With all the progress made in cloud computing, it is often easy to forget that this technology is relatively new. Despite this, cloud technology has proven to be robust, scalable and, most importantly, cost-efficient. In fact, many believe that the world is only just beginning to see the capabilities of this technology.
Cloud computing has become a more reliable and mature technology has time passed. After all, it now offers access to essentials such as collaboration tools, analytics and even core business applications. With cloud computing solutions, it becomes easier for organisations to scale and also modify their business model to changing market opportunities and conditions. It has created a more flexible infrastructure for innovation and growth. However, we only managed to scratch the surface of its full potential.
Rising Mainstream Adoption
With all the progress made in cloud computing in recent years, it is safe to say that it can no longer be considered as an emerging technology. Moreover, cloud computing is now broadly understood across a range of industries and even geographies. In fact, most industries have begun to implement cloud computing solutions in varying degrees.
According to Gartner, cloud services and infrastructure will become the fastest growing category under IT spending. The necessity of digital transformation remains the key growth driver for the growth of cloud computing solutions across industries and geographies. The World Economic Forum, in its Future of Jobs Survey, found that 72% of companies across the world will end up adopting this technology by 2022.
So, what does the future hold for cloud computing services? Let’s take a look, shall we?
Adding a New Dimension to Customer Experience
Many tech experts believe that cloud computing can usher in a new dimension to customer experience. Organisations can leverage intelligent technologies with the cloud for upgrading their customer experience management systems. Experience management will do more than just deliver immediate feedback on how the brand and the products or services of a brand are being received by the audience. It can even impact customer and employee satisfaction. These will be pivotal for the B2B and B2C organisations that depend on the quality of customer experience.
Cloud computing can be combined with other emergent technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytics and IoT for greater benefits in this area. They can bring about innovation in how customers and companies interact with each other. Consider the following example.
Cloud computing enables companies to gather and process significant amounts of data rapidly in real time. As such, companies can train and deploy algorithms in a large scale which is necessary for artificial intelligence. As a result, these organisations gain the ability to quickly analyse various kinds of data including customer experience and operational data.
In other words, organisations gain a deeper and better understanding of their customers and operations. With that, these organisations can create and offer new products or services. They can even develop better experiences for their customers or their partners.
In short, the cloud can begin to play a pivotal role in bridging experience data and operational data enabling companies to take advantage of this transformative potential.
Creating a Platform for Next-Gen Innovation
Research VP at Gartner, Gregor Petri says that a common belief in the IT industry is that the cloud is already a part of normal business activities. However, this is far from the case. In fact, only a tiny fraction of enterprises run any significant amount of work on the cloud. As such, he believes that cloud computing still is far off from its peak.
Petri is of the opinion that those who want to leverage the cloud must move beyond the rehashing of existing applications. The cloud should not be considered as a way to deploy the applications of today. Instead, those aiming to use the cloud in the long-term should focus on disruption. In other words, the cloud should be used as a platform for creating special experiences and unique functionalities. Now, most of these experiences are going to be digital.
To achieve, that you need a range of supporting services like databases and voice. Most of these services will be supported better with cloud computing technology compared to traditional hardware. According to Petri, the cloud is perfect for running emerging technology. In fact, you can easily test out emerging techs including machine learning and artificial intelligence. It may even become possible to run quantum computing.
Petri says that in time, organisations will need to run technologies that haven’t been developed yet. As those technologies are resource-intensive, getting that level of resources in-house will be a major hurdle. As a result, cloud computing solutions are sure to become an attractive option for running those new disruptive technologies.
Combining Cloud and Edge Computing
In the next 10 years, cloud computing is going to keep evolving, not alone, but as a part of a technology stack that includes IoT and even edge computing. In edge computing, processing takes place at or near the source of data. With the cloud, analysing the data can also take place at the source.
According to a global survey conducted by Google, 33% of respondents said that edge computing is a significant part of their cloud operations. 55% of respondents said that they expect to utilise the same by 2029.
In time, more businesses are going to bring the intelligence and power of cloud to edge computing. As a result, organisations can start to enjoy better predictions in real-time and faster responses. Of course, improved customer experiences will become an added benefit.
Increasing Openness in Cloud Computing
Director of Product at Canonical, Stephan Fabel says that there is a new commitment by business leaders and the cloud industry towards openness although vendor lock-in is still a concern. Specialist tools such as OpenStack and Kubernetes can help in making the cloud a more open place. This sentiment is shared by Barry Libenson. He believes that steps are already being taken by tech leaders to develop standardised strategies for the cloud that recognise and prioritise openness. Libenson is the global CIO of Experian, the financial data company.
Through openness, new systems and tools can be leveraged by organisations to make a positive impact on company culture. According to research by Google, businesses are going to keep placing increased importance on openness in the next 10 years. In a survey conducted globally by Google, 41% of respondents stated that they are expecting to use different open-source software for most of their software platform.
The survey also determined that the predicted use of open-source software was almost identical between decision makers in IT and their counterparts in business. As such, this shows that leaders of both domains recognise and understand the value provided by standardisation, interoperability, continuous innovation and freedom from lock-ins created by vendors.
Where Cloud Computing Solutions May Impact
Due to the incredible possibilities offered by cloud computing, it is a given that several other technologies will be impacted. Some potential areas that may benefit from cloud computing solutions are as follows:
Virtual Reality: One of the next targets for the cloud is sure to be virtual reality. Even associated fields like augmented reality and mixed reality can be impacted. A potential use of cloud computing in this field can be virtual conferencing. This is different from video conferences where multiple participants in the meeting are displayed on a screen. A VR conference or even an AR conference will allow people to attend a virtual conference room. In this way, the participants can conduct a meeting as if they were actually present in the same room. This eliminates common video conferencing issues such as talking over one another and misreading cues resulting in increased productivity.
Blockchain: Another potential application is a cloud based on a blockchain. In a way, it seems logical to bring together these two technologies as each brings something vital to the mix. Blockchain can bring the security offered by its tamper-resistant records. The cloud can provide convenience and ease. Blockchain, similar to cloud computing, features a decentralised structure. After all, it depends on a network of several computers for verifying transactions and updating its record continuously. Blockchain technologies based on the cloud can result record-keeping becoming increasingly secure. This will be particularly beneficial in critical areas such as manufacturing and finance.
Smart Cities: Cloud computing can be particularly beneficial for smart cities in the coming future. This can be done through the application of Internet of Things. Connecting the cloud and IoT devices will usher in major improvements such as intelligent parking and traffic management. It can even bring about improved regulation of water costs and power costs.
There is no denying that cloud computing solutions are going to keep making an impact across industries in the near future. With a good cloud computing solution provider, your organisation can leverage that impact as well.
Contact us now to know more about how your organisation can benefit from cloud computing!