Modern cloud storage providers have gone above and beyond simply offering virtualised storage solutions to their customers. Cloud computing today is a powerhouse of all things that involve the development of fast-paced and advanced applications, including data analytics, bot training and AI-powered automation. Furthermore, the convenient payment models and lack of physical infrastructure makes cloud computing a promising aspect for smaller businesses, as smaller teams can also scale to cater to their customers on a budget.
As a result, cloud computing has become indispensable for today’s business environment, as so much depends on it. With every business relying on some form of cloud computing, leaders need to be aware of what’s trending, and how technologies are due to evolve in the near future. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about cloud computing, including trends that are popular for 2023. Additionally, we’ve also offered a guide on choosing the best cloud service provider for your business.
Cloud computing is the provision of IT infrastructure and other resources across a virtualised environment. Cloud services enable IT teams to access virtual resources without having to purchase and maintain any physical infrastructure. Paid via a pay-per-use model, cloud resources are much more affordable than on-premise infrastructure, and also easier to scale.
Cloud storage is considered a popular offering by cloud service providers, but today’s cloud computing technologies go beyond offering storage solutions alone. Modern cloud computing is home to a wide range of services that enable IT teams to build, test, deploy and maintain any application without having to maintain a single piece of physical infrastructure.
From business intelligence to edge computing, a plethora of services and technologies now all exist under the cloud computing umbrella. With so much offered under one roof, cloud computing features numerous other advantages, which include but aren’t limited to:
Building, deploying and maintaining containerised applications has become a possibility thanks to cloud computing providers such as AWS solutions. Through containerised applications, development teams can deploy and smoothly run applications across any host environment, as each container has its dependencies already included (such as libraries and other configuration files). Together with containerisation, Kubernetes is also extensively used for container orchestration, thereby making it a popular addition to any containerisation effort that is made by software development teams today.
Applications based on microservices are a step above their monolithic counterparts, as each microservice is independently maintained and easily scalable via the cloud. Connected via APIs, a microservices based software architecture can offer teams the ability to reuse code and even experiment with new features, as each microservice stands on its own. Additionally, a microservices based software architecture offers better uptime in the event of a crash, as affected modules won’t negatively impact other modules – unlike in a monolithic architecture, where if one module crashes, the entire application will be rendered unusable.
With the proliferation of smart devices, edge computing has gained popularity as well. Through regional data centres facilitated by cloud service providers, data for smart devices can be processed faster, thereby enabling IoT technologies to offer little to no downtime no matter where they may be located.
With the rise of technologies such as ChatGPT, it is safe to say that AI is more or less a mainstream technology today. Leading software companies in Sri Lanka understand this, and therefore offer custom software and application development solutions that can cater to AI-based trends such as chatbots and predictive analytics. Most major cloud service providers also offer AI and machine learning capabilities to train algorithms with big data, so development teams can create their own AI-powered custom solutions to meet unique and niche business objectives.
As cyber threats continue to rise across the digital landscape, cloud service providers need to stay ahead of cyber breaches and offer protection for customer data. As a result, many cloud service providers offer inbuilt cloud security solutions, including round-the-clock security operations centres that keep constant watch in order to detect and contain threats, if identified.
Data backup solutions go hand-in-hand with cloud security, as cloud providers also offer Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions that are embedded within their base offerings. This ensures that customers always have access to their data lest it is stolen or compromised in any way. Cloud data backup solutions also enable cloud service providers to stay compliant, so they can meet the demands of regional or federal regulatory bodies.
Although not a new cloud computing trend, the steady dependency on SaaS solutions by businesses today indicates its potential to grow as a cloud based technology. Whether it’s a free web-based messaging application or a fully-fledged subscription for running your business, SaaS solutions have been made possible thanks to the cloud – and are only here to stay owing to their highly scalable and versatile characteristics.
As a software development company, we at EFutures know the importance of first understanding clients’ business problems, before embarking on a relevant solution. Therefore, it is imperative to first assess the problems plaguing your business, before determining which cloud service provider is ideal for your unique business requirements. Additionally, assessing your business needs to be done together with your software development team, as they will be able to best advise which provider is suitable, depending on the services and solutions that need to be built in order to solve your business problems.
Gathering relevant team members and asking questions around existing data gaps, bottlenecks and any other problem that hinders teams from being productive is a great way to get the conversation rolling. Thereafter, collating all this feedback into a brief can then serve as reference for your teams as well as prospective cloud providers who you shortlist.
Using your assessment brief, reach out to prospective cloud vendors to gauge whether any of them can meet your needs to build a cloud infrastructure that can align with your business objectives. For shortlisting vendor options, doing a quick search online can help you reach vendors directly, or even lead to dealers who can help on their behalf. Additionally, asking colleagues you trust for recommendations can also be helpful, as you can get leads on relevant providers who would’ve already made a positive impact on people and businesses you personally know.
Payment plans and models offered by cloud computing vendors aren’t always a one-size-fits-all solution. What’s more, payment models that may be cost-effective for your business today may not be so in the future, especially if your business has grown and needs to scale. Therefore, it is wise to always keep an eye on regular cloud infrastructure costs, while also staying familiar with alternative payment models. This way, if other payment models seem more cost-effective, you can switch over well ahead in advance, in order to save money.
Cloud computing is now a norm in today’s digital landscape, thanks to its many advantages. From being easily scalable to offering inbuilt data security for customer data, cloud computing has become indispensable for modern software and application development teams.
However, with so many services now available under one roof, businesses need to thoroughly assess bottlenecks, silos and other obstacles, before they can decide which cloud service provider is ideal for meeting their goals and bottom line.