a van driving into the sunset with clouds over the sun
PHOTO: FORREST CAVALE

The cloud serves many functions for many people: from sharing music and photos among our friends, to managing (virtual) tons of professional data. It’s hard to believe that just over a decade ago, storing data online wasn’t exactly easy. Today, 93 percent of organizations use the cloud in some form, and many are dependent on it for essential daily operations.

Setting the Stage for the Cloud

For years, “the cloud” was a vague term used to describe the empty space between user and provider. Today it means intense data management, storage, analytics, even infrastructure. Back in the early days of computers, in the 1950s and beyond, machines were bulky and often cost prohibitive to provide to each individual employee. Solutions came in the form of dumb terminals, sometimes still used today, to allow multiple people to access a central computer. 

Later, as computers became more accessible to businesses and their employees, the issues came in the form of limited operating system options, opening up the opportunity for the development of virtual machines that supported the function of more than one operating system at a time. This, in conjunction with telecommunications, paved the way for remote access to data.

Between 2015 and 2020, worldwide spending on the cloud is expected to grow six times faster than what's spent on IT. Today, we live in the golden age of cloud development with creative solutions being developed every day. Smart businesses reach for these solutions to find the right fit for their own operations, be it from public servers, private servers or a hybrid of the two. 

In 2016, it was revealed that tech and business experts prefer hybrid options, making up 47 percent of cloud penetration in business. This utilizes the reliability of cloud providers with the scalability of in-house infrastructure. Amazon Web Services and Windows Azure dominate the close service market share, followed closely by Google Cloud.

Related Article: 10 Ways Cloud Computing Will Evolve in 2018

Tailoring the Cloud for Your Needs

Though many businesses — and individuals — use the cloud on a daily basis, actively making the switch can seem daunting. Because there is no one-size-fits-all option and enduring security risks cast a dark shadow over cloud usage, the risks may seem to outweigh the benefits. Over 60 percent of enterprises employ policies to control risky cloud usage in an effort to reduce the security concerns. 

SaaS and software defined WAN can solve these issues with flexible, cloud-based technologies that connect networks to offices and data centers over large distances. SaaS also eliminates the need for costly and bulky servers of yesteryear, filling entire rooms and requiring a staff to maintain. Still, a network is only as secure as its users.

Making the journey to the cloud doesn’t have to be complicated and there are solutions for every kind of business. Security concerns and lack of understanding of this technology are holding many businesses back, but the benefits far outweigh the risks. Take a look at this infographic for more on the state of cloud usage in business, how it streamlines operations and opens new channels for productivity, and how you can tailor the cloud to fit your own company’s needs.

Related Article: What Is Cloud Computing and Why You Should Be Using It

Journey To The Cloud
Source: CBTS.com