Embracing Cloud: How Cloud Services Impact All Verticals and Industries

Let’s talk cloud for a minute. First of all – the cloud is everywhere. And, beyond the general term – we’re seeing so much evolution around cloud services as well. Recently, Gartner pointed out that the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 16.5 percent in 2016 to total $204 billion, up from $175 billion in 2015. The highest growth will come from cloud system infrastructure services (infrastructure as a service [IaaS]), which is projected to grow 38.4 percent in 2016. Cloud advertising, the largest segment of the global cloud services market, is expected to grow 13.6 percent in 2016 to reach $90.3 billion.

“The market for public cloud services is continuing to demonstrate high rates of growth across all markets and Gartner expects this to continue through 2017,” said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner. “This strong growth continues reflect a shift away from legacy IT services to cloud-based services, due to increased trend of organizations pursuing a digital business strategy.”

However, it’s one thing to sit on the sidelines and watch this cloud revolution unfold. It’s a whole different story when you jump on the train ride. This is why it’s so critical for companies to actually embrace cloud technologies and services.

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At a recent conference in Toronto, Tiffani Bova, former Vice President & Sales Strategies analyst at Gartner said the cloud market is transforming and it is up to companies to use this to advantage. She went on to point out that by 2017, 75 percent of IT organizations will have a bimodal capability — and half will make a mess trying to maintain this balance. As companies adopt cloud computing, they will face an issue — how to maintain operations and “keep the lights on while trying to innovate.”

Here’s the big point Bova made: Digital business incompetence will cause a quarter of organizations to lose their market position by 2017. The former Gartner analyst believes every company in the world is in “some way” an IT company – but while firms work on expanding cloud products and services, they need to remember the focus is on business. However, Bova thinks many within the enterprise are destined to make a mess of this, and will lose their market positions in the next few years as a result.

With all of this in mind, it’s critical to see that the emergence of the cloud has helped many organizations expand beyond their current physical data center. New types of cloud-based technologies allow IT environments to truly consolidate and grow their infrastructure quickly, and, more importantly affordably.

Before the cloud, many companies looking to expand upon their current environment would have to buy new space, new hardware and deploy workloads based on a set infrastructure. Now that WAN connectivity has greatly improved, cloud-based offerings are much more attractive.

Consider these cloud computing points:

  • Creating next-generation data distribution and scale. Massive data centers can be distributed both locally and around cloud-based environments which administrators can access and manage at any time. These environments are scalable, agile and can meet the needs of a small or very large enterprise.
  • Cloud comes in many flavors – pick what your business needs and consume. Cloud technologies come in three major offerings: Private, Pubic and Hybrid. The beauty of the cloud is that an organization can deploy any one of these solutions depending directly on their business goals.
    • Private clouds are great solutions for organizations looking to keep their hardware locally managed. A good example here would be application virtualization technologies such as Citrix XenApp. Users have access to these applications both internally and externally from any device, anytime and anywhere. Still, these workloads are privately managed by the organization and delivered over the WAN down to the end-user.
    • Public clouds are perfect for organizations looking to expand their testing or development environment. Many companies simply don’t want to pay for equipment that will only be used temporarily. This is where the “pay-as-you-go” model really works out well. IT administrators are able to provision cloud-ready resources as they need them to deploy test servers or even create a DR site directly in the cloud.
    • In a hybrid cloud, a company can still leverage third party cloud providers in either a full or partial manner. This increases the flexibility of computing. The hybrid cloud environment is also capable of providing on-demand, externally-provisioned scalability. Augmenting a traditional private cloud with the resources of a public cloud can be used to manage any unexpected surges in workload.

Remember, even though “cloud” isn’t anything new – the many cloud services being deployed today might be. Cold storage, big data, BI and data analytics are all different kinds of services which can now be cloud-born.

READ MORE: Why Moving to Cloud Makes Sense for Mid-Market and SMB Organizations

With that in mind, there are a couple of key considerations to take in while working with your own cloud environment:

  1. It will always be very important to monitor resources both at the local and cloud-based data center. Remember, resources are finite so managing how much storage is allocated to a VM, or how much RAM is given to a host will always be important.
  2. Also, make sure to monitor WAN links between sites. Simple connectivity issues can have very bad results on workload delivery. Plan for usage spikes and always try to have a DR component built into a heavily used production environment.
  3. Cloud is a powerful tool capable of creating great ROI. This will be the case as long as your IT strategy always aligns with your business. Remember, the most successful cloud deployments are those that break down any business barrier and silos and integrate the entire organization.

Embracing the cloud

As you take in this article ask yourself a key question: “How am I using cloud today and is it effective for me?” If you haven’t looked at some kind of cloud service this far into the game – I highly suggest that you do. Whether it’s cold storage or some kind of cloud backup service – there are amazing ways you can further enable your business.

Remember, cloud allows you to innovate at the pace of software and enables the business to stay ever-agile. “We have only touched the surface of what the ecosystem will deliver in the future,” Gartner analyst Tiffani Bova says. “It is up to business leaders to understand the impact market forces will have on sales strategies in the future ecosystem.”

Don’t fall behind the curve. The best piece of advice a cloud champion can give you is to at least test or try out a cloud service. There are great ways to demo these environments which can have little-to-no impact on your production environment. From there, you can seamlessly integrate core data center components with a variety of cloud services. As the digital revolution continues to unfold – cloud can be your vehicle to navigate the cloud landscape.

Source: TheWHIR