Cloud Computing's BackstoryCloud computing, much like the Internet, has rapidly evolved to become the tool we know today. While the vision for the cloud dates back many decades, its first implementation was in the early 1990s. At the time, telecommunications firms would service their clients using point-to-point data circuits. Eventually, they realized that this method was inefficient. To remedy this, they expanded their offerings to make virtual private network services available to their clients. Through this new tool, they found that they were able to provide comparable service more efficiently and at a much lower cost. A little over a decade later, companies such as Amazon and Google realized that improving upon cloud technology provided great opportunities to maximize data storage, and even provide useful services to end users. It wasn’t long before a series of companies also started to see the value of using the technology and started to build and run infrastructure in the cloud. (Find out how the cloud is being used in 5 Ways Cloud Technology Will Change the IT Landscape.)
The cloud's advantages in the workplace extend far beyond the IT department. So far, medium- and small-sized businesses have found many valuable uses for cloud apps. The increased flexibility and efficiency that these apps provide has resonated with employees of these firms tremendously. According to research released by Gartner in June 2013, eight percent of office workers report using cloud email and desktop apps. They cite the cloud’s easy transferability across multiple devices as one of the key reasons for this. As the cloud continues to become more valuable to businesses, the percentage of office workers using the technology is expected to rise as high as 33 percent in just a few short years.
From Public to PrivateThe wide adoption of the cloud has fundamentally reshaped the way that businesses think about the sharing and storage of their data. Businesses are not just interested in using cloud services, they want to implement private cloud services because of the added flexibility they can bring to the CPU, RAM, disk and bandwidth they provide. In fact, a survey of 341 important IT professionals conducted by Palmer Research and QuinStreet Enterprise in 2013 revealed that 36 percent of respondents now use a private cloud and 29 percent of respondents plan to use a private cloud in the future. This is solid evidence that the cloud is en route to becoming a staple of business in the IT industry and beyond. (For more insight, read Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds: What's the Difference?)
The Future of Cloud ComputingIt should come as no surprise then that cloud computing, especially through mobile devices, is enjoying a very strong demand in the marketplace. Some experts already view it as one of the most significant recent developments in information technology.
"Cloud computing - in all its variations - is one of the two most important trends in the global IT industry," Chris Preimesberger, editor of features and analysis at eWeek.com, said in a June 2013 press release. (The other, of course, is big data.)
The new technology has already created numerous opportunities for growth in the tech industry. The question that remains is how far it can go. If the experts have it right, we are just scratching the surface of the cloud’s economic potential. A recent report released by the Mobile Cloud Survival Series produced by Heavy Reading and BSG Advisory, suggests that the cloud is expected to become a monumental industry. According to the report, cloud computing is set to explode into a $1 trillion industry and will play a pivotal role in the growth of the national economy.
Victor Schnee, the president of BSG Advisory, co-authored the report, and he believes that cloud computing will be the greatest contributor to growth over the next five years. For this reason, the market drivers in the information and communication technology sectors must strategize about how to successfully integrate the mass market cloud into their businesses. According to a study done by Cisco, cloud computing use is expected to increase five-fold between 2010 and 2015. The fact is, cloud computing use has grown at a rapid rate over the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down.