Cloud computing is something that’s here to stay. The legacy of the cloud has been debated for some time but now businesses are embracing this new technology at a faster rate. The cloud allows a business to free up its employees with bring your own device policies and remove them from tethered PC options.
There are plenty of reasons to jump on board the cloud bandwagon but there are likely still some areas of cloud computing (and its benefits) that remain unclear to some businesses. According to a recent study, one of the most important reasons to shift to cloud computing is to connect employees through a multitude of computing devices – ones that they already use.
The cloud is simply about removing traditional restrictions on data and making it readily accessible on multiple devices with no decrease in functionality. This better-connected world is becoming more and more commonplace. So, let’s consider some of the other benefits of cloud computing and some that you may not have thought of before.
Here are some cloud predictions for 2014.
Cloud computing will change businesses structure
With cloud computing becoming more prevalent the effects will become more obvious. The best way to put it is simply – every product and service will become more and more wrapped up in IT. All of these applications will end up in the cloud.
Cloud computing can greatly increase the ability of businesses to reach employees and customers making it easier for everyone to connect. These days smart phones can be utilized to monitor a patient’s health for example removing the need to seek medical help. The information (or data) can then be relayed back to a medical professional and the patient’s information can be updated remotely.
It’s likely that the legacy of more IT-centric businesses is that global IT spending will increase significantly. IT will move from the back of the office to the forefront of value-orientated delivery. This growth in the IT sector will out-strip on-premises capacity and eventually it will lead to a much more cloud orientated business community.
The end user will become more important
Cloud computing puts an emphasis on the end user and their experience of the product or services. Applications now have a marked reliance on the end user and how they interact with the product in question. End-users are increasingly the ones driving innovations and new products, as businesses will value their opinions more and more as time progresses.
In the cloud sector the technological advances are targeted at the end user and those companies are discovering just how important cloud based services are for reaching those users. More and more companies will realise the weight that cloud computing options has for back-end processing. This will free up space, time, and infrastructure to focus more on innovative new products instead of just maintaining company infrastructures.
Private cloud will become increasingly important
There is a worry when it comes to cloud computing that relates to privacy and security issues. Many companies have been slow to implement cloud options because of these concerns but the private cloud looks set to alleviate them.
The private cloud is an internal network that a business can use (think intranet) and it can provide a closed cloud environment. Within this environment a business can share data and other sensitive materials without the fears normally associated with wide spread cloud adoption.
There is also the growing desire for a combination of both internal and external cloud services – the hybrid cloud. This provides benefits in a number of ways and lets an organisation experiment with cloud-based alternatives in a much more bespoke and considered manner.
There are however some problems when it comes to a business implementing local, internal based cloud options. Often, private cloud based initiatives don’t succeed due to bad implementation, bad budgetary planning, and the lengthy process of training staff and increasing their skillset accordingly.
These delays do hamper the implementation of cloud-based services but really should be considered as simply growing pains. In 2014 businesses will be forced to fully consider private cloud based options for internally networking and those companies would do well to understand exactly what’s required of them for a successful adoption of these technologies.
Any cloud-based option has to be usable by not just the IT departments but employees in general. If it doesn’t no one will use it and your cloud foray will fall flat on its face. The cloud is an environment that shouldn’t be limited but instead its potential should be fully realised. Any cloud service should be agile, easy to use, and most importantly responsive to a business and its employee’s needs.
The future of the cloud
As 2014 progresses, private cloud computing will become increasingly short sighted. Hybrid cloud too will be only one of many options available to businesses looking to increase its connectivity with both employees and the end user. The idea of a single homogenous cloud environment will be increasingly challenged.
This in turn means that businesses will have to adopt multiple cloud types and incorporate them into its infrastructures. Businesses will face one increasingly pertinent need – to create or obtain the ability to manage this sprawling online environment and manage it consistently.
2014 will see cloud computing become the dominant force in the IT industry. The current successes in cloud computing are only the beginning and businesses will need to learn how to take advantage of this new and emerging technology sector.
Image: Karin Dalziel