It seems like the term “the cloud” is on everyone’s tongues these days. But what is the cloud, exactly? And how are people using it? Although it can often get a bad rap by those who claim it’s not secure enough, the cloud actually is playing a variety of helpful and beneficial roles in our society. The average person may use it to store emails, photos, text messages, and more. But businesses are using it for far more than that — among other things, IT services, security, and massive data sharing. The cloud streamlines the way business is done, allows for more physical space (no more file boxes!) in offices, and can grant easy access for authorized personnel to have when they need it. It’s also a new way to categorize and file information so it can be found easily and reliably. Indeed, by 2018, experts predict that the market for cloud equipment will be at almost $80 billion worldwide. So why should you be using the cloud and cloud communications for your business?
What Is the Cloud?
The cloud is essentially a giant network of servers that all play a different role. Some have computing power that lets them offer a service or run certain programs instead of having them offered physically. Many servers store data that businesses or other users upload there. Most content we post via social media is saved on that site’s “cloud,” for example. Cloud service brokerage helps businesses navigate cloud space.
It helps businesses save a significant amount of money — instead of saving information on physical hardware or updating that hardware every time a new version of the product came out, they can simply make their changes to the cloud. Nothing will go “out of date,” so to speak. Manufacturing and purchasing costs go way down when you use the cloud.
Cloud communications can also help businesses communicate better — data services like email and telephone can be hosted with cloud communications, which can be a cost saver and provide a more reliable or secure exchange of information than if everything was conducted using physical servers. Cloud communications also lets businesses expand past their area, since they don’t have to rely on local carriers.
What Do Businesses Use the Cloud For These Days?
The primary function of the cloud is being used for data sharing or storage. Almost 60% of businesses say they use the cloud to easily share data across applications. Additionally, 60% of large businesses use the cloud to store data because it assists with integration between development and operations. Additionally, according to research, around 35% of all IT services are done using the cloud, either completely or partially. The government plans to cut down on its data center infrastructure spending by around 30% by going to the cloud.
Using the cloud is paving a way for other types of related businesses, such as cloud consultants and cloud brokerage services. Better security has also increased cloud-based security services — the growing demand has helped shape that market, which is supposed to reach almost $9 billion in 2019. Additionally, almost half of companies are working to shape IT security talent into more of a force and are bumping up training investments for using the cloud.
How Many People Are Using It?
The numbers are growing. Around 60% of businesses say they use the public cloud in some form or another, almost 60% use the private cloud, and almost 20% use hybrid cloud services. And over half of organizations have taken steps to update what cloud services they currently have or are planning on updating them in the next year. Additionally, half of enterprise respondents have plans to adopt hybrid cloud systems and their services soon.
Even the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts a bright future for the cloud — they say that public spending will skyrocket from $40 billion in 2012 to $100 as early as 2016!
The cloud is an ever important aspect of the world we do business in. It’s important to understand how it works and how to use it to keep advancing in today’s world.