As the shift to cloud computing gains traction by the day, it is quite easy to observe the importance of business continuity, during such unprecedented times. With organizations long since having gotten accustomed to working completely on a remote basis, what else is one to expect from the technological marvels that surround us? While newer, fresher and more robust advancements are constantly in the works to improve the way we live and work, the cloud still has a vast offering left in store for us to experience, in spite of its profound popularity and resourcefulness. What’s more, the cloud has also been the driving force behind many new trends; as these offshoot from the umbrella of cloud computing, it just goes to show how much the cloud is an integral part of our world today, and will continue to be indefinitely.
While the intricacies of new trends may entice us into getting curious about them and learning what they can offer us, is it in fact the element of customer-centricity and cost-effective business practices that have led to the advent (and subsequent rise) of a technology such as the cloud. With the initiative to deliver products and services that are precisely tailored to customers’ needs, cloud infrastructure has been born out of the necessity to cater to just the very same. As a key player in the industry of software outsourcing in Sri Lanka, we understand the importance of true customer-centricity, as businesses invest long and deep to understand their markets better, in order to offer products and services that they will value and return back to.
With your customers’ best interests at heart, here are a few of the trends that have been offshoots from the world of cloud; read on to know more!
What with a global pandemic that has been happening in multiple waves, remote work has now become the new normal. But it has also become a necessity, since a lack thereof will mean downfall for more businesses than one. With businesses that are comparatively less tech-savvy also having jumped onto the remote work bandwagon, cloud providers have been working overtime to ensure bespoke solutions that precisely match business requirements.
As a result, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) has exploded in demand ever since the initial lockdown took place back in March, and providers have since become proactive to be available for customers 24/7 in order to understand needs better, while ensuring everyone gets the support they seek to move over to a remote environment. Many leading providers have also offered some of their premium services for free; all of which goes to show that such developments have only been made possible (and on such short notice, that too) thanks to the cloud.
Whether it’s basic web conferencing or an entire suite, such as a remote call centre, cloud computing has ensured that businesses have remained functional even during a compromised time like this, thereby helping to keep the economy afloat, when a complete absence of services could’ve caused a complete downfall.
As companies embraced the remote way of working a few months ago, many are considering to continue this. After experiencing the benefits of an environment that offers added flexibility to schedules, is easily scalable and alleviates the need for physical hardware and equipment, companies that were otherwise comfortable operating by conventional means are now gradually changing their minds. As a result, the likelihood that remote working via cloud infrastructure will remain and even become mainstream, is a high one.
With a steady stream of compute, storage and network services bundled together as one, cloud computing is collaborative by nature. As every aspect ties in closely with one another, automation is a highly efficient by-product of cloud computing, in two main ways. For one, operations on an enterprise level are automated with constant inputs of data that are stored in relational databases, which then communicate with and influence other services to make changes as applicable. Secondly, containerized applications that are developed based on microservices architecture also enable seamless automation, irrespective of where nodes are located, in order to create a working product with zero downtime.
All in all, this is an advantage that businesses both big and small stand to benefit from, as they now gain the liberty to focus on core areas and concerns, particularly those that require strategic input.
Again, this closely corresponds to automating operations, but with a few key differences. Starting off, automation is a manifestation of AI and machine learning, but it’s one that’s more enhanced and intuitive. On top of that, the cloud support services that communicate and collaborate with one another are trained to deliver results that are more customized and relevant to the end user, through custom codes and testing. In turn, this constant upkeep of improving the very systems that manage data and deliver results forms its base in the cloud, creating zero downtime for agility, efficiency and scalability.
First there were smartphones. Now, any device can be transformed into a smart device, thanks to IoT. This goes beyond Amazon’s Alexa, a popularly known household device that’s IoT. As the regular electric toaster begins to transmit data to the cloud for determining which type of bread is most frequently had for dinner, that’s where things get particularly interesting. While this might sound too good to be true (and the toaster analogy may not have manifested up until now), that is what telemetry facilitates for a whole host of other use cases.
Take industrial, biochemical and even horticultural applications, for example. Whether it’s to check the humidity level inside a greenhouse or to monitor throughput along an assembly line, IoT is something that is monitoring, recording and automating numerous operations day in and day out – and it is here to stay. Once again, it is the cloud that facilitates the functions carried out by IoT devices, since it offers the infrastructure to perform data input, process and output with its consistent perks of low latency and high scalability.
