When the cloud first emerged in the 2000s, the world wasn’t really ready for it. The attractions of cloud storage, for example, were obvious, but a lack of fast, reliable internet connections limited its usefulness. The 2010s saw the cloud coming of age as networking technology caught up to the point where not only could cloud storage be fully exploited, but it became possible to run an entire business using as-a-service software.
As we move into the 2020s, businesses will still be looking for the efficiencies and cost savings that the cloud can deliver, but what developments are we going to see that will drive the technology forward into the coming decade?
There’s plenty of choice on offer when it comes to selecting a cloud vendor. Yet many businesses still opt for a single provider for their needs. As the market matures, it’s likely that more and more people will shift towards an ‘omni-cloud’ approach, using more than one cloud provider to avoid getting locked into a single solution.
This opens up options for delivering on both internal and customer expectations as well as being able to bridge any gaps in cloud capability that might be holding them back. It will also in the longer-term open up the way to exploiting the greater power of quantum computing that will be the key to unlocking the value in ever-larger volumes of data.
Artificial intelligence is impacting on more and more areas of our lives and the cloud is no exception. We’re are likely to see AI applied to Software-as-a-Service applications to enable intelligent optimisation, allowing the software to work more effectively and expand its capabilities.
As more and more data is generated by Internet of Things devices and blockchain applications, being able to process that information effectively and derive usable insights from it is going to require greater use of AI and machine learning. Making this available from the cloud will serve to democratise the technology and make it available to businesses which wouldn’t otherwise be able to develop their own AI applications.
With legislation such as GDPR and CCPA increasing public awareness or the need to look after data, businesses face not just financial penalties but also a widespread loss of trust if they fail to look after information properly.
This puts increased pressure on cloud providers to ascertain that their systems are compliant with appropriate legislation and to ensure that they are aware of possible weaknesses. But this is not something that can be left entirely to the cloud provider; companies using the service will need to work closely with their suppliers to understand what data is being handled, how and where.
The technology used to secure cloud systems also needs to advance and here again, there’s a role for AI to play. Increasingly humans are the weakest link and AI can play its part in spotting social engineering attacks attempting to steal cloud credentials before they can cause a breach.
Of course as with any technology, the people needed to run and maintain it are vital. As the cloud matures we will see, in the next few years, a generation of ‘digital natives’ entering the workplace. There are people who have grown up with the online world and the cloud and we can expect to see them demanding the latest technology in the workplace. Businesses need to embrace this challenge and look to exploit the knowledge and enthusiasm of this new generation to drive forward and seize the opportunities of an increasingly cloud-based world.
If you need free advice on new technology or anything IT related then give Cloudworks a call. We are specialists in cloud technologies, cyber-security and support. 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.
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