THE STATE OF CLOUD COMPUTING: WHERE TO NEXT?
Today, cloud computing can be considered an essential part of business technology that provides many different hosts and services to choose from. A staggering 94% of businesses are estimated to be using at least one cloud service, according to the latest State of the Cloud report.
As of Today, What Are The Benefits of The Cloud?
Employing technology with the cloud offers many benefits for virtually any size business, which influences the increase in use of this technology since it has been introduced as a business tool. According to the IDG 2020 study on Cloud Computing in companies, which bases its results on a survey of more than 500 IT professionals, 81% of companies have at least one application or part of their computing infrastructure in the Cloud. This data represents an increase of 73% compared to 2018.
Many cloud computing services are available on-demand and are comparatively inexpensive to alternative options of data management. If the scalability or data collection varies from month-to-month, the cost of service is normally correlated. Traditionally, there was the risk of buying an expensive computer network and realizing that it was not scaled for effective use. However, cloud providers may not require a long contractual obligation and it is highly customizable, so no cloud space goes to waste.
Cloud computing can offer services to both public and confidential business functions. A cloud-based email account is an example of a public cloud computing service. However, many companies use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access secure private clouds, such as those only accessible to people who work in a particular company or department.
Downsides of The Cloud: 4 Things You Should Not Overlook
There are many advantages of cloud such as accessibility from anywhere on any device, flexibility, etc. Nevertheless, there are potential drawbacks of the cloud that should not be ignored:
Security and Privacy Issues: Attacks on organizations around the world remind us that a good infrastructure is necessary to increase protection for sensitive information from both external and internal attacks. Although cloud service providers (CSPs) have their security procedures, there is always risk of unauthorized access to the heart of these informational assets. However, the major CSPs such as Azure, AWS, Google, and others spend large amounts of money to ensure that their services are secure. A breach of security would bring significant financial losses to a provider.
Interruptions: This is a symptom of when the cloud server is down, which can occur either when high-volume traffic causing the server to overload, or if there is any planned maintenance activity. This is referred to as server downtime. Since all the data is stored in the cloud, it can not be accessed during the downtime period, thereby causing delay in response.
A reliable internet connection must be available with enough resources and capabilities to deal with slowdown, frequent outages, or prolonged service downtime.
Conditions of Service: It is not yet easy to migrate cloud infrastructure from one vendor to another as cloud technology has not yet seen a simple solution for migration. This may be because of differences in technical framework and network criteria from the vendor which can influence how migration takes place, and what can be salvaged. This might lead to additional costs and complexities in the migration.
Transparency: Many organizations are unclear on who owns the data that is hosted in the cloud. The ownership of data is a critical issue which can have legal repercussions. Therefore, it is necessary to know if once the data is uploaded to a system, the cloud becomes the property of the cloud service provider. At the same time, the terms and conditions of the agreement regarding the management of these assets are not always known exactly.
To overcome the limitations of cloud computing and to build more efficient solutions; cloud computing is moulding itself into a newer approach, Edge computing. Distributed computing infrastructure, or edge cloud computing, can facilitate applications to come closer to data sources like the Internet of Things ( IoT) – connected objects and devices equipped with sensors, software and other technologies that allow them to transmit and receive data – to and from other things. More companies are testing this model and have found positive impacts from both a technical and optional standpoint.
What is Edge Computing?
Edge computing refers to a distributed computing model that allows business applications access to data and direct actions. This model can be supported using IoT devices or a local perimeter server.
Edge computing offers lower latency, more efficient communication, and a variety of other improved capabilities for new applications. The lower latency allows much faster communication speed which can connect systems within a few milliseconds. With this level of speed, it can push new applications to be able to operate in real time more often which is particularly useful with technology such as virtual reality or autonomous driving. As a business tool, this can elevate a company’s analysis capabilities and internal operation functions.
Another great perk is that cloud infrastructure can be stored locally, which heightens the security capabilities and the privacy of the data. Instead of depending on a large but minimal cloud space that is maintained in another location, businesses can host the data in close and secure locations under control, along with any hardware used in tandem.
These new capabilities will have a significant impact on devices. Edge computing will allow some of them to be unloaded with processing capacity since this will be able to take place on the network, closer to the user and in real-time. This will lead to a reduction in their cost (simpler devices) and their energy consumption (less process), with which the number of connected devices will increase and will also generate new growth opportunities in the connectivity business.
How Edge Computing is Used in Companies
Data Storage: All companies have continuous data that they want to use and, due to efficiency and risks of loss, proper storage space needs to be provided. Edge computing can host the data to make it as accessible as if it were in the local network and replicated, but at a higher speed.
Artificial Vision: The decreasing price of components and advances in artificial intelligence have increased the functional use of cameras and sensors. These cameras have the potential to create spectacular value in public security, automatic stores, and robotic warehouses. However, there are also increased risks for non-stakeholder privacy and cyberattacks. Edge computing enables a secure, efficient, and privacy-friendly deployment, where raw images never leave the local realm.
Industrial Internet: Production and deployment processes are rapidly being digitized. This requires being able to control information to the millisecond to ensure efficiency, quality, and safety of workers. This level of stability and scalability can only be done with Edge computing and 5G networks in business environments.
Video and Augmented Reality: Virtual and augmented reality are also becoming part of the production and operational processes of companies. Edge computing creates and environment where VR and AR technology can be functional at peak capacity. This can impact training capabilities, client facing technology, and physical security measures.
Even with recent advancement in technology such as Edge computing, the current cloud framework remains a necessary business tool for today’s environment. With the increasing digitization of the market and everyday life, it is important to have the right technology to respond as an enterprise. While there are a variety of obvious benefits to the cloud, it is imperative that users pay attention to the risks/liabilities of adopting this technology. It is also beneficial to follow the development of new cloud technology, with the biggest developing being Edge computing. This is an opportunity to obtain further competitive advantage and so that enterprises do not fall behind the data management technology wave. At this rate, Edge computing could be a common business tool used both in the private and public sectors for various business functions and operations.