Cloud computing is on the rise, with the worldwide market expected to rise from $111 billion last year to $131 billion in 2013. Gartner, Inc., one of the world’s leading information technology research firms, indicates its growth will continue well into this decade. By 2016, it predicts the majority of new IT spending will be on cloud computing technologies. Read on discover what’s driving this growth.
Cloud Computing Allows for More Flexible Working Conditions
American employees aren’t just working within the confines of the office anymore. Since the turn of the century, the number of American employees working from home has risen by around 41 percent. Around 30 million Americans work from home at least once a week. That number’s expected to grow by 63 percent over the next five years.
Even Americans who travel to the office typically work outside its walls. They’re getting a jumpstart on work, with the average American checking working e-mails from 7:33 am over breakfast or during their morning commute.
As flexible workplaces increase, businesses will become more reliant on the kind of virtual offices cloud computing can create. Hybrid devices allow employees to log on to their virtual office, no matter where they are, and be as productive as any other member of staff. These devices are compact and portable like traditional tablets, but the keyboards are ideal for composing e-mails or business documents on the go.
Cloud Computing has Applications across Many Industries
Studies show companies that use the internet as a key business tool are twice as likely to grow as those who don’t. It’s no wonder then that more than half of American businesses have already adopted cloud computing technology.
We’re seeing this growth across a range of industries, not just the information technology field. For example, hospitals and doctors are discovering the potential of cloud computing for their businesses. In 2011, the global health care cloud computing market was worth just $1.8 billion. But more providers are realizing its potential for affordable data storage that can be readily shared with other healthcare providers. By 2017, it’s expected that the worldwide healthcare cloud computing market will be worth $5.4 billion.
Growth will continue as more industries realize the unique ways that cloud computing can work for them.
Cloud Computing Helps Businesses Grow
Cloud computing will continue to grow as more businesses realize the ways it can help them succeed. Cloud computing gives companies greater access to advanced technological resources with far fewer costs than many firms realize.
Cloud computing enables companies to house data offsite, so they don’t need to spend money on additional servers and storage solutions. Many small to medium firms also find it easier to essentially rent storage space rather than paying large fees upfront. Keeping data on the cloud also eliminates maintenance costs.
Companies can also run efficiently with fewer information technology staff, and ensure these employees are better utilized. Information can also be more readily shared amongst employees, which makes workplaces more productive.
Studies show all these factors see cloud computing promoting economic growth and competition across a range of industries.
Cloud Computing is Evolving
Any innovation must evolve to continue experiencing rapid growth. The key to cloud computing’s continued success is its willingness to evolve to better serve businesses. We’re seeing that as tech-savvy companies move from a traditional cloud computing arrangement to hybrid cloud computing. Gartner predicts the private cloud computing model will give way to the hybrid cloud during 2016. By the end of 2017, almost 50 percent of large companies will use hybrid cloud computing.
A hybrid cloud environment sees firms using both private and public cloud services. For example, a legal firm might use a public cloud service to store its archived data, as such services are affordable with limitless space. However, it might prefer to manage sensitive data, about current clients and cases for example, with a private cloud. This approach limits the risk of security breaches while allowing businesses to take advantage of the benefits of public cloud services.
With massive growth and no sign of slowing down, cloud computing may prove to become one of the most important information technology developments of the 21st century.
By Elliot Martinez,
Elliot is a business graduate of the University of South Florida and currently working towards his graduate degree. He is a freelance writer covering all tech topics, Lenovo gadget geek, and social media fanatic.