A few years ago, cloud computing was mostly seen as an option for shoestring businesses that lacked capital to buy their own hardware. Today, most businesses are using some form of cloud computing. Consumers who don’t even know what cloud computing means are deeply enmeshed in it through social media and apps. The cloud has reached critical mass in popular usage and has become an undeniable force in the business world. The current trends in cloud computing are a reflection of the cloud’s mainstream adoption.
Growth of Private Cloud Usage
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The need for cloud-based services in larger companies continues to grow. Mobile devices have untethered employees from their desks, and users have grown to expect the simplicity and convenience of cloud-based solutions. Companies that are responsible for sensitive data, such as medical records protected by HIPAA, financial details, and consumer identity records, hesitate to move that data to a public cloud. Larger companies are beginning to convert their hardware assets into private clouds to meet the demand for accessible data.
Hybrid Cloud Use on the Rise
Even companies that keep their customer records and sensitive data in private systems are making use of public cloud options for some applications. A hybrid system allows a company to have a private infrastructure and avoid the public internet, which improves security and reduces access time while avoiding some of the risks of being dependent on the internet. Companies using hybrid systems can also opt to reserve the public cloud for times when their workload overwhelms their internal systems, to control their costs, their exposure, and their dependency on public cloud providers.
Simpler Data Transfer
Improving user interfaces to allow for more self-service data integration has been a key element in cloud growth in the recent past, but in 2016 this trend is booming. Users are now able to push data into cloud storage without any technical background, and the user experience just keeps getting simpler and more elegant.
Optimizing Cloud Usage to Reduce Costs Is Key
Rightsizing data usage to control costs is a growing challenge for companies that have partially or fully adopted public cloud computing. According to the RightScale 2016 State of the Cloud Report, “26 percent of respondents identify cloud cost management as a significant challenge in 2016, a steady increase each year from 18 percent in 2013.”
Security Remains a Huge Concern
Users who are adopting cloud technology need a solid understanding of cloud security. Encrypting your data just isn’t enough any more. Cyber criminals are always working to stay one step ahead of data management practices, so savvy professionals are always working to stay one step ahead of criminals. Understanding the nature of threats to cloud-based data and staying on top of the latest security practices is vital.
Cloud-based services and storage have come a long way and have already significantly changed the way we manage data. Businesses and consumers are enjoying the freedom and convenience of working in the cloud, but the rapidly changing technology demands continuous education if you want to stay competitive and keep your data safe.