We all know that the IT world is a fast moving one. One of the major shifts in recent years has been the movement of systems to the cloud. This started with storage as public services quickly caught on as a way to store and exchange data.
But as faster and more reliable internet connections have become widely available, it’s now become commonplace to run many systems entirely from the cloud, reducing the need for in-house hardware. It’s also possible to run a good deal of infrastructure from the cloud too.
It would be wrong, however, to assume that the cloud is standing still. It’s continuing to evolve as the technology develops and there are areas where it still has the potential to transform business IT.
Choose your cloud
In its early days, the cloud tended to be seen as a single entity. Today, however, it can come in a number of forms. Organisations are increasingly adopting multiple clouds and adapting them to different purposes. Hybrid clouds allow a mix of private and public architecture which gives businesses flexibility so that they can meet the demand for sharing information whilst also ensuring that they comply with security and compliance requirements.
It’s also possible to have ‘multi cloud’ solutions wherein departments or employees can have individual clouds that sync with a central system. Cost is often a major reason for moving to the cloud. Adopting a server less model allows greater scalability without the cost and lead times associated with upgrading in-house hardware. It also means that specialist management and configuration tasks can be left to the service provider, leaving you to concentrate on your business needs.
Increased use of containerisation is a factor here too. Platforms such as Kubernetes can be run in the cloud and allow business applications to be deployed and managed far more easily that if they are run on in-house servers. Open source design helps to ensure that the management of data and resources is easier and quicker too.
It’s clear that the cloud is now well established and isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. But what developments can we expect to see in the coming months and years? Many of the industry heavyweights such as Google and IBM are working on the development of quantum systems.
By using atoms to perform computing tasks, quantum systems promise a step change in computing power with much faster systems. These will be able to encrypt and decrypt information quickly, improve business modelling and medical research and much more. However, quantum computers are not going to be something that you will have in your office. The model is likely to be cloud-based, with a small number of ultra-powerful machines accessed by clients via the cloud.
The cloud is clearly here for the long term. Research by IDC  indicates that by as early as 2020, it could account for a quarter of all software sales. This increased demand inevitably means more competition too, so for businesses looking at their cloud strategies, there will be more choice than ever.
In this dash to a cloudy future, however, it’s important that companies don’t lose sight of some important factors. Data still needs to be protected and kept secure wherever it’s processed and this is not something that can be palmed off entirely on the service provider.
The needs of the business should still be paramount and like any other technology, cloud projects should be assessed in terms of the benefits they can deliver while keeping in mind the potential risks. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Cloudworks are a Microsoft Gold Partner and experts in migrations and upgrading businesses from legacy systems to the latest Microsoft cloud products. We have supported numerous companies with just 10 users to over 30,000 users on using Microsoft cloud products and security. If you’d like to know more – please call us on 0115 824 8244 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.