Cloud computing trends
As a cloud-based world continues to seem closer and closer, it is important for companies to understand the cloud computing industry.
According to Accenture, a global information technology company, “since 2010, the global cloud services industry has risen year after year to reach a $370 billion valuation in 2020, marking a growth of over 380 percent in ten short years.” Part of this rise can be attributed to the effects of the global pandemic because COVID-19 has facilitated a focus on cloud capabilities as companies compete to thrive in an increasingly remote-working era. The use of the cloud has become an essential part of a firm’s tech stack and is crucial to business success.
As a cloud-based world continues to seem closer and closer, it is important for companies to understand the cloud computing industry. There are various trends in the industry that must be cataloged to ensure that companies can see future growth in the cloud. These are hybrid cloud environments, the “as a service” model, and cloud automation and artificial intelligence.
There are three approaches to implementing cloud solutions: public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.
In a public cloud environment, cloud computing resources are shared across multiple organizations, and the infrastructure is managed by a third-party service provider. In a private cloud environment, cloud infrastructure is owned and managed by a signal entity or organization. Therefore, private resources are hidden behind a firewall or other security measures.
Many cloud consultants that help organizations learn how to conduct cloud migration the right way advise a balance between public and private cloud environments because relying solely on public cloud technology is not secure and relying solely on the private cloud is far too expensive. Therefore, hybrid cloud is in high demand. The top cloud firm, AWS, and its competitors, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud, are expanding their development of hybrid models and cloud consulting services that adopt both public and private cloud architectures.
A hybrid cloud environment is a flexible infrastructure created using key features from both public and private cloud services. As seen in the graphic below, 51% of enterprise clients are using a hybrid cloud environment in their multi-cloud strategy. Hybrid cloud is a cost-effective IT infrastructure that is able to benefit from both the large storage and collaborative capacities of the public cloud and the security of the private cloud. Optimization of the right balance between private and public cloud is the main challenge, but there are many cloud consulting and big data consulting services that help organizations optimize their resources through data analytics and application integration.
The benefits of hybrid cloud include superior scalability, cost, control, and speed. Regarding scalability, hybrid cloud solutions use public cloud options to help add more computational power and run more complex and resource-demanding applications. In the public cloud, a company pays more if they use more. With the development of the hybrid cloud, there is no need to waste time waiting until the organization can afford to buy more servers. The company can simply use the resources provided by the cloud service.
Regarding cost, companies can save money during the growth process due to off-site storage with public cloud computing. On the other hand, the private section of the hybrid cloud is used to store crucial information. Therefore, an organization reduces the costs of constantly moving between two cloud providers–public and private.
In regard to control, the private cloud segment of the hybrid cloud allows for control over an organization’s security. A firm can customize its cloud strategy to help adapt to the organization’s business needs. Finally, a hybrid cloud solution encourages efficiency and performance. It allows an IT team to optimize the network in ways that reduce latency and simplify the data transfer process. The hybrid cloud can also use edge computing. This enhanced control can save processing time and optimize application operations.
Overall, the future of hybrid cloud services is bright. With a variety of industry leaders producing hybrid cloud services in addition to more cloud-native applications, it is becoming easier for businesses to migrate their resources to the cloud.
As a Service
One of the most significant trends in cloud computing is the “as a service” model. “As a service” is a term that is used to describe a type of business model in which customers can access and use software applications or services on a pay-as-you-go basis. This type of arrangement gives customers the flexibility to use a given offering as they need with various degrees of managed services and staff augmentation rather than paying a fixed cost for resources that they will not use and do not want to commit to long-term.
XaaS has presented itself as an affordable option for accessing crucial digital resources and, as a result, has seen exponential market growth. According to Fortune Business Insights, “the global everything as a service market size is projected to reach USD 2378.07 billion in 2029, at a CAGR of 23.4% during the forecast period.”
The pay-as-you-go concept has revolutionized the industry approach with regard to avoiding peripheral costs related to purchasing/producing, maintaining, and licensing traditional software. The scale that as-a-service providers operate on makes these support costs nearly negligible, allowing them to pass on savings to their customers. Additionally, as-a-service models often facilitate the ability to find unique and customized software development that is not available through traditional means.
