Up, up, and away! Cloud Computing appears to be an unstoppable juggernaut

Up, up, and away! Cloud Computing appears to be an unstoppable juggernaut

 

Certainly no one would argue that cloud computing is one of the most hyped technologies in existence, the question is – are we dealing with something legitimate or not? All available statistical data seems to suggest that cloud computing is most definitely worth of the publicity it receives. Consider this revelation from IDC:

“Recent IDC cloud research shows that Worldwide revenue from public IT cloud services exceeded $21.5 billion in 2010 and will reach $72.9 billion in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.6%. This rapid growth rate is over four times the projected growth for the worldwide IT market as a whole (6.7%).” 

In other words, cloud computing is by far the fastest growing sector of IT. What’s more, the big growth spurt in the cloud doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all, in fact, and it seems to be speeding up! For example, research conducted by Forrester predicts that:

“The global cloud computing market will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020”

At this point you’re probably wondering why this kind of growth would be needed, right? Well, one of the areas of study which has allowed groups like Gartner, IDC and Forrester to make bold predictions regarding continuing growth in the cloud are the demands placed on data centers, internet-related traffic and existing cloud services deployed through social media. Gartner recently went on record to state that very soon (by the year 2016) roughly 1/3 of all the data in the world will be in the cloud. Understandably, this has created quite a buzz in many different circles (particularly investing). For those that don’t understand the driving forces behind all this runaway growth, consider the following statistics which were compiled by Zenoss:

  • The world’s entire well of information is doubling every 2 years
  • There are around 48 hours of video added to Youtube every single minute
  • Over the last 3 years, around 74% of data centers increased their total server count
  • 5.75 million new servers are added each year just to match the growth pace of online services
  • Around 55% of those surveyed were able to connect cloud computing with a lower total coast of ownership (TCO)
  • Of those organizations in the cloud, a 21% annual savings was reported for applications that have migrated to the cloud
  • For those who already utilize cloud computing, 84% have seen reduced application costs

These are just some of the more easy-to-grasp factoids which are floating around. The point is, the world has an insatiable appetite for data and storage, and it seems that traditional IT is neither technologically capable of meeting growing demands or providing efficient pricing. Likewise, it could be argued that the amount of money needed to service the expanding data demand simply might not exist without more efficient technologies (like cloud computing) in place.

Another issue we’re facing – rising energy costs across the globe. Simply put, we’re experiencing an unprecedented global economic situation whereby entire continents are entering recession. One could say that cloud computing is highly advantageous because it is able to lower annual energy consumption costs with no loss of capability. Moreover, cloud computing tends to cost less when compared with traditional IT setups, so we’re really talking about a win-win situation here.

In terms of actual markets which are contributing to cloud growth, large corporations, small businesses and individuals are all taking part. According to a CDW report:

“28% of U.S. Organizations are Using Cloud Computing and 38 percent have a written strategic plan for the adoption of cloud computing”

Perhaps one of the largest potential growth markets for cloud computing is the medical field. For instance, KLAS research is reporting that:

“In a survey that ran the gamut from small clinics to 1,000-bed hospitals, 55% of the respondents already had something in the cloud, whether it was clinical applications, storage, e-mail, or picture archiving and communication systems. Nearly a quarter of this group used remotely served electronic health records.”

Now, realize the growing demand that baby-boomers for health services will create as they continue to retire. It’s fairly obvious that the use of cloud computing in health-related settings is a great way to offset costs, increase efficiency of record keeping and even reduce or eliminate mistakes associated with patient data / human error.

So, what does this all mean, you might be wondering? Well, if you’re a business owner or IT manager, you need to begin analyzing your needs and evaluating your cloud service options (IaaS is one of the fastest growing and most attractive options for most businesses these days). This will also mean updating the certification standards for your IT personnel as well; some simple and affordable cloud computing certification should do the trick. For investors and those interested in capitalizing on the projected growth in the cloud, cloud brokerages are becoming increasingly attractive.

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