Cloud computing is becoming a popular option for companies that are looking for a way to simplify their IT needs, increase their security, improve their productivity, all while reducing their overall budget.
A recent white paper from Datamation describes three trends we’re expecting to see within the cloud computing industry, three trends that may change how you see and use cloud computing (download it here). In fact, Datamation is calling these cloud computing mega trends, and they may change the way you view and use cloud computing technology.
The first trend, which we’re happy to see, is the business world’s changing attitudes on cloud security will drive adoption.
Security has always been a concern business leaders have had with the cloud. Executives think that because their servers aren’t within their own four walls, they’re somehow less secure than the ones they can see and touch.
It’s an understandable feeling. After all, this is why we have safes and locks on doors: to protect our valuables and intellectual property.
However, a 2017 survey by Clutch found that 45% of enterprises surveyed found that security was a key benefit of using the cloud. Meanwhile, a McAfee survey found that 74% of organizations are using cloud storage for even some of their sensitive data.
The truth is, cloud security is so much more advanced and rigorous than most enterprise-level software, thanks to the number of companies using it and participating in it. And more companies are beginning to realize that many of the next-generation security tools are really only available in cloud computing platforms because they’re otherwise too big or too expensive for many companies to use on their own.
Second, says Datamation, multicloud operation is becoming the new practice. A recent OpsRamp survey of IT leaders in large companies found that 75% of respondents expect to work with different cloud providers for their business needs.
Many organizations choose leading software packages from different vendors for areas like CRM, financials, manufacturing, and so on based on suitability and their particular needs. It’s the same with multicloud operations: You can use the cloud system that is best suited to handle your required functionality. All public clouds are flexible and offer modern, convenient integration options, so interfacing between the different cloud providers is fairly straightforward.
You can store different types of data and information on a number of different cloud storage providers, each of them specializing in a particular need your company may have. Just like you have different vendors providing different services for your company, you’ll have different cloud providers each sharing their areas of expertise.
You might have a cloud platform dedicated to data processing, another for backup, and still another for next-generation tools like artificial intelligence. Which brings us to our third trend. . .
Using the cloud enables using advanced tools.
Cloud computing is no longer just about remote storage, it’s an excellent way to harness more computing power. For example, if you had to process several terabytes or even a petabyte of data, you would need several processors to do the task.
But rather than trying to store, operate, and maintain all of these servers yourself, it would be much better if you were to just outsource the actual ownership and maintenance of those computers to a company that specializes in it. This will not only save you money in your IT budget, but you can better control your staffing needs by working with one person to handle the project instead of hiring several hardware specialists to maintain the servers.
And with cloud computing, you’ll even have access to next-generation tools like artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, and blockchain.
For example, leading cloud vendors offer pay-as-you-go machine learning services that allow access with a few clicks. A few hundred dollars a month gives you access to powerful systems that would cost millions of dollars to implement (not to mention the cost of ongoing maintenance and upgrades).
For the most part, these tools are too expensive for companies to develop in-house, yet companies like IBM’s Watson, GE Digital, Oculus, and Nexus Earth are all available through cloud-based services. Companies that want to use these technologies need to participate in cloud computing if they don’t want to sink the tens of millions of dollars necessary into developing their own versions.
The move toward cloud computing platforms for many corporate functions is inevitable and something many companies are already doing, including your competitors. If you want to reap the benefits of cloud computing, try it out for one or two of your business functions as a test and see if you notice the improvement and/or savings.