(Last updated: 07/08/2020)
Cloud software is something of a lifeline for many contemporary businesses, as far as secure and systematic information access and distribution are concerned. Advancements in cloud software help businesses become more efficient by automating processes, connecting business branches, and more. What does the future hold for cloud software for businesses? 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 businesses 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. Let’s take a look at some of the main cloud delivery models:
- 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.
Cloud Software Usage in Business
As cloud software becomes increasingly useful, it’s not surprise that more and more businesses are adopting it. Flexera, an IT management firm, recently surveyed 750 businesses for their 2020 “State of the Cloud” report. The survey found that 98 percent of respondents are using cloud software. The survey also found that small businesses (defined in the report as those with less than 1,000 employees) are adopting public cloud software faster than enterprises (those with more than 1,000 employees), with 70% of SMB respondents indicating their workloads and data will be stored in a public cloud in the next 12 months, compared to 45-48 percent of enterprises. Furthermore, half of SMB’s expect their cloud usage to increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the increase in remote work, cloud applications, such as Acumatica cloud ERP, have been lifesavers for many SMB’s.
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 future will also 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. To see how Acumatica can help increase both your gross margins and sales volume by 15%, check out this economic impact report by Forrester.
If you’d like help in assessing your cloud ERP needs, contact us today.