We are in the ‘Cloud Era’. If you’re unfamiliar with what ‘the Cloud’ is, essentially, it’s a series of servers accessed over the internet. Additionally, you can read all about it here ‘Cloud Computing for Business: What you need to know’.
Cloud is certainly continuing to grow in popularity. 50% of UK businesses describe themselves as being Cloud first. It is expected that by 2025 85% of businesses will have made the move to cloud. As a result, when looking for new tech, they look for future-proofed cloud-based offerings.
One of the reasons for this is because people are more concerned with data security. This is a result of the pandemic increased the workforce embracing cloud. Suddenly, it was necessary for staff to work from home. This was totally unexpected for some and consequently led to exposed vulnerabilities. Correspondingly, a study by Tenable in 2021 found that 74% of organisations believed recent cyber-attacks to be the result of poor at home technology set ups. Ensuring that you have access to data backups and have resilience was vital and the Cloud is an excellent way to do that. Service as a Software solutions also became increasingly popular. For example: Microsoft Teams usage increased to 44 million. People needed to be able to communicate quickly online and face to face (virtually).
For many businesses, beginning or continuing with their investment in and adoption of Cloud will be the next step. Gartner have speculated that almost two-thirds (65.9%) of spending on application software will be directed toward cloud technologies in 2025.
Public cloud is a model where someone else hosts your data, for example: Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services. On the other hand, Private cloud is hosted over a private internal network, available only to select users. According to Forbes, many companies who previously migrated to 100% public cloud are now looking at moving to a private or hybrid solution. This is being driven by the need for better control, privacy, flexibility and the rising cost of Public Cloud. At Xperience, we have recently heavily invested in our private cloud offering: this is a growing need within our customer base and essential for our customers future growth.
Hybrid cloud is the combination of public and private cloud running applications over both networks. The benefits of the hybrid cloud include reduced latency, agility, enhanced security, and speed to market. In 2021, 80% of companies had a hybrid cloud strategy and 29% of UK IT leaders intended to invest in Hybrid Cloud Management tools (ComputerWeekly).
Distributed Cloud is predicted to grow at 26% annually between 2021-26. Gartner estimates that by 2024 most Cloud platforms will provide at least some Distributed Cloud services. With Distributed Cloud, your data will be stored across different servers across different locations. This is in opposition to traditional cloud where you lease a single server. The goal of distributed data is to provide redundancy. Consequently, if there is a problem at one data centre, customers won’t be affected.
Some theorists have said that we are moving from the ‘Cloud era’ to the ‘Sky Computing’ era. The idea behind Sky Computing is synergy between different hosts. Public cloud platforms are currently proprietary and incompatible with each other. Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services don’t play well together. The first step in reaching Sky Computing is to develop a compatibility layer between all platforms. This will allow a user to run an application on different Clouds.
Unquestionably, businesses embarking on a cloud migration itself is nothing new. While the future clearly shows that cloud adoption is increasing, the platforms available and the way in which we utilise cloud is changing.
With that said, public Cloud is not the only solution, the previously perceived economies of scale of public cloud have not come to fruition for all businesses and this has resulted in a shifting momentum towards private and hybrid cloud. The concept of multi-cloud (Distributed Cloud and Sky Computing) is most interesting. Distributed Cloud seems an obvious future need for the purpose of business continuity. Moreover, Sky Computing will potentially enable businesses to reap the benefits technological advancements of hyperscale cloud providers while managing costs.
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