It was only a few years ago when many of us in the IT industry simply did not trust the cloud. There was too much at stake and there simply weren't the robust options that have come in the subsequent years. Obviously, this has changed pretty rapidly and today’s cloud options are quickly becoming the norm.
When you consider cloud computing, it would not be possible without high-speed Internet; or the advent of the Internet for that matter. Cloud computing has been around ever since the Internet, but the cloud as we know it today is only about as old as the smartphone, and even then it was mostly used for small data storage as larger files would take ages to upload compared with files today using today’s Internet speeds. It has come from those humble beginnings to now holding about three-fifths of the world’s corporate data.
Let’s take a look at four ways the cloud has continued to evolve over the past couple of years.
Initially, the cloud primarily offered Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), providing virtualized resources like servers and storage. However, it has since evolved to include a wide range of services, such as Platform as a Service (PaaS) where the cloud provider delivers hardware and software to end users; and Software as a Service (SaaS) where an application is made available over the Internet. This diversity allows businesses to choose services that best suit their specific needs, from simple web hosting to things like complex machine learning platforms.
Businesses now have the flexibility to adopt hybrid and multi-cloud strategies. It used to be that if you were going to set up a secure cloud for your business, you would have to take the time and expense to do it on one of the servers you hosted in-house. Then with public cloud offerings becoming popular, businesses would get their PaaS or SaaS offerings for what they needed. Nowadays, businesses can combine public and private cloud resources or use multiple cloud providers to avoid vendor lock-in and ensure redundancy and disaster recovery. This evolution allows for more tailored and resilient IT architectures.
The cloud has integrated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities, enabling businesses to use these technologies without significant upfront investments. This evolution came about pretty quickly, but now many cloud providers integrate AI into their PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS offerings. Cloud providers now offer pre-built AI and ML models, as well as tools for training and deploying custom models. This evolution has empowered businesses to enhance their decision-making strategies.
Cloud providers have made significant investments in security and compliance features. For years, the biggest fear for business use of cloud computing was the perceived lack of security and mistrust of the platforms. They now offer advanced encryption, identity and access management, and security monitoring tools. Additionally, many cloud services adhere to industry-specific compliance standards, making it easier for businesses to meet regulatory requirements while benefiting from the cloud's flexibility.
The cloud is undeniably one of the most utilized and consistently innovated tools on the market today. If you would like to learn more about how your business can better use cloud resources, give our IT consultants a call today at 020 8626 4485.
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