It is 2022, and cloud as we understand it, is only one facet of the world of cloud computing that encompasses Internet as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). The intricate universe of multiple varied networks and technologies has spawned a multi-billion-dollar industry with revenues of more than US$150 billion, pre-pandemic.
The pandemic years brought in a surge of activity and expansion for cloud computing with an unprecedented change in the way we work—especially remote and hybrid models of work becoming mainstream—leading to an increased spending on IT infrastructure by enterprises across the spectrum.
Three cloud computing giants control more than 60% of the market share in space, with AWS capturing the largest share at 33%, followed by Microsoft Azure at 21%, and Google with 8%. Providers like Alibaba and Huawei have emerged as upcoming leaders in the space with China contributing to the global cloud expansion.
The increased IT spends focused on cloud warrant a closer look at the benefits cloud has for businesses and why it is pertinent for businesses to have a cloud strategy if they don’t already have one, and how can they make the most of it.
The foremost benefit of cloud computing for businesses is cost savings. The obvious reduction in capital expenditure on tech infrastructure by shifting to cloud from on-premises hardware comes from spending only on what the enterprise needs and uses, with the flexibility to scale up or down as per need, on demand.
The distributed nature of the cloud services enables massive reductions in the total cost of ownership. Cloud providers typically have hundreds of thousands of users across geographies allowing them to pass on the benefits of lower operating costs to their customers.
The second most impactful advantage of the cloud is the increased mobility it offers its users. Since the pandemic, a majority of the world’s IT workforce has shifted to remote or hybrid models of work. This ability to work from any time zone and any geographic location is not something that is possible with on-premises hardware and software.
The increased number of people who work-from-home in the post-pandemic scenario is the primary beneficiary of increased mobility facilitated by the cloud. The enterprises reliant on such employees for critical tasks stand to benefit even more with the employees being able to access work on the go.
As per a recent RapidScale report, more than 90% of respondents experienced an improvement in overall infrastructure security after they adopted cloud computing. Advanced security tools such as encryption, firewalls, DDoS, and identity access management help create some of the most secure systems.
With pre-defined access conditions, automated security and software updates, and ease of integration of top-end security tools with the cloud service, cloud makes for a more dependable choice as compared to on-premises infrastructure and the heavy costs associated with maintaining it.
As per a recent Gartner report, “The worldwide infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew 40.7% in 2020 to total $64.3 billion, up from $45.7 billion in 2019”. For any business, growth and expansion automatically mean greater spends on infrastructure. With physical infrastructure, it entails planning and provisioning, and takes up time, resources, and time.
With cloud, the ease of setting up a new business, or expanding an existing business involves minimal effort and expense, allowing for greater flexibility of operations, allowing businesses to hire talent across boundaries with a far lesser expenditure on infrastructure.
Greater Speed and Collaboration
Speed is a major factor that determines success for most modern enterprises. That usually includes the speed of deployment, processing speed, and latency. While on-premises infrastructure has the lowest latency, its limitations in the international workspace far outweigh the advantages.
Similarly, for ensuring a secure, collaborative workspace in a hybrid era, cloud computing solutions are the only option. Ensuring that resources can be shared faster and accessed by the workforce across geographies is a unique benefit that enterprises across small, medium and large sizes enjoy uniformly.
Systems integrators across the world, including TCS, Tech Mahindra, Accenture, and others have actively been bolstering their multi-cloud capabilities to service a wider range of businesses. A recent study by Verizon states that 77% of enterprises believe that the cloud gives them competitive advantage.
The advantages of cloud are only growing as the IT sector increases its cloud spending. Now is a good time as any to move to the cloud if you’re yet to.
Authored by: Mr. Subramanyam Reddy, Founder and CEO, KnowledgeHut