While cloud computing continues to be adopted in its various forms, it is also constantly adapting to the changing needs of businesses and providers. While organisations search for a long-term strategy to combine their internal system with the cloud, providers continue to offer greater benefits, such as big data analytics and application services, lowering the playing field for small businesses.
The rise of the hybrid cloud
As cloud computing has gone mainstream, it seems businesses have had a hard time choosing just one cloud service to stick to. In fact, a report by Virtustream found that most businesses employ multiple cloud providers to meet different demands, including a mix of public and private IaaS clouds. This amount of cloud sprawl has led to concerns about whether businesses can track their resources and spending effectively and maintain expertise on every cloud they are using. While it seems that companies won't be scaling down to just one option anytime soon, an increased adoption of a hybrid cloud that simplifies the public and private cloud mix through a single provider is quickly becoming a popular business solution.
Big data analytics
Big data may be competing with cloud computing for the tech news headlines, but many providers and businesses are now starting to see the value in combining the two. Big data as a service (opens in new tab) seems like one of the most practical options for big data analytics, as it is scalable and within the reach of any organisation, no matter its size or resources. These cloud providers are also overcoming the technical barrier by transforming Hadoop from an open source platform to an enterprise-ready service, all without the need for a data scientist.
SMB application protection
It has long been touted that cloud computing provides a huge advantage to small and medium-sized businesses, and cloud providers are still finding new ways to help lower the playing field. While most small businesses can't afford an entire application testing program or expensive tools to check safety internally, cloud application protection is making it possible to do just that. This technology allows companies to scan source code on their web applications for any changes in order to detect potential cyber attacks and since it is on the cloud, it is available on demand.
Emphasis on performance
While security and loss of control were the primary concerns of IT managers when the cloud first landed, it seems the main emphasis is now on cloud performance. Businesses want to know that the service will be reliable and perform up to the capacity they need without failing during critical periods. At the same time, since the cloud is now a tried and tested technology, organisations are increasingly trusting it with sensitive applications.
Gamification has been on the rise among marketing professionals for several years. In 2012, Gartner predicted that by 2014, 70 per cent of Fortune 2000 companies would have at least one cloud-based application that uses game theory (opens in new tab), and so far gamification has continued to gain in popularity. With so many benefits, from increased consumer participation to increased access to behaviour analytics, companies are taking notice of what games can do for their brand.
It will be interesting to see how cloud computing continues to adapt over time as we become even more creative and innovative in how we apply it to business models.
Gil Allouche is the vice president of marketing at Qubole (opens in new tab). Gil began his marketing career as a product strategist at SAP while earning his MBA at Babson College and is a former software engineer.
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