Cloud computing is something of a lifeline for many contemporary businesses, as far as secure and systematic information access and distribution are concerned. What does its future look like? To answer that question, it helps to look at where the cloud is currently helping businesses. From there, it’s possible to make educated guesses about the future of the cloud for business.
The Future of the Main Cloud Delivery Models
The terms “cloud” and “in the cloud” refer to the use of computer assets, remotely-hosted by a third party like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud. Cloud computing provides a way for business to manage their computing resources online. It gets them out of the business of running a data center on-premises.
From this basic concept, a number a distinct cloud delivery models have evolved. Each is having a transformative impact on business. And, each has a promising future.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) — software functionality is delivered from the cloud, with the end user accessing the application through a browser, e.g. Salesforce.com. The future of SaaS promises more diverse offerings and more sophisticated in-browser functionality.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) — the cloud service provider enables the customer to set up infrastructure, including compute, storage and network, on-demand. Here, the future will likely bring even greater depth of resources and more flexibility in deployment, e.g. more solid-state memory and High Availability (HA) options.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) — the cloud provider gives the customer the ability to set up a computing platform on demand, e.g. a Linux environment with Apache, a MySQL database and PhP (LAMP). With PaaS, cloud providers are probably going to continue to innovate, with more purpose-built offerings, like custom-configured Windows Servers and the like.
- Anything as a Service (XaaS) — aside from other three, cloud vendors are coming out with a slew of IT-related service offerings “as-a-service.” There are already a wide variety of as-a-service offerings, and the future will surely bring more to market. These include concepts like database-as-a-service (DBaaS), disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS), Iot Management-as-a service and so forth.
Looming Advances in Cloud Technology
Across the industry, businesses are seeing advances in cloud technology as time goes on. For instance, the cloud is already praised for its uptime reliability, data storage and virus protection. This will continue to improve as time goes on. Service providers offer massive data banks to provide redundancy, which ensures database integrity and maximum availability of data in a crisis. The workload volume speed, mitigation and failover in cloud-based environments will only get faster in the future.
Integration concerns are virtually non-existent with today’s cloud applications. Vendors using APIs and web services are considered to be the best methods for organizations to access other SaaS applications services provided by cloud computing vendors. Cloud APIs are extremely sophisticated. The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer a theory and will be one of the next major cloud innovations. The technology is rapidly evolving. The concept is quite complex when recognizing the logistics of managing the volumes of disparate data, transaction capacity, remote connections, for inter-operability. IoT involves internet-connected devices we use to perform the processes and services that support our way of life. The future will bring advances in Private Cloud Services, a secure cloud that only the specified organization can access. Vendors such as Acumatica Cloud ERP already offer PCS purchase options for sites requiring Private cloud security for corporate compliance. Similarly, these cloud ERP vendors can offer traditional SaaS and on premise installation options. It’s a good moment to assess your current cloud needs and explore how the cloud can benefit your business going into the future.