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Five predictions on the future of cloud usage

(Image credit: Image Credit: Rawpixel / Shutterstock)

The Cloud continues to evolve, and the only constant is how it is ever-changing. How do organisations keep up and make the most out of cloud usage?  Where are the key drivers and areas of immediate benefit when adopting a cloud usage model? 

Here are five predictions for the future of cloud usage and how they can benefit your organisation. 

1.            Application access to a mobile organisation 

Everyone has applications in their data centre. Depending on how many years you have been in business, these applications could be running on legacy hardware, may be coded and/or customised, and was created for a business that was run from a single office building.  Businesses have expanded beyond the traditional office environment. Workers are mobile, customer geography has expanded, and the need for high application availability and responsive are of the highest importance.  If you cannot access your business application to check pricing, inventory, or order status, you may be costing yourself a customer.  Utilising applications that are cloud native, SaaS, or simply geographically distributed will make your organisation more efficient and effective.

2.            Increasing number of connected devices 

Think back to less than 15 years ago, smartphones weren’t the norm (remember Blackberrys?), the iPhone release, which would change the dynamics of mobile phones, was three years out.  Most computers were still using a cable to connect to the company network and Internet.  Wireless connections were a convenience that organisations provided to employees. Fast forward to today, and everything is wirelessly connected (who doesn’t have an Amazon Echo or Google Home?!?) with potentially dozens of devices within your home or office. How do organisations manage maintaining policies for security and protecting networks from unauthorised access? The ability to utilise cloud technologies for IoT edge devices and analysing streaming connections decreases the number of on-premise tools, decreasing overhead and cost.

3. Platform, application services, and server-less computing and your hardware lifecycle

Any IT expert knows that managing the volume of patches and updates for operating systems can be overwhelming. Applications that run natively with code, allow organisations to take advantage of platform services that are of value to moving to a cloud infrastructure. This is as simple as moving your website into a cloud environment and out of your data centre. Performing something as simple as this, decreases data centre network and hardware requirements. 

4.            Data, data, and more data 

This was said three times for a reason, as data continues to grow at an increasing high pace.  Moore’s law no longer applies, compute power is growing much faster and with it, the amount of data that organisations are storing and consuming daily.  In the 80s, we spoke in terms of kilobytes, in the 90s it was megabytes, then gigabytes, and now we have gone beyond petabytes and are talking zetabytes.  Organisations are unable to grow their data storage environments to this scale without investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in network storage devices. The cloud allows for this growth for all storage needs, whether hot, cold, or archive to maintain proper use and compliance.

5.            Re-factoring for cloud transformation 

When organisations started the initial migration to the cloud, they were using more of a “lift and shift” approach. Early adopters were lured in by the public cloud marketing promises of immediate return on investment and lower cost of ownership.  As many organisations found, this wasn’t always the case when simply picking up and moving servers to the cloud.  Sure, there were benefits in decreasing storage costs, and if your organisation was about to be required to refresh hardware with a capital investment, moving to operational expenses made sense. The real benefit to moving to the cloud is to bring together the previous four points and tie them into this one to re-factor your organisation for a true cloud transformation.  A necessity to operating efficiently within the cloud is to evaluate and transform the manner in which your organisation does business and find ways to re-factor applications, analyse data, and secure connected devices.

To truly realise the benefits of a cloud ecosystem, it is important to take a transformative approach to cloud usage.  A simple “lift and shift” to the cloud from your current infrastructure will create some short-term benefits, such as decreasing CapEx and eliminating hardware refresh cycles.  An organisation that desires to truly transform business will evaluate their current environment and determine the best way to use technology to enable their people and processes.  As the cloud continues to grow and evolve, there may be more points to add to this list.  These are all a good starting point for making the most of your cloud usage.

Dwayne Natwick, Product Manager, Infrastructure Service, Secure-24