Although the idea of the cloud isn’t a new one, it’s only with the advent of fast fibre optic networks opening up high-speed internet access to large areas of the world that its full potential is starting to be realised.
In its early days, the cloud was simply a place to store data, whether backups or archived files. With improved connectivity, however, it is now possible to run an application or your entire business IT infrastructure in the cloud.
But what is a cloud-based future going to look like? How is the technology going to impact our lives in the next decade and more?
As the world’s population expands, it’s estimated that by 2045, around six billion people will be living in ‘smart’ cities.  For these to function effectively – or indeed at all – they will need to be actively managed. That means public transport, traffic control systems, car parking, even lifts, all being responsive to demand. Only with the ability of the cloud to store and process large volumes of data does this become possible.
This impacts on a wide range of industries. In the utilities sector, for example, systems in the cloud will be able to spot problems on the grid as they develop and intelligently divert power to prevent and minimise failures. Cloud-based banking systems will be able to scan vast numbers of transactions and prevent fraud.
We are becoming increasingly reliant upon data and we’re generating huge volumes of it. By as early as next year, we will be generating 7MBs of data per second for every person on the planet. To put that into perspective, 50 years ago back in 1969, we went to the moon on just 72KBs of memory . That’s one giant leap for data.
Our demand for data is driven by applications such as high definition video which increases both storage and bandwidth requirements. The larger the volumes of information, the more sense it makes to store it in and access it from the cloud.
As our needs become more complex, we also demand more processing power. The requirements of machine learning and artificial intelligence mean that businesses will need more computing resource than is possible on a local desktop system or server. The logical thing to do, therefore, is to buy your processing from the cloud. This gives you access to resources that can be scaled to meet your needs and you only pay for what you require.
The future direction of this is towards quantum computing. Quantum computers use the state of subatomic particles to represent data, allowing them to process huge volumes of information very fast. But while they are very, fast they are also very expensive; too expensive for ordinary businesses or individuals to contemplate owing one – at least in the foreseeable future.
The logical place for these machines to be, therefore, is in the cloud where people can rent time on them as required. This is very similar to the way in which the early mainframes worked, but at a much greater scale and with the potential to be far more accessible.
Access to this greater processing power will boost the use of artificial intelligence and potentially lead to research breakthroughs in medical and other sciences. It promises the availability of much stronger encryption methods too, helping to make our systems safer and more secure.
We are approaching the point where most people accept the use of the cloud for their systems just as they accept flicking a switch to get electricity or turning on a tap to get water. But just because it’s becoming everyday doesn’t lessen its impact and the benefits it can deliver.
Are you looking to move to the cloud? Cloudworks are specialists in cloud technologies and security. In addition, we continuously monitor our clients IT cloud infrastructure to ensure they are secure and protected against the latest threats. Give us a call to find out more and we will find the best strategy and solution to fit your business.
Call us on 0115 824 8244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org