By Allie Philpin
A report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released this week claims that “the cloud revolution could be as big as that created by the impact of data processing on business”, and goes on to claim that the technology is changing business practices. The Impact of Cloud report says that cloud computing is “making huge waves” as companies and consumers move to cloud platforms for business and personal use in handling their content – iCloud, Google, Dropbox, Drive and Box, to name but a few.
And with Amazon gaining a scalp from giant IBM when they won the CIA contract – an agency that was already a convert to the cloud – you could be forgiven for thinking that cloud computing is set to take over our business world. But slow down… anyone remember the outsourcing boom a number of years ago?
Outsourcing was set to become the business practice of the future… 10 years ago! Customer service centres, technology helplines and other business services were outsourced to companies in the Philippines, India and other overseas countries, but reality hit and knocked back the enthusiasm. Poor service led to a catalogue of complaints and outsourcing didn’t take over the market, although it still remains a large market segment.
AWS is the fastest growing sector of Amazon and it is expected to become the biggest; an d although Google, Microsoft, IBM and Microsoft are smaller players, they are still a big part of the cloud computing phenomenon. Spending on cloud technology worldwide is set to increase to $210 billion in 2016, that’s a 172% rise on 2010!
But issues with cloud computing are starting to become apparent. A survey of the Open Data Center Alliance (a consortium of global IT companies including Disney, Infosys, SAP and Deutsche Telekom) found that two-thirds of their members were concerned about data security and it was this aspect that was slowing down their migration to the cloud. Whilst this figure is less than in 2013, it is still a significant number. And then there’s the regulatory factor; with companies having to adhere to so many new regulations, 56% of the Alliance’s members claim that this limits use of the cloud, and a further 39% say they are hesitant about being tied to just one cloud provider; both of these figures are an increase on last year.
There are other aspects to seriously consider before you go ahead and migrate to a cloud solution – availability, reliability, private, public or hybrid, SLAs, pricing, and more; all of these aspects and the above will hopefully be the conscience on the shoulder that will stop organisations jumping in with both feet, allowing cloud computing to develop and overcome the issues before it gets too big to do so.