With big data comes robust analytics, no doubt. But where is all that data stored and processed? On the cloud, of course. As analytics services are now offered by cloud providers, integrating this with all your other cloud constituents will create a smooth flow of real-time insights that can aid in smart and strategic business decision-making. While real-time analytics can be put to instant use for the purpose of suggesting relevant products and services on a consumer level, it can also assist in AI and machine learning development over the long term. In addition to that, business intelligence is now a forte that is affordable and accessible even to the smallest of businesses, thanks to being SaaS – another by-product of the ever-versatile cloud.
As cloud computing proliferates the digital landscape, revolutionizing the way we all work and communicate, the risks for cyber breaches and theft also increase manifold. The past few years have seen some of the worst cyber breaches in history – from cyber espionage to data theft. Nobody is immune, as even the biggest corporations have been affected by cyber breaches, with many never having completely recovered after such episodes.
While cyber breaches cause theft of actual data, the damage goes much deeper. Financial losses are sure to follow in the wake of a security lapse, but the loss of reputation and trust is something that is extremely difficult to rebuild. These are just some of the repercussions of a cyber breach, so it is imperative that necessary measures are taken to prevent the same, or mitigate any severities should they even take place.
With the advent of the cloud, variables of risk have also multiplied, especially with shared resources. Additionally, a large number of connected devices have also increased the number of endpoints that can access a system at any given point of time. While this increases the risk of a breach, the right security solutions can significantly aid in controlling access, while monitoring your hosted resources round-the-clock. Considering today’s complex cloud systems, there is no one-size-fits-all security solution; you will most likely need multiple solutions to completely safeguard your system – which is completely worth it, if you ask us.
The bottom line? While the cloud gains in size, popularity and dependency, so does the aspect of securing it. That is why even the security software market is bound to gain traction, as more people rely on the cloud for their business needs, and to safeguard precious data that is part and parcel of daily operations.
A form of computing that has been developed with the concept of quantum physics and the manner in which molecules interact with each other on an atomic and subatomic level, quantum computing may not be mainstream as of yet, but it is soon getting there. With the world’s leading technology giants such as IBM and Microsoft already undertaking quantum computing operations, this variant of computing is far ahead of its time, and is capable of processing the most complex problems within a matter of minutes, if not seconds.
Reserved for problems that even the most powerful supercomputers of today take an incredibly long time to solve (years, in fact), quantum computing is another advanced trend that is going to continue to be fuelled by the cloud.
As an avid AWS partner, the cloud is familiar territory for us. While the obvious shift to remote work becomes the norm in today’s pandemic-infused world, the cloud forms the basis for all this and much more to take place. Enabling businesses to function without compromising on quality and cost, the cloud has made much more possible than regular web conferencing. However, a key rule-of-thumb to always keep in mind are the origins of the cloud – an origin that traces its roots back to a necessity of experiences and interactions that are sincerely customer-focused, while also being cost-effective. Therefore, as the latest trends in cloud computing are produced, they once again target customer-centricity, thereby making it a technology that is truly vested in the interests of the end consumer.
In light of the current situation, remote work is one of the leading trends that have emerged, with the cloud as its base for function. As even the most traditional companies embrace cloud-based remote work to keep their businesses operating as usual, there is a high likelihood that this trend is here to stay – after experiencing all the positive side-effects such as lower costs, flexible work schedules and little to no need for physical equipment.
Automation and AI/machine learning are another resourceful by-product of the cloud; as sophisticated database networks integrate with a variety of cloud-based services such as containerized applications, automation is wonderfully possible, and so is the possibility to make an existing system all the more intuitive via AI. In other words, AI and machine learning capabilities can be inculcated into your existing cloud systems, thereby training it to make accurate predictions about what your customers need, as well as forecasting what your company needs in the near or distant future.
IoT is another technology that is being facilitated by the cloud, as data inputs, processes and outputs on a real-time basis ensure that smart devices are able to operate autonomously, while also engaging in telemetry that can further contribute to AI and machine learning. Analytics is also a crucial component in this entire operation of gathering and making sense of data, which eventually influences your cloud-based system to act upon the insights obtained.
As cloud computing increases in size and demand, so does the chance of cyber breaches. Security is therefore essential to safeguard your data on the cloud, while also placing risk mitigation in the event something untoward occurs. Last but not the least, quantum computing has also been gaining momentum thanks to the cloud, to facilitate a sophisticated variant of computers that can solve complex problems in record time.