Providers who specialize in a certain offering can help ensure maximum efficiency and quality for each aspect of a company’s digital space rather than the company spreading its resources thinly to achieve subpar results across a wide area. This aspect can be an important advantage for businesses that require specialized functionality that they may not be able to achieve with a generally-oriented tech team.
Types of XaaS
- Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud-based software distribution model that consists of a provider hosting applications and granting access to customers, typically through a subscription payment. In the SaaS model, customers’ expectations are that everything needed by them is managed by the provider. This expectation means that the barrier to entry for SaaS offerings and development is extremely low, making them optimal for small businesses with little tech know-how or large firms that do not want to allocate resources to specialized projects. These services often include web development and design, custom software development, UI design, or app development. Competition between an ever-growing number of SaaS companies has resulted in a vast array of inexpensive solutions that are guaranteed to provide value for your business, regardless of size.
- Platform as a service (PaaS) is a cloud computing model that provides users with a platform for developing, running, and managing applications. PaaS typically includes both the hardware and software designed to work with your business to implement application development, application testing, and application deployment, making it a complete solution for enterprises looking to transition their applications to the cloud. PaaS providers often offer a variety of services, including storage, networking, and databases, making it easy for organizations to find the right provider that will build and deploy complex applications.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a cloud computing model that delivers infrastructure such as servers, storage, networking, and data center space. Rather than providing a comprehensive solution, IaaS providers simply allow firms to host their digital operations and technology in their space rather than hosting them in expensive and inefficient in-house data centers. IaaS providers typically charge based on metered usage, making it a cost-effective solution for businesses that need to scale their infrastructure up or down on demand. IaaS can be used to deploy and manage workloads in the cloud or to supplement an existing on-premises infrastructure. In either case, it can help businesses to reduce their capital and operational expenses.
Cloud Automation and Artificial Intelligence
Cloud automation has become employed more frequently by enterprises as a means of optimization of management of their cloud environments due to the difficulty in maintaining a multi-cloud approach. For example, cloud-agnostic tools like Terraform allow organizations to develop identical infrastructure across all platforms. Soon, functions like dashboards could allow for using such tools and greater solutions for digital transformation and more flexibility, as the ability to view all splintered cloud services in one window would be incredibly useful. These functions would also allow for more opportunities for machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) implementation because it would steer developers towards future possibilities in their industries and improve their skills.
Especially for multi-cloud or hybrid cloud, organizations want analytics to help them compare different metrics of cloud performances. Operating without an understanding of efficiency also renders an organization more vulnerable to different threats. Leveraging machine learning capabilities can create more contingency data for an organization, creating better threat preparation.
Cloud computing technology and AI have a symbiotic relationship. While AI powers cloud computing – managing data, revealing insights, and optimizing workflows – cloud computing increases its impact and scope. According to Statista, “by 2025, the global market value of AI is estimated to surpass $126 billion annually,” meaning that businesses not taking advantage can fall behind their competition quickly.
Cloud services make AI accessible to organizations who struggle to enter an industry with high requirements. Traditionally, investing in AI technology requires top technical skills, computing power, as well as a large amount of capital needed to invest. However, with cloud services offering AI to their customers, companies are able to benefit from AI without making a sizable upfront investment.
Businesses get the most out of AI and cloud when they use some combination of both. Cloud solutions remove the need to have expensive on-prem IT services, and they facilitate easier data recovery with constant backups. While this occurs, AI can utilize the cloud to gain insights and implement measures throughout the system after learning. When both work harmoniously, a company’s business analytics, IT services, and data insights can all go the extra mile, leading to better innovation, product design, and collaboration, among others.
Agility and change are necessary for cloud computing companies to become more efficient and successful. These different trends will grow faster as the adoption of cloud computing services increases, which will allow for better insights to be derived from the industry. Hybrid cloud migration, the “as a service” model, and cloud automation and artificial intelligence are all crucial developments in the cloud computing industry, and providers that implement these trends will be able to provide higher quality cloud technology to their consumers.
Tracking and unpacking these trends will ensure that any business grows to new heights due to recognizing the changes and key aspects of the industry. As the world continues to embrace cloud services, such recognition will prove essential to sustained growth in 2022 and beyond.