The cloud was initially all about a convenient way of storing and sharing data. No more messing about with memory sticks when you needed to take work home and no more worries about forgetting to back up your data.
As the technology has developed and our links to the internet have become faster, it’s become practical to use the cloud in other ways. It’s now common to run applications and services directly from the cloud, so that all you need within your business are endpoints that can access the internet.
There are also many more cloud services available, from both large and small providers. So it’s becoming more likely that companies will adopt a multi-cloud strategy. This means that you can select the best system for particular needs without being locked into a particular supplier. You can give employees their own individual clouds that link into and sync with a central multi-cloud system.
There’s also an increasing shift to hybrid models. While public clouds are easily available and affordable, there are concerns as to how secure they are when it comes to protecting sensitive data.  But in house systems can be complex and difficult to administer. This is leading many enterprises to adopt a hybrid model, allowing them to have the best of both worlds, addressing their data protection needs while at the same time keeping to a manageable budget.
Security is always a concern when placing data in the cloud and this is something that needs to be properly addressed. Encryption is increasingly the tool of choice but needs to be balanced against the danger of introducing additional latency in accessing data.
Of course, the technology of the cloud itself isn’t standing still. In recent years there’s been a good deal of buzz surrounding the development of quantum computing.  Quantum systems use subatomic particles to store data and offer the potential for huge amounts of very fast computing power that is able to fully exploit the capabilities of big data and artificial intelligence.
Google, Intel, Microsoft and IBM are all trying to develop practical quantum computers and there are some limited quantum services already available. Owing to the cost and complexity of these machines, however, they will only be accessible via the cloud. Enterprises will be able to rent time – rather like in the early days of mainframes – to perform their tasks. We could be moving towards a world where all major computing functions are carried out in the cloud.
We’re already seeing the rise of serverless computing.  This eliminates on-site infrastructure, servers and operating systems. Instead, the computing functions of the network are carried out by a third-party provider from the cloud.
The other technology that’s shifting the landscape towards cloud use is containerisation using systems such as Kubernetes. This allows applications to be grouped, scaled, deployed and managed far more easily than if they were being served in house. Advantages include seamless growth potential, the ability to separate development and production, and easy portability should you switch to a different cloud provider.
Cloud adoption is showing no signs of slowing down. Analysts IDC  predict that by 2020 almost 60 per cent of spending on services, software, technology and infrastructure will be spent on public cloud services.
There’s no doubt that cloud computing has had a huge impact already. As we move forward, we’re likely to see increasing numbers of businesses taking an all-cloud approach. And with major developments such as quantum systems on the horizon, we could be moving towards the end of traditional client server models.
If you have adopted cloud technologies already or are thinking about it, give Cloudworks a call and we will find the best strategy and solution to fit your business. We are experts in migrating businesses to the cloud and adopting new cloud technologies.
Speak to us on 0115 824 8244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org