Nobody saw the cloud coming. But now it’s here, and it’s proving to be a game-changer for business. Back in 2006, we thought the major digital disruptions for businesses were over. Companies knew that they had to change and to go online. And for many that hadn’t by that stage, it was too late.
But then, around the turn of the present decade, internet connections started getting really good. All of a sudden it was possible to connect users to apps over the web itself. The result of this has been yet another disruptive digital technology: the cloud. Small businesses with no capital have access to software services that only large companies could afford a decade ago. Heck, half the software that’s available over the cloud didn’t even exist in 2006. Plus, things like wikis and blogs weren’t mainstream like they are today. So we’ve seen a wave of new applications to support these niches.
Innovation, however, does not stand still. The cloud is an evolving technology. And as such, businesses should be prepared for it to change yet again in the future. So what do the experts think will happen over the next two to five years?
The Data Race Will Heat Up
Businesses that provide cloud services need data to survive. Without company data, they can’t provide mission critical platforms to their business customers. And if they can’t do that, then their services aren’t going to be locked in. Already we see big cloud players moving quickly to gather up as much information as they can. Amazon and Salesforce are both in a race to get companies to migrate over to their ecosystems. Companies are rapidly moving their data from their own storage and into the cloud. So the opportunities here for business are remarkable. We’ve already seen companies like Google and Microsoft see the opportunities early. But neither of these companies offers a solution beyond basic productivity and storage.
Other cloud players are starting to realize the real potential of the cloud. They see how it benefits business because it doesn’t require capital investment. And they see how it is easily scalable to business needs. Forward-thinking companies are already thinking about how the cloud could be used to gather data from new sources. The cloud is an ideal platform for businesses to collect IoT data and data from social media.
Large Companies Go All In For The Cloud
If you’ve spent the last five years working for a corporate giant, you might have missed the emergence of the cloud on the ground. Traditionally, it’s been seen as something that only small businesses do. After all, it’s the cheaper, nastier option, right?
Whether the cloud was ever the “nastier” option is in doubt. But it was certainly cheaper than regular software solutions. And as a result, startups loved it. But now, big companies are going to have to bite the bullet and move over to the cloud. Today the cloud is so much cheaper and a lot lower risk than regular, bespoke solutions. As a result, any large company that does not adopt it is making a foolish mistake. In five years from now, the cloud will be such an enticing proposition that few CIOs will be able to resist.
Cloud-Based Custom Software
For some time now, businesses have been able to get custom apps for their websites and mobile. These apps were the perfect tools for helping clients get a better experience from web platforms.
But with the rise of the cloud, businesses have started demanding the same level of customization from their cloud platforms. Many small businesses, for example, aren’t content with using generic solutions. MailChimp and ClickMeeting Videoconferencing just don’t make the cut. They want something that actually slots in seamlessly with their business model.
Now many are looking for a custom software development company who can do just that. Custom cloud software promises even greater benefits than the cloud itself. Enterprises can now develop cloud-based tools that boost productivity and make the working day easier.
Over the next five years, the custom cloud ecosystem will diversify considerably. Companies will be able to order custom cloud-based software from project management to billing.
The Rise Of Cloud Analytics
Companies want to know whether they’re getting a good deal from a new technology. The same applies to the cloud. Right now, a lot of enterprises are making the move. But how do they justify it to themselves? Step up data analytics.
Analytics will give companies information on whether their cloud strategy makes financial sense. Cloud analytics will include data on things like billing data and whether it’s actually being used. With this information, companies will be better able to prevent budget overruns. They’ll also be able to avoid expensive services. What’s more, all this analysis can be carried out on mobile platforms. Thus, employees can check whether the cloud is good for the company during meetings or on taxi rides.
Data Breaches In The Cloud Go Mainstream
When it comes to security, the cloud is a bit of an enigma. According to the statistics, data breaches on the cloud are far rarer than for data centers. But companies have a perception that the cloud is not secure. It’s not so much that cloud services are problematic from a security perspective. It’s to do with the nature of the platform itself. Employees can access the cloud wherever they are, not just in the office. And so every portable device is potentially a security risk.
Right now, many companies don’t think it’s worth taking that risk. But as costs come down, many more will. Hackers will then change what they target. They’ll stop trying to break into data centers and start attacking cloud-based apps and programs.
These increased attacks will lead to a similar situation we see in data centers today. Today, data centers suffer regular outages and data loss, all thanks to hacking. Cloud solutions may start to experience the same thing, as criminals get savvy on how to exploit cloud systems. Ultimately, security challenges won’t disappear for businesses. And they may return with a vengeance.