professional, or for your organization. By putting this book on your shelf, it just might end up being your best go-to cloud computing information tool yet, and what information professional couldn’t use that?

Murugesan, San; Bojanova, Irena (2016). Encyclopedia of Cloud Computing. West Sussex, UK: Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Hope Hills is a research intern in the final stretch of her MLIS journey at iSchool. She has been active as the Interim Outreach Program Coordinator for ALASC, and ALAs Library Research Round Table (LRRT) while at iSchool. Currently she is a member of NASIG & ASIS&T student chapters. When not researching, studying or trailing, Hope works as a paraprofessional in the world of academia. Her research interests include archives, information use and literacy.