Almost everyone is living in the cloud — including businesses. Rapid changes in the digital world meant rapid adaptation of new technologies, which encouraged a number of companies to venture on to the cloud (aka a global network of remote servers known for its data storage and computing power). The numbers say it all:
- 81 percent of enterprises operate on multi-cloud landscapes
- 26 percent of these businesses spend $6 million on public cloud infrastructure yearly
- Currently, digitally transforming businesses (63 percent) is the leading sector that drives greater public cloud adoption or engagement
- 83 percent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020
Cloud adoption has undoubtedly seen a significant increase in previous years, and it seems like the near future sees almost all businesses making the great switch. Locally, we’ve also seen an increase in demand for better security for Kansas-based cloud solutions.
Many companies are hurrying to migrate to the cloud to 1) improve productivity, 2) distribute and secure data better, and 3) brace themselves for what the future holds.
Living in the Now: The Current State of Business and the Cloud
Cloud computing is now the cornerstone of every business organization. Its capability to provide secure access to system information has enabled enterprises to distribute data with confidence. With a seamless restoration of critical data and facilitation of remote accessibility, cloud computing equips users with a centralized database, multiple authentication levels, and automated servers — all designed to streamline business operations.
The objective of cloud computing is to deliver high-quality computer solution over storage spaces, servers, networks, intelligible analytics, and various software. Using the internet to access rapid innovations, better resources, and different industries make cloud computing a better option compared with traditional networking and computing.
Streamlined Processes are the New Norm
Several IT companies offer businesses cost-effective, cloud-based solutions. Some software companies allow users to run multiple operating systems on one computer, enabling them to operate several machines on one server.
Startups and smaller businesses use small private clouds to streamline processes while larger enterprises host cloud systems in data centers that allow their users to scale down or scale up, depending on their needs. In some cases, the company will only require these resources occasionally.
For example, e-commerce stores need higher-powered servers during busy seasons (such as Christmas and Black Friday sales), but they won’t need these servers for the rest of the year. With the cloud, an e-commerce owner can scale down resources and save money during slow seasons.
With such perks, it’s no wonder that cloud computing has become more popular for businesses of all sizes. Despite the rise in cloud adoption, however, there are still companies that have yet to realize the full benefits that come with cloud migration.
Expectation vs. Reality: Challenges Associated with Cloud Computing
In a report entitled “Perspectives on Cloud Outcomes: Expectation vs. Reality,” multinational company Accenture surveyed 200 IT professionals from large businesses around the world to learn more about their cloud migration journey. According to the researchers, a majority of the companies surveyed achieved some level of satisfaction with their cloud outcomes (90 percent on average).
Only one-third of enterprises, however, reported that they achieved all of their outcomes across speed (36 percent), cost (34 percent), service levels (34 percent), and business enablement (35 percent). Two-thirds of the participants have yet to realize the benefits of their migration journey.
The report listed the barriers to their success, which included the following:
- Lack of cloud skills within the organization (42 percent)
- Organizational change and complexity of business (55 percent)
- Application scrawl and legacy infrastructure (43 percent)
- Security and compliance (65 percent)
According to Kishore Durg, Accenture’s senior managing director for cloud for technology services, realizing the full benefits of the cloud takes time. Like most new technologies, upgrading any cloud program “isn’t something anyone can do overnight,” said Durg. He recommended businesses to approach the cloud strategically with assistance from third-party providers that possess “deep expertise” and can “show measurable business value and expedite digital transformation.”
Life in the Future: What’s in Store for Cloud Computing?
Cloud systems have matured rapidly during the past years and are now an integral part of technology embedded across different businesses, regardless of size or industry. Thanks to this IT innovation, data doesn’t have to sit in one physical premise — those days are over.
Still, the technology has a long way to go.
Businesses transitioning to the cloud during the next decade may not experience a simple process of shifting and lifting current on-premise applications. Businesses will have to transform some legacy apps to run them, but other applications may not run at all.
The future might see the cloud as a platform ideal for the implementation of innovative services and technologies instead.
Numbers Show the Future
LogicMonitor’s study entitled “Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of Cloud Study” is based on interviews with approximately 300 IT influencers. The respondents included industry analysts, consultants, media, vendor strategists, and attendees of AWS re: Invent 2017 (Amazon Web Services). The researchers’ primary goal is to provide a glimpse into the cloud industry of 2020.
Notable statistics include the following:
- As mentioned above, 83 percent of workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. The survey predicts that 41 percent of workloads will run on public cloud platforms (Google Cloud Platform, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, and others). Twenty percent of companies may use private clouds while the remaining 22 percent may run on hybrid platforms.
- Researchers also predicted that premise workloads will shrink from 37 percent today to 27 percent by 2020.
- Twenty-seven percent (one out of five) of the respondents predict that by 2022, 95 percent of all workloads will run in the cloud. Thirteen percent of the respondents, however, don’t expect this workload shift to happen anytime soon, if not never. Conversations with CEOs and CIOs in financial and manufacturing industries revealed that they believe there will be a mix of workloads between the cloud and on-premise.
