The cloud computing industry has evolved exponentially over the past decade and has been the focal point of many organisations seeking sustainable growth for their business's data solutions.
In 2019 alone, Gartner indicated that the “cloud computing market was to experience a growth rate nearly three times greater than the expansion experienced across all IT services”. The industry achieved a total revenue of $214 Billion in 2019. As if that isn’t enough the most recent projections from Forrester indicate that in 2020 “we’ll see the public cloud market (including cloud applications (SaaS), development and data platforms (PaaS), and infrastructure (IaaS) services combined) grow to $299.4 billion”.
So the cloud computing market seems to be booming but you might be asking yourself, why do these stats even matter? What benefit does this bring to your business? And how can your business develop an environment that can benefit from similar growth in your industry?
For a start? Data.
More and more businesses are moving their data warehousing solutions into the cloud to keep up with the Big Data train. Big data is hardly a new word in the tech industry but it is just as relevant as it was 10 years ago. It is generally associated with unorganised and unreliable mountains of structured and unstructured data. Data is continuously being generated at a faster pace year-on-year. Handling this data and unlocking its potential for business action is best achieved through investing in the cloud.
Before a business can begin benefiting from their big data in a sustainable manner, these four elements need to be taken into consideration
The sheer volume of data coming in needs to be prepared for. CI/CD pipelines, connectors and real-time logging will ensure a stable, monitored stream of data into cloud storage.
Not all data is the same. A business could be gathering and storing transactions from their point of sale system, GPS coordinates from their vehicle trackers and scanned images of company contracts but until all this data is organised, tabletised and indexed it provides little competitive advantage. Businesses need to be ready to transform and manage the various ways and formats they receive data .
Veracity is key to making informed decisions with data. Businesses need to focus their attention on the data that matters and ensure that what’s being gathered is meaningful to the problem being analysed.
The velocity of data is always changing, and the degree to which it changes can often be difficult to predict. Databases need to be configured to scale automatically to meet storage demands and day-to-day business requirements.
Studies conducted by Gartner on cloud adoption indicated that, on average, enterprises use 1,427 distinct cloud services, with the average employee actively using 36 cloud services at work. This usage has driven the need for monitoring and controls over these cloud services to assess how they are impacting business productivity, costs, security, collaboration and sustainability for future growth.
How are Businesses Benefiting?
At a rudimentary level businesses are able to see almost immediate impacts through using cloud computing by firstly eliminating the hard costs associated with acquiring the hardware needed for an on-premise data warehouse. In addition to this, costing on the cloud is based on consumption, meaning that businesses only pay for what they use. Cloud hosting can also protect your business against hacking, infection and internal data theft from day one.
Cloud computing allows for greater flexibility in how employees are able to work. Being internet-based, staff will have access to necessary company resources in/out of the office. Employees are provided with the benefit of being able to work remotely, whilst employers are granted greater visibility into staff productivity.
Using the cloud, management is able to empower their business decisions through the use of predictive models of analysis. Depending on the industry these models of analysis can be used to take action on customers moving away from the brand, build detailed risk profiles for credit applicants, monitor operational risks and track assets that are at higher risk of being damaged or stolen. These predictive models are developed not only for monitoring purposes but are also put in place to inspire collaboration amongst teams across the organisation. By providing accelerated business results, collaboration across time zones, and providing room for growth with more effective business processes using collaboration as a driving factor. Cloud computing has made collaboration easier than ever. Given the increased mobility and flexibility, teams are able to view and share resources easily and securely across cloud-based platforms. Some cloud-based services even go as far as to provide social spaces that connect employees across the organisation by providing seamless chat and video meeting solutions - further enabling increased engagement and collaboration across all verticals of the business.
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." The time for adoption has come and in order to remain competitive in a data-driven ecosystem, businesses need to gear up for an age of understanding. Chances are, businesses that were not early adopters of working in the cloud in the past 2 decades are now lagging behind, trying to keep up with an ever-increasing learning curve. A study in 2013 showed that 77% of businesses felt that cloud technology gave them a competitive edge, and 16% believe this advantage is significant.
Data is a commodity on which many of the top companies around the world depend for their continued existence. Leading hyperscalers like Google Cloud, AWS and Microsoft Azure are continually providing new tools to help companies extract more value from their data. One such technology we are particularly keen on is Google Cloud’s Anthos - a hybrid and multi-cloud solution that’s helping businesses modernise their existing applications and bridge the gap between their on-prem and cloud activities.