This is part four of OXEN Technology’s 2019 update on the state of the IT landscape. In the first three parts we covered:
- the accelerating changes affecting the IT industry,
- the current economic outlook for the U.S. and the IT industry,
- and the growing importance of cybersecurity.
In this section, we look at the effects of the cloud and cloud computing.
Industry Trends: Cloud
The future is here. Predictions of rapid adoption of cloud-based applications from only two years ago are already history. Today 91% of businesses claim to be using some sort of cloud computing. (And many small businesses are using applications in the cloud but do not recognize the term.) Companies and vendors have taken many steps, and missteps, in pursuing cloud adoption.
Many applications have moved to the cloud but are now back on-premise. (Research shows that 50% return to on-premise). Most have been disappointed with the predicted savings. But they’ve found that the benefits of improved flexibility, granularity, and reduced implementation time for a new application still outweigh the costs. New challenges, like integration of multiple disparate cloud environments, have emerged as the challenge for larger companies.
Cloud was seen as the latest in a series of new models for IT operations. Existing systems were migrated to cloud providers while working through issues around security and integration. Today, though, cloud offers a path for business transformation. “The Cloud” is the foundation for most of the emerging and transformative technology that will impact our businesses and life in the coming years. Powerful new capabilities and complex automation can completely change an organization, moving IT from a heavily tactical function to a valuable strategic asset. It will enable the exciting new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), speech recognition (i.e., Siri and Alexa), business analytics, self-driving vehicles, and augmented reality.
Adoption and Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is older than most think, but only recently has it become a common term. If you’ve used a computer or mobile device recently, you’ve used cloud services. You’ve accessed data stored in the cloud. Individuals have more quickly adopted cloud services than businesses. This is mainly due to the fact that companies face greater challenges of security, as they must protect highly sensitive data.
Even so, businesses are transitioning from in-house systems to cloud computing at an accelerating rate, due to better tools and security and growing operational maturity. The global public cloud market will reach $178 billion in 2019 and is only expected to grow.
How have fears been flipped in recent years to more acceptance of the cloud? Businesses attribute their adoption of cloud computing to such factors as security, affordability, efficiency, customization, less risk of data loss, immediate access to upgrades and latest technology, and global accessibility.
While businesses recognize the benefits of cloud computing more so than ever, many are also unfamiliar with the different flavors that cloud computing can come in. For example, few may have heard of terms such as:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
- Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS)
(Explore definitions of these here at Forbes.com.)
60 to 70% of all data and applications still reside in corporate data centers, but cloud applications have reached deep penetration in some application areas. Cloud-based solutions are most often procured directly from the solution provider or the provider’s close partners.
Cloud is pervasive but not perfect, especially in small business:
In Cloud Computing: Security remains the constant
Even with cloud computing, security concerns remain constant. OXEN Technology believes that cybersecurity will emerge as the disruptive force that cloud never was.
While the IT industry may have emerged stronger once the dust settled from the cloud revolution, security is not predicted to be as kind. Cloud technology may have made it easier to run our businesses. However, growing security concerns means it will be harder to protect business from escalating and ever smarter attacks.
One of the hardest challenges will be for business to admit to their end users and clients that they’ve been attacked and breached.
In the last part of our update on the state of the IT landscape, we’ll conclude with the final industry trends that we’re keeping an eye on: the Internet of Things (IoT) and wireless/Wi-Fi technologies. We hope you’ll join us for the conclusion!