To say the Cloud has gone stratospheric isn’t reaching. It handles everything from file sharing and syncing to video calls and email exchanges, and has let workers pivot to home-working at lightning pace. With trust in Cloud services at an all-time high, the global cloud computing market is expected to grow to $947.3 billion by 2026, says Business Wire.
Adoption of this incredible tool has boosted the standing of IT and reportedly resulted in “52% of CIOs engaging with their CEOs more than any other C-suite leader,” says Tech Republic.
Without delay, let’s push beyond the successes of remote working and focus on what’s coming next. Read our predictions for 2022’s Cloud trends below.
Just what IS ‘cloud services?’
A question you may have asked yourself before. Managed Cloud services, cloud data services, cloud application services… it’s enough to make your head spin, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Cloud services present us with new personal, social and commercial opportunities, and every day there’s another new Cloud development to absorb.
Cloud services are the software programmes, applications, platforms and IT infrastructure you run remotely, using third party online services. Everyday examples of cloud services include Dropbox, Google Maps and Apple TV. Data is exchanged remotely from Cloud services such as these, to everywhere and from any device. Users of cloud computing services can avoid the hassle of managing and licencing their IT software and infrastructure and pay on demand or on a subscription basis – you can learn more about our services in the field, here: Cloud Services with Boldfield.
What’s the difference between Microsoft, Google and Amazon cloud services?
Just like fashion brands and movie icons, the big three cloud service providers are globally recognisable and have their individual swaggers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) most likely leads the pack for on-demand cloud services. Popular for data storage, databases, AI and more, AWS rarely disappoints on the breadth and variety of its cloud services. Google Cloud Platform is a suite of services on a public cloud computing platform. Innovative and keenly supportive of open source development, Google cloud services can be especially appealing to start-ups. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform is called Microsoft Azure. The home of Teams, Microsoft Azure has a loyal corporate following and is often considered a safe pair of hands on all matters Cloud computing.
Unsurprisingly, the Cloud services provider Microsoft has announced huge successes in ‘Cloud sales to businesses,’ quoting a rise of 36% to $20.7 billion, topping $20 billion* for the first time, say Fortune.
What you need to know about cloud hosting
The ideal scenario for any business is having fast systems, applications and websites that never experience downtime. And this is the first example of how Cloud hosting can help your business. The Cloud uses remote data servers to keep you online and operating at full capacity, regardless of fire, flood and disaster at your physical office building.
Cloud hosting happens on remote data servers dotted around the world. Some server farms are near, some far, yet all are highly encrypted and secured. There are a million and one benefits to Cloud hosting, and one of its greatest attractions is scalability. With managed Cloud services, your web hosting resources can be scaled up to support a growing customer list, or to handle high volumes of traffic on your website, for example, during busy Black Friday sales events.
Whether your business has simple or complex software, infrastructure and data requirements, the transition to a Cloud services provider is relatively quick. In most cases, you’ll have every data backup, system and platform up and running in a month or two (at most). Once initiated, Cloud hosting is flexible enough to accommodate the most ambitious transformation projects and growth plans, which brings about faster speeds, greater data security and digital scalability.
Wave goodbye to your traditional understanding of IT infrastructure: that of hardware, software and networking. How to approach this new way of doing IT? Well, we think Cloud infrastructure is best approached in terms of private cloud, public cloud and the hybrid cloud. A whistle stop tour of these options looks something like this:
- Private cloud: when the Cloud is exclusively used by one organisation and may well be called the internal cloud of corporate cloud
- Public cloud: many customers share the same Cloud services provider, but keep their data, apps and identity hidden from others
- Hybrid cloud: a mixture of private cloud services, public cloud services AND on-site IT infrastructure
The trends to watch out for in 2022
Investment in the Cloud is booming, interest in managed Cloud services is gaining momentum and every commercial sector is being inundated with innovative Cloud tools. To help you prioritise your IT plans for the new year and beyond, here’s our rundown of which Cloud computing trends we think will be sticking around for the long-haul.
Edge computing, faster data in a 5G world
This trend is all set to make Cloud use, particularly data management, faster than ever. Edge computing will also help take the strain off existing Cloud infrastructure, which has been known to buckle under the strain of surges in traffic. Edge computing really comes into its own in relation to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, such as self-driving cars which make split-second adjustments based on the road data they receive. With a deluge of 5G devices sending and receiving data, gateways or nodes at the ‘edge’ of the Cloud network provide the high-speed network needed to mitigate against the risk of data latency.
Hybrid Cloud services will be the norm
Take a pinch of Private Cloud data storage, a flurry of Public Cloud applications, and a backbone of existing in-house IT infrastructure. This mix and match approach should help businesses to balance their IT resources in the years ahead, without being forced into a wholesale leap to a single cloud provider. Cloud-first strategies will also be floated, but these are considered most appropriate for start-ups.
A Greener Cloud
The global data centres and server farms that run the Cloud are vast, energy hungry enterprises, and they cover up to 50 times more space than the average American commercial office building. Expect to see a much greater commitment, across the Cloud sector, to carbon offsetting and also a greater reliance on renewable energy sources.
Artificial Intelligence comes easy, via the Cloud
AI and machine learning are transforming every commercial sector, ranging from drug discovery to HR. The good news, if your organisation lacks the confidence (or resources) to develop its own AI tools? You will be able to access AI via a cloud services provider. By using Cloud service AI tools for repetitive tasks you’ll free up your employees’ time and streamline new projects, without risking major expenditure. Examples of AI services include chat-bots with conversational AI, AI-enabled virtual health assistants and AI-powered travel assistants. Google Cloud AI, Amazon AI services and Microsoft Azure AI, among many others, offer transformative AI business tools.
In 2020, the Cloud came to the rescue of business leaders by offering their IT teams the means to continue trading, from almost anywhere and on any device. Its remote access capabilities, virtual platforms and backup solutions have helped us to survive the worst.
Today, it’s clear that the Cloud owns the future of IT. 2022 will see more businesses leaning further into the Cloud and learning to thrive in a 5G data-driven world, powered by AI.
Contact the experts at Boldfield for advice on the Cloud, and to take your business further with our managed Cloud services.