Cloud computing and cloud services have been a hot topic on everyone’s lips for a few years now. As an emerging technology, it continues to show strong growth which just confirms that it is here to stay. The beauty of cloud computing is that it is just as suitable for large enterprises as it is for startups. It is also a highly-competitive space, with many new entrants joining the race.
What is cloud computing
Cloud computing is the term used to capture the network of global servers which operate together to provide a ‘cloud’ of data storage. Any organization can store its data off site, in this global cloud. Users access the data on the cloud through the internet. Many businesses are heading towards a cloud-based data storage solution due to the many advantages it offers.
Proof that cloud services is on the rise
Trusted industry reports say that expenditure in cloud computing is outstripping regular IT expenditure by seven times.
Other reports note that the global cloud computing market size is expected to grow from USD 272 billion to USD 623 billion in the five year cycle between 2018 and 2023. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 18%. By any measure, this is a technology on the rise.
Some 94% of all enterprises use some form of the cloud, be it public or private. Reports indicate that roughly 69% of businesses use a blended approach, meaning they leverage off the best of both public and private cloud services.
Additonal reading: Cloud adoption statistics 2020
Why is usage increasing
There are many reasons why cloud computing is taking off so well. From the earliest days of the technology, it was adopted for its three main pillars of usefulness – scalability, flexibility, and security.
The nature of the cloud means that it is an external resource managed by a third party. Much of the concerns around uptime and system durability are not the concern of the cloud computing client.
This means that the client only needs to be concerned with their own growth, and can rely on a responsive cloud services provider to allow for scalability at the click of a button. This relates to both scaling up or down.
Cloud computing has been a major boost for businesses with spread out geographical locations. One of the most important elements is the ability to access your front end and back end from any location at any site at any time.
Most multinationals operate a number of sites on very different time zones. With cloud services, important system changes or additions need not be the responsibility of one site.
It wasn’t always that the cloud was trusted for its security. After some initial resistance by early clients, this fast-maturing technology became trusted by blue-chip organizations around the world.
Businesses also realize that they can mix and match their data security exposure. This means keeping certain mission-critical data in house, while farming out some non-critical data and processes to a combination of public and private clouds.
More emerging trends for cloud services
Beyond the big early wins of scalability, flexibility, and security, recent emerging trends show cloud computing is proving ever more useful.
Smaller requirement for on site IT support
IT staff already have enough work to do without having to attend to physical servers. Cloud computing allows IT departments to be leaner and more streamlined so they can concentrate on a different set of tasks.
Easy storage of vast amounts of data
Cloud data storage services have made storing large amounts of data a simple task. This will become more and more useful as we move into the age of the Internet of Things, where we rely on Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning. Data storage will be available in abundance.
The beauty of hosted email
Small to medium sized businesses have never wanted to host their own email servers. Now, with cloud-based solutions like Office 365, they don’t have to. For many firms, the move to hosted email has allowed their IT operations to concentrate on other more important tasks.
Price drops through competition
Through competition between different players, cloud services have become more affordable for all kinds of organizations. High adoption and usage of any technology encourages economies of scale to develop, and this frequently benefits the end user.
Very low downtime
It is becoming increasingly important for IT services to be exposed to limited downtime. This is to accommodate the global economic machine in the form of ecommerce sites, customer extranets, and remote working. Cloud services can help meet this requirement as their highly-networked nature means there is interdependent support and high uptime.
There are many different types of cloud offerings, from free trials to contract-less offers for short periods of time. Subscription can be as simple as making a credit card payment via a website. Gone are the days of salesmen with detailed contracts.
Business continuity friendliness
Cloud services are very powerful when it comes to business continuity. During times of crisis, you can access your data and applications from an alternative location. Staff can also easily work from home on personal networks. This has been proven especially true during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Software-as-a-Service is coming alive
The SaaS segment is a high-growth area which is powered by cloud services. Due to the many daily applications and tools driven by this service, the industry in its entirety is in the limelight. Service desks, accounting packages, customer relationship management, human resource management, and enterprise resource planning all rely on the SaaS model.
More and more customers expect a digital experience with enterprises. Digital transformation is a way for organizations to tap into significant opportunities that exist in faraway markets. For organizations to meet the project timelines and security requirements of ambitious Digital transformation plans, they need cloud computing services.
Cloud services will continue to provide strategic flexibility and scalability for a number of organizations. Future growth prospects of this technology are robust across all sectors. Cloud computing is truly taking center stage by driving us into the future. The number of benefits of its usage are ever-increasing. Now is the time for organizations to enter the race for adoption.