I have been working in the IT industry for more than three decades and have experienced many innovations in that time. The exponential growth of cloud technology in recent years has certainly been one of the most dramatic of these. When I started my IT journey in the late 1980s, the term “cloud computing” was certainly not common. It is still a relatively new term, although the concept itself dates back to the 1960s. The first reported public use of the phrase was by Eric Schmidt, who was then CEO of Google, at a search engine conference in San Jose, California, in 2006.
The global cloud services market is absolutely vital to the global economy, with an estimated value of US$387.15 billion in 2021. This figure is estimated to be worth more than US$1630 billion by the year 2030. This represents a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 17.32% from 2022 to 2030. In the public cloud market, most of the revenue will be generated in the United States. According to Statista, this has an estimated value of US$201.40 billion for 2022.
The benefits of cloud use are many and varied. For both B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Customer) users, it is a cost-effective way to share valuable data. Businesses of any size or revenue stream can easily choose the cloud without straining corporate finances. It’s also a simple option that doesn’t require too much time and effort from an organization’s administrative department.
For companies that have to keep running in the event of a problem, the cloud ensures that business continuity is possible. A disaster recovery solution can be built in the cloud, where data and configuration settings can be continuously replicated. Recovery can take place in the background with little or no disruption to business operations. The cloud means that collaboration between colleagues is much more efficient – something that is so important when a big deadline for a business project looms on the horizon. The beauty of the cloud is that it is flexible and scalable for any organization, from large international multinationals to local companies.
Cloud computing allows us to access cloud-based communication tools such as emails and work calendars, while messaging apps are also built on a cloud infrastructure. If you’ve ever used business management applications like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), cloud computing is already included in your management strategy.
In addition to storage and deployment, cloud computing can be the ideal medium for testing and development. Sustainable integration and delivery will make these cheaper, faster and less difficult. Sharing cloud data allows a business to track its own performance, improve the level of service it can provide to its customers, and make the business more innovative.
The UK Government’s 2022 Business Data Survey, published on 9 June, shows that 83% of businesses using digital data use standalone devices to process and store their data. 34% reported using cloud providers.
When I founded GAT Labs in 2015, our products were created to monitor and identify data in Google Workspace. Over the next seven years, the company developed advanced management systems that allow administrators to enable and disable users in bulk, copy folder structures, and share files. By doing so, these system enhancements provide a better standard of security for customers, while
save companies money and time. With more options than ever to work from home or as part of a hybrid work model, the cloud has never been more essential.
There isn’t a single customer or business owner in the world who doesn’t want to feel as secure as possible when uploading data to the cloud. The ongoing threats of hacking and information fraud testify to this. The FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report provides data results that can best be described as “sobering.” The agency’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 847,376 complaints from the U.S. public last year — a 7% increase from 2020. Potential losses for this period were over US$6.9 billion, and this figure was US$1.4 billion in 2017. Among the most common complaints received were ransomware, corporate email compromises (BEC), and the criminal use of cryptocurrency. Such shocking statistics really highlight the vital need for strict cloud data security for businesses and customers alike. The alternative is that billions from the economy are still lost at the hands of cybercriminals.
With the topic currently receiving less coverage than before, it’s easy to believe that COVID-19 is no longer a factor when it comes to work practices. But recent (June 2022) figures from Statista suggest the pandemic is still having significant impacts. In the UK, nearly four in ten (38%) of employees said they had worked from home at some point in the previous seven-day period. UK workers who traveled to work in the past week amounted to 71%. In April 2020, at the height of the first wave of COVID-19, nearly half of the workforce was working from home, and 31 percent were commuting to work.
Additional figures from Statista showed that time flexibility (67%) and flexibility to choose a work location (62%) were the two biggest benefits of remote working globally. These were followed by time savings due to the lack of commuting (59%) and flexibility in where to live (55%).
Such statistics simply would not be possible without cloud technology. Its effectiveness certainly seems to have had a positive impact on employees’ lives, opening up a whole new world of possibilities and options when it comes to work-life balance.
As for the future of the cloud, I think the hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure models will be particularly important in the industry. The former combines two or more different types of clouds, while the latter combines several clouds of the same type. Increasing security to fend off attacks is a major benefit of a multi-cloud system which, as discussed above, is currently costing the global economy billions.
In 2022, our cloud data just needs to be accessible securely and efficiently. From where, doesn’t really matter.
By Robert Baker, CEO and Founder of GAT Labs.
Robert Baker is CEO and founder of GAT Labs, a specialist developer of general audit tools headquartered in Ireland. The company works with technical tools for implementation in the cloud security sector, ensuring a high-quality Google Workspace experience. GAT Labs employs more than 30 people and has research and development facilities in Warsaw, Poland.