Cloud in Enterprises and Start-Ups – The Weather Forecast is Cloudy

How enterprises and startups can benefit from easier adoption of cloud services

The pace of cloud adoption is accelerating as more enterprises and businesses move to cloud and startups begin using cloud. In this article, we look at various business and technology reasons that favor cloud adoption. Finally, we predict where cloud adoption will go in the future.

Cloud computing has become much more popular in the last decade. What was predominantly relevant to startups and visionary companies just a few years ago has now become more relevant to enterprise computing across all industries, markets, company sizes, etc.

Although the history of cloud computing dates back to the 1960s when the concept of time-sharing via remote job entry became popular, cloud computing did not really become popular until the 2000s when several large companies started offering cloud services as a product.

Cloud growing strongly

In 2018, the global cloud computing market was valued at $272 billion and is expected to grow to $623 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 18%.

Interestingly, there is a parallel from history that we can observe when analyzing the global adoption of the cloud. Electricity (a form of supply) in the 19th century was initially produced individually by each household using very large generators. Over the years, as power plants and electricity grids came into existence, individual households stopped producing their own electricity with generators in order to purchase their electricity on demand from the central grid. For the same reasons that electricity production was moved from large generators in homes to a centralized power grid in the 19th century, it makes sense for most businesses to move their IT infrastructure, software, data processing, archiving needs, etc. to the cloud.

Was ist Cloud Computing?

Google defines the adoption of cloud computing as replacing the investment in building and operating data centers by using IT resources as a flexible utility-like service (including archiving, computing, networking, data processing and analytics, application development, machine learning, and even fully managed services) provided by a cloud provider.

Cloud adoption is also having a major impact on innovation and business models across industries. The power of the cloud enables companies (of all sizes) to focus on their core competencies without having to worry about managing IT systems, but at the same time be very flexible with it and (in many cases) even be able to reduce costs, etc.

Five advantages your company will have when moving to the cloud:

  • Agility & Flexibility
    The cloud gives you the ability to scale seamlessly without worrying about buying physical servers, as well as add, adjust (and even remove) infrastructure as needed to meet current demand. As an early-stage startup, you can start small and when you notice a sudden increase in traffic to your website, the cloud allows you to scale to meet the changing demand.
  • Reduced IT costs
    In many cases, moving to the cloud results in reduced IT costs (since it usually doesn’t require in-house resources to manage IT systems). The cost of regularly updating your physical servers (if you were to maintain your own IT systems) is also eliminated, as regular hardware and software upgrades can be part of your contract with a cloud provider.
  • Ensuring business operations
    Managing your own IT systems carries the risk of losing access to them due to natural disasters, power outages or other issues. Thanks to the backup that takes place regularly as part of the cloud, you can restore your data, ensuring that your business continues to operate without interruption.
  • Productivity
    When you have your business data in the cloud, it can be made accessible to multiple users at the same time. This can increase the productivity of your business.
  • Performance
    Because cloud services allow you to choose to use data centers closer to your users’ location (instead of your own office), in most cases this results in faster response times and reduced wait times for your users. For example, if you are a Swiss company serving users in Switzerland and on the U.S. West Coast, you can choose to have your data centers located by the cloud provider in Zurich and San Francisco, providing a faster response time for users from both regions.

One topic that is often discussed with the cloud is security. Cloud providers invest heavily to ensure increased security of data stored in the cloud. In most cases, security is either as good as or better than traditional systems. In some cases, however, there are serious security risks that lead many companies to choose the private cloud over a public cloud.

Other concerns include sensitive business data that companies are unwilling to store in the cloud, preferring to keep it on their own servers. These concerns are leading to hybrid cloud and multi-cloud models becoming more popular among enterprises.

The overall migration to the cloud will continue to accelerate in the near future as more and more businesses take advantage of the many benefits that the cloud has to offer. From there, the weather forecast is indeed: Cloudy!

Based in Silicon Valley(California), Uttam heads Global Dev Ecosystem Programs at Google, leading the team working on programs that aims to make developers and startups successful as they build products and apps on Google's Developer Products. Prior to this he led Google's Launchpad program and Developer Relations for Google in SouthEast Asia. He has a Bachelors & Masters degree in Computer Science from IIT Kanpur (India) and a Master in Management (Strategy & Finance major). He also has a long association with Switzerland (over 10 years) first working as a Research Associate on projects involving Business Process Modeling & Cloud Computing, Mentoring & Coaching Swiss students & startups and most recently teaching at University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland.

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