Cloud is one of the biggest buzzwords in technology right now, with solutions from SaaS (Software as a Service) to PaaS (Platforms as a Service) and even IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) making headlines. Keeping track of what’s happening and what’s projected to happen in the next 12 – 18 months can cause a serious headache, but we’ve distilled down the key points to consider for 2016. In 2015, cloud turned a corner–the adoption rates of Office365 and Adobe Creative Cloud meant that a whole new generation of users was going to be accessing their software in a quite different way than in the past. Gone are the days when it required someone from your IT department to physically sit at your system and add software—now, this same access issue can be solved simply by adding your name to a licensing list and granting your access.
Migration Pain from Legacy Systems
Since new licenses to traditional software such as Microsoft Office are increasingly hard to come by, IT departments are finding themselves in the midst of a bit of a crisis. While it can be expensive to move an entire organization to a cloud-based version of productivity software such as Office365, it can also be tough having new hires on the cloud and everyone else mired in desktop software deployments. This dilemma is negating the value of the cloud to some extent, as additional time is required to determine each user’s specific needs and software mix before changes and updates can be applied. This will continue to be an issue in 2016, and likely accelerate before it gets better.
Accelerated Adoption Rates
As cloud-based computing matures, IT departments are ever more willing to bring additional software online. Even if the full value of the tech isn’t being realized, the lower cost of ownership and long-term value of receiving upgrade pushes is driving more interest not only from the tech side but also from the management side of business. Executives are hard-pressed to approve additional physical infrastructure costs as they question how the process could be moved to the cloud for flexibility. The ability to add (and reduce) scale quickly and cost-effectively as business grows or ebbs is a key differentiator for cloud adoption—which will continue to accelerate both for individuals and businesses in 2016.
As two frontrunners appear in the cloud storage space, AWS and Azure, other storage facilitators are beginning to resell these primary solutions. This will simplify the process overall, as the infrastructure of storage solution vendors begins to even out and play nicely with smaller solution options. As cloud-based storage continues to grow, smaller niche businesses will be edged out and replaced by the businesses who have economies of scale.
Security Concerns Continue
While it is incredibly convenient for individuals to access their personal and business data remotely, this also means that there’s a higher potential for data loss as apps and storage move into the cloud. With the broader potential for data storage come additional security measures that will be needed, and technology departments have to work closely with cloud storage solution providers to ensure that adequate security is in place before making a move in this direction.
Cloud computing and cloud storage continue to be strong conversation topics for technology leaders and implementation teams in 2016. While the overall outlook is positive for cloud storage for both personal and business use, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a few pitfalls—such as security—that still need to be ironed out as adoption rates rise.