The Demand for Computing Power: How It Will Shape the Sector
Easy access to computing capabilities offer exciting possibilities for the future. The cloud’s massive computing power combined with instant response will make intelligence on-demand accessible for everyone no matter where their location. New business models will rise, thanks to the abundance of cloud-based resources.
Independent cloud analysts believe that most businesses will continue to use large cloud providers instead of smaller specialists. The primary providers, such as Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, IBM, and Google, will continue to wield significant power and will use their power to focus on innovation. They will also create a portfolio of additional features (e.g., database and search technologies) to support disruptive, cloud-based services.
Greater Openness on the Horizon
Vendor lock-in (i.e., a cloud computing problem where customers dependent on a single cloud provider struggle with transitioning to a different vendor without legal constraints, substantial costs, or technical incompatibilities) remains a concern, but the cloud industry shows new commitment to open-source tools.
Cloud providers would love for businesses to use their native providers due to the lock-in potential. But they are slowly creating standardized cloud strategies that embrace openness. They recognize the desirability of flexibility and portability in cloud systems.
From Modular Software to Low-Cost Hardware
The increase in demand for better cloud solutions triggered the development of more technologies that support cloud-based solutions. Eventually, the supercomputing of technology may become mainstream as more and more organizations adopt it.
With these advancements in mind, businesses and the industry can witness the following changes in the coming years:
- Modular software: IT experts are starting to develop and set together modules of software application to support scalability and maximize the abilities of hardware via the cloud.
- Wafting away of software: The software will not disappear entirely, but the advancement of cloud solutions will cause apps to be more hardware-agnostic. Thanks to the cloud, computing can be completely invisible.
- Quicker connections: The rise in affordable high-end processors combined with the need for hugely-distributed applications has heightened the demand for faster interconnections in data centers. Businesses will benefit from the faster flow of information at higher rates and lower costs. Companies with larger applications can circulate their data better through more intelligent hardware.
- Low-cost hardware: Replacements and upgrades of important computing elements will be more convenient since the entire infrastructure will be broken into more basic components
Forecasting the Future of the Cloud (This is How You Can Prepare)
A measured approach is essential to adapting to changes concerning the cloud. Businesses can make the most out of their current computing resources by looking at all of their available options to assess where their workloads really belong. Consider your existing IT infrastructures, business needs, security considerations, and costs.
It also helps to fully explore the resource potential in existing servers and desktops in the company’s current IT infrastructure. Users can recapture it and make it available for running workloads without compromising the organization’s budget.
A robust cloud solution is essential in helping your business harness the proficiencies of cloud computing. The right cloud strategy helps in not only improving storage performance and capacity but in enhancing security as well. With a strategy in place, your organization can keep up with the pace of technological advancements and provide clients with innovative customer solutions.
Your company can prepare for the imminent future by:
- Using microservices-based architecture to increase flexibility
- Choosing the right cloud-based tool or application to improve customer service
- Developing multi-cloud strategies and approaches
- Using automation tools for hybrid cloud management
Your business must steer clear of the following mistakes when moving to the cloud to maximize the benefits that come with the future of cloud computing:
- Not considering on-premise capacities and how using these resources could meet business needs more efficiently
- Believing that cloud migration will automatically result in cost savings
- Not fully understanding the costs and risks associated with the cloud
- Overlooking the need to consider data stewardship and accountability, in alignment with regulatory and legal requirements, as well as the tenets of ethical data use
- Quickly hopping on the cloud migration bandwagon because experts said so
The Future Lies in the Cloud (And On-Premise, Sometimes)
There is no denying that the cloud is part of the imminent future of most businesses, but the coming years can see organizations still benefitting from both cloud and on-premise resources. There is a need for both since different industries will have unique considerations influencing the degree to which they tap these options.
Most companies will benefit from a combination of private and cloud infrastructures — mixed ecosystems that offer security controls and cost efficiencies, as well as the ability to optimize computing capacity and IT investments.
If your business has yet to harness the power of the cloud, it’s time to make the move. But as we mentioned, a hasty, do-it-yourself migration isn’t always the best option. Migrate to the cloud with an expert who builds IT solutions that match what you need and where your business is headed tomorrow.
IT Consultants Who Are Here to Help
NetStandard takes the difficulties out of managing your company’s critical assets. We make sure your next destination is in the cloud. Our cloud computing solutions are customizable through more than 50 independent software vendor apps — all of them certified for implementation. Also, our cloud services have saved clients thousands of dollars in monthly expenses. Plus, we offer them 24/7 support.
Our cloud services include the following:
- Cloud monitoring. Outsourcing your cloud hosting to our company enables you to save more. We own the equipment or software necessary for troubleshooting and operating systems.
- Data backup. Outdated cloud computing technology poses security risks. With our cloud services, we keep your information so you won’t lose crucial data.
- Cloud security. Get the security of a private server and the flexibility of a public cloud with a private cloud. We’ll keep your information safe while you improve your workflow.
Secure your future in the cloud with a trusted IT consultant by your side. Get in touch with NetStandard today to learn more.