Five Cloud Trends That Are Changing The Way Business Is Done
As the cloud computing concept gets wide acceptance among businesses both big and small, the trends shaping it are evolving at a pace destined to change the way business is done. As more business tasks get accomplished on the cloud, many CTOs are willing to let a good amount of their operations run in cloud platforms.
Cloud hosting is dominating the implementation level across industries with several hosted solutions offering services such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Other provisions, like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) are also seen taking considerable shape as a business function.
Here are the top five cloud trends that are likely to influence the future of cloud computing and play a huge role in standard business operations.
1. Mobile influence
The irresistible power of the mobile as an alternative computing tool is equally becoming entrenched in the cloud. Industry analysts have predicted that the stage is now set for the best of smartphones and tablets so far. Should the predictions be true, then we are looking at a future where these mobile devices will have strong capabilities to manage solutions running in the cloud platforms. The health-care industry has particularly taken the lead in mobile cloud computing, mostly because it allows them to access and manage electronic records on the go. Many experts are of the view that 2012 and beyond will see a much more robust adoption of mobile cloud in the health industry. The other industries will then follow suit, but with specific focus on the business functions that can be performed with convenience from the mobile platform.
2. SaaS leads in spending
A cloud survey conducted by North Bridge Venture Partners in mid-2012 revealed that more people are using SaaS as a cloud offering in today’s business environment. A record 82 percent of the respondents interviewed confirmed that they are currently using SaaS to accomplish their business tasks. Another 6 percent said ‘yes’ to the possibility of using it within the next five years. The high numbers of people using SaaS automatically translates to high spending on the service, easily putting it ahead in terms of the amounts spent by consumers for deployment and access.
Security in the cloud is receiving intensive scrutiny because no business wants to risk putting their data in insecure platforms. You can expect advanced approaches for encrypted logins, blocking unauthorized access, and controls of the security of the information stored in the cloud.
We are already seeing the emergence of companies that are focused on providing security consultations and services for cloud hosting firms. This will give the providers an opportunity to offer guaranteed security, especially for corporate clients with huge amounts of data that could experience irreversible damage if their data is compromised.
4. Growth of apps
The CTO of VMware told Forbes in early 2012 that more apps are likely to become available as a core offering of cloud solutions. Some of the examples he gave include real-time data analytics systems that will help companies to leverage on the power of the cloud and provide scalable services to their customers. The concept of in-memory databases is a case in point, allowing entire databases to be brought into memory where they are addressed much faster by processors. Vendors like Microsoft and Oracle have already stepped into this field of in-memory datasheet, joining others like SAP’s HANA.
5. Growth of ERPs
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are quickly taking central position in the cloud environment. Their ability to provide inclusive solutions, such as accounting and inventory management, have made them an integral part of cloud computing. Companies can comfortably access all these services in the cloud from any part on earth, as long as Internet is available. The kind of convenience businesses are experiencing with these services is destined to lead to even more ERP deployments in the cloud.
All these trends are certainly representative of a technology that is making great inroads into the larger business world. While the gains and challenges are bound to take root in equal measure, the opportunities that rest in cloud computing can justifiably be described as infinite at least based on what the trends hold for tomorrow.
By John Omwamba
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