As early as 2025, 80 percent of all companies using traditional in-house data centers will stop operating those data centers in favor of a cloud computing service providing software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). So says Gartner, Inc., a research and advisory firm that advises business leaders on trends and hot-button issues.
Last September, Gartner predicted that the public cloud services market would grow as much as 17.3 percent this year, reaching $206.2 billion, up from $175.8 billion last year.
Additionally, says Gartner, IaaS is predicted to increase 27.6% in 2019 from $31 billion to $39.5 billion, while SaaS is expected to grow nearly 18% to $85.1 billion.
According to their press release:
What this means for large companies still holding onto their in-house data centers — some companies call this a “private cloud” — is that they should take steps to begin adopting a cloud-based XaaS (Software/Infrastructure/Business Process as a Service) mindset, since this is the direction most companies will begin heading.
“The increasing adoption of SaaS applications and other cloud services impacts the management, dissemination and exploitation of enterprise content,” Craig Roth, research vice president at Gartner. “Organizations are steadily — but not exclusively — shifting their content environments to SaaS. Gartner expects that by 2019, the current enterprise content management(ECM) market will devolve into purpose-built, cloud-based content solutions and solution services applications.”
This includes the private cloud sector where a company may own some of the hardware that is physically hosted by a remote third-party. IBM, Amazon, and Azure are companies that specialize in private cloud services.
However, there doesn’t seem to be much of a benefit of private cloud service ownership. The third party will maintain the hardware and run the data center, but the customer is still on the hook for buying updated hardware as the older servers age out and become obsolete.
And although this is marketed as a “private cloud,” it doesn’t offer the same breadth or depth of functionality, flexibility, and scale as a public cloud.
What Do Public Cloud Services Do for the Oil and Gas Industry
For companies, especially oil and gas companies, who are facing the prospect of public cloud adoption, there are a few benefits.
- Increased availability of next-generation tools. For oil and gas companies trying to crunch large amounts of data, advanced tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence can help manage the analysis, even creating some actionable insights that the companies can follow. Right now, the cost and expertise required to implement your own machine learning or AI toolset is outside the realm and budgets of most smaller oil and gas companies. However, several public cloud providers now offer pay-as-you-go access to these tools.
- The use of mobile apps and synchronized data. Many oil and gas companies are spending hours entering the data from their paper-based run tickets. But with mobile apps designed specifically for oil and gas, drivers and processors can upload their figures immediately, which allows them to be analyzed and validated in real time, spotting problems and trends in minutes and hours, not days and weeks.
- Security is stronger and more robust. Cloud providers use the latest security measures to make sure that their clients’ data is secure and protected. After all, a security breach can have a huge negative impact on their reputation. In-house data centers can’t take advantage of the same level of security and are weaker and more vulnerable to attack. Cloud providers follow best practices in security, so sensitive data belonging to clients is actually more safe and secure in the cloud.
- Companies can take a multi-cloud approach to cloud computing. Rather than putting all their eggs in the proverbial basket, companies can (and should) spread their cloud computing out to different vendors who specialize in different areas. Whether it’s artificial intelligence, data storage, processing, and even the Internet of Things, you can use several different cloud computing platforms from vendors that each specializes in a particular function.
- Companies can focus on their core competencies. Rather than putting a lot of time and energy into running your data center, you can take that off your plate and put more resources into actual oil and gas production and delivery. Cloud computing is significantly less expensive and more efficient and effective than traditional data centers, often costing a fraction of those legacy systems.