August 30, 2018
Several years after companies started adopting cloud technologies, it continues to be a game changer in many respects. When applied on a corporate level, cloud technology increases business agility, boosts flexibility (meaning people’s willingness and capability of adapting to an ever-changing stream of tasks and criteria) and improves overall performance.
And with the rapid development of processing and storage technologies and the advent of the Internet, cloud, and computing resources have become cheaper, as well as easier to implement on a wider scale. In this article, we will be taking a look at cloud technology, its advantages, and future challenges, from a company’s point and view, as well as what needs to be considered for a better implementation.
How Cloud Computing’s Been Beneficial so Far
As we have stated during the introduction, the invention, development, and spread of cloud computing has affected not only how companies do business and run their organizations internally (logistics, human resources, and so on and so forth), but also the nature of some companies in and of itself. Some companies pride themselves in being one of the companies that run solely on cloud computing. We are talking about giants such as Xerox (which somehow avoided suffering the fate of Polaroid), Instagram, Pinterest, Apple, and Netflix, some of which have pioneered the way we consume and distribute media on daily basis.
But there is more to cloud computing than what one could see on the surface level. Let us take a look at some specific advantages that cloud computing brings:
Lowers the Costs of Entry for Startups
If you have been watching the news recently, you probably already know that we live in the startup era. You can’t turn on the TV (or your smartphone, let us be serious here) without seeing a news story about some startup that managed to break out of obscurity. Cloud computing played a huge role in this, because by its flexible and intuitive nature, it significantly lowers the costs of entry for small firms trying to break into the market.
Cloud computing offers small companies the opportunity to benefit from compute-intensive business analytics that were previously accessible only to huge corporations with tons of funds at their disposal. But Western companies are not the only ones who can exploit cloud computing to their advantage – it represents a big opportunity for many companies from the third-world, who have so far been left behind, to recover and make their mark in the IT world.
It can Lower the Barriers to Innovation
In the past, innovation and experimentation was a huge financial risk, because companies had to basically gamble their fiscal stability and even future on a new idea. Small companies fell prey to the classic catch-22 – by trying to innovate, they risked falling due to a lack of funds; if they came forward with a widely available service, they risked falling too because there were already other bigger companies who offered the same thing. Cloud computing can significantly lower the barriers to innovation because it offers small companies a stable platform on top of which they can build their product.
Cloud Computing Opens the Floodgates To Innovative Inventions
Cloud computing, due to its intuitive and universal nature, allows the invention of new categories of applications and services that were not possible in the past. This includes mobile apps that are context and location-aware and respond and adapt to an ever-changing stream of information in real time. A couple of relevant examples in this sense are humidity stress sensors for shipping containers and special mobile apps that determines a person’s natural sleep cycle by taking into account factors such as movements and breathing patterns.
Present and Future Challenges for Cloud Computing
Despite its many advantages – versatility and universality, to name just a couple- cloud technology has many challenges in term of adoption and implementation. Admittedly, these challenges are logistical in nature and can be solved with careful organization. Here are the main challenges of cloud technology adoption:
The Technology Itself
Cloud technology comes with many changes and new organizational realities. Companies need to find an effective way to integrate the cloud environment in the daily workflow and help employees (more on that later) adapt to the changes. Furthermore, the company must provide employees with all the tools necessary to operate within the new order safely and effectively.
As more and more companies are moving towards cloud technology from an organizational level, some personnel might lack the experience to operate in these new parameters. Companies will have to train and instruct their employees to operate and perform with cloud technology. A good way of doing this is by establishing a deeper connection between the employees and the cloud technology infrastructure, which involves instilling the idea that their way of working is intertwined with the technology itself.
Adapting the Processes
As adaptive and versatile as cloud technology might be, it is truly a far cry from the old organizational practices that many companies still employ. Companies need to adapt its processes (be it logistical or otherwise) and build them around cloud technology. This involves focusing on integrating services that come from multiple service providers, meaning adapting to the reality that they will need to transfer workloads from one cloud service provider to another in order to either take advantage or avoid the financial consequences of price evolutions.
Cloud technology is one of the most important and inventions, having had as big of an impact on how companies operate logistically as the invention and implementation of computers had. However, cloud technology does come with several challenges, which are mainly related to personnel, the process of implementation and the technology itself. Fortunately, these are easily solvable issues, and we will surely see more and more companies adapting to this new technological landscape.
Cristopher Burge is a Cloud enthusiast and the SaaS products are always a subject of interest for him. The fact that he has a degree in Information Technology makes him entitled to have an opinion on that matter. Also, Cristopher is a Contributing Editor for Cloud Storage Advice, a site where you can find valuable information on everything related to cloud storage, including reviews on the most popular services or top lists.