The Drive to the Cloud
Long before the cloud was a part of the IT vocabulary, John Von Neumann set the stage for modern computing (1945), Tim Berners-Lee created the global hypertext system (1989), and home PCs were commonplace (1990s), according to Gil Press’s Very Short History of Information Technology. The point is this: advances in information technology are not wholly unprecedented, but they must be innovative and predictive of consumer needs in order to survive.
Paradigm shifts in IT signal a new wave that your organization can paddle out to ride, or wait and get worked by your competition.
Cloud Growth 2008 to Today
Cloud computing and cloud-based services have experienced massive growth since coming to the mainstream in 2008. Here’s a brief timeline:
- In 2008 Gartner predicted that cloud computing will “be as influential as e-business” with “consumer-focused vendors” in the best position to successfully integrate cloud computing advances
- By 2013, Forbes noted that over half of U.S. businesses were using cloud computing, both public and private clouds
- In 2015, more companies converted from on-premise data centers to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud services like Amazon Web Services, including the Pentagon and the CIA with a total of 1,500 government clients on AWS alone
- 2015 was a year of growth for cloud services in general as Microsoft’s Azure, Google, and IBM chased AWS leading to dynamic, innovative cloud service iterations
- In 2017 both AWS and Azure were mentioned as the top two public cloud platforms, with IBM, Oracle, and Google tied for third
So, this brings us to ask: what comes next?
The Future of Data Storage and Cloud Backup
Cloud computing is no small player in the new wave of IoT and AI collaborations. AI-enhanced cloud technology like IBM’s Watson are predicted to revolutionize every sector for everything from better financial planning to novel AI-informed approaches to curing cancer.
When Netflix completed their migration to AWS in 2016, they signaled a major shift in cloud data storage for large data-streaming companies. The streaming content giant cited cost-savings, data volume scaling requirements, and database corruption mitigation as top reasons to make their (slow) transition to the cloud.
Netflix isn’t the only organization looking to mitigate data risks in the cloud, but IT managers need to keep in mind that the cloud is not the solution for everything - and you need a back up plan. The “Internet Liberation Front” hit major players like NASA and the Jet Propulsion Lab once the internet reached wide adoption in 1995. In the same way, the more ubiquitous cloud computing is for SME data storage, SaaS and IaaS consumers become bigger targets for cloud-based malware attacks.
Most SMEs are in the process of moving 100% of data storage to the public cloud through AWS and Azure to streamline operations. The public cloud is not a completely unprotected environment, and your data may be safer than on-prem data storage, but the public cloud cannot provide the level of protection and SecOps control that you get in a private cloud. If your critical data is stored in the public cloud through Office 365, Google Drive, or Salesforