From shared documents to smartphone data backups, the cloud touches many of the technological aspects of our daily lives.
Once merely a novelty, the cloud has become a productivity tool that is helping individuals and organizations to truly get work done more efficiently. While not right for every business, cloud computing has certainly proven its value.
As the cloud industry has matured, many things have changed from its early days. Here are ten things you need to know about cloud computing and its capabilities.
1. The size of the market
According to a report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., the global market for cloud computing services will reach $127 Billion by the year 2017. Centaur Partners projects that the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market itself will grow to $32.8 billion in revenue in 2016, up from only $13.5 billion in 2011.
2. Cloud is changing software deployment models
One of the key factors in the growth of cloud is the way it has changed licensing and delivery models for many key enterprise tools. SaaS is, of course, the most well-known as it has affected nearly every major piece of software in business today. However, cloud has also changed other tools and services. Platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and database as a service (DBaaS) are some examples of cloud-based deployment models in the enterprise.
3. IaaS is growing quickly
IaaS has become one of the most popular methods for deploying new infrastructure within an organization. Research firm Gartner says that global IaaS spending will grow 32.8% in 2015, putting it at $16.5 billion by the end of the year. According to Ovum, more than 80% of enterprises will be using an IaaS product by 2016. Additionally, IaaS workloads are growing as well. This is changing the competitive landscape for IaaS providers and Gartner advises companies to be cautious when choosing a vendor.
4. Hybrid cloud is preferred
A hybrid cloud strategy refers to the use of both public and private clouds within an organization. According to the2015 State of the Cloud Survey conducted by RightScale, 55% of enterprises are planning for hybrid cloud deployments. Even among those that are using public or private exclusively, many will be deploying multiple clouds. The survey also said that 13% were planning on multiple and public clouds and 14% were planning on multiple private clouds.
5. Cloud is shaking up enterprise IT
As spending on cloud computing services continues to grow, it's slowly eating away at other aspects of traditional enterprise IT. Goldman Sachs analysts projected that by 2018, cloud computing would take up 11% of enterprise IT spend. IaaS and PaaS are driving this growth and are the second phase in a 20 year cycle for cloud computing.
6. SMAC stack is alive and well
A technology stack that includes foci on social, mobile, analytics, and cloud is commonly referred to as SMAC. IDG's 2015 State of the Network study found that IT focus on SMAC continues to grow steadily, with 53% of survey respondents predicting an increase in budget allocation for SMAC, which will in turn drive cloud spending.
7. Cost savings and time to market are driving adoption
There are numerous reasons why any one organization would adopt cloud products or services, but there are some trends as to why it has become so widespread. In 451 Research's Voice of the Enterprise Cloud report, money and time were the top two factors that led to cloud adoption. Forty four percent of respondents in the initial production category listed "Cost Savings" as a key factor for a business use case, while 41% in the same category listed "Time to Market."
8. Public cloud is more broadly adopted than private
RightScale's 2015 State of the Cloud Survey had 93% of its respondents claim they were adopting cloud. Of those respondents, 88% are using public cloud, 63% are using private cloud, and 58% are using both. The survey also said public cloud workloads are expected to grow more quickly than their private counterparts.
9. Cloud workloads are expanding
According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, 78% of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers by 2018. The report said that from 2013-2018 traditional data center workloads will nearly double, but workloads in cloud data centers will nearly triple. Also, workload density will grow in cloud data centers as well.
10. AWS dominates the public cloud market
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is leading the public cloud market, and there is no close second. Fifty percent of RightScale's survey respondents said they were running AWS applications while 19% said they were running Microsoft Azure IaaS and only 15% said they were running Azure PaaS.
- VMware and Microsoft are the top virtualization leaders, according to Gartner
- Mini-glossary: Cloud computing terms you should know
- Why promises about cloud security make me uneasy
- Marketing OpenStack's progress: Now "it actually works"
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is Enterprise Editor for TechRepublic. He covers startups and enterprise technology and is passionate about the convergence of tech and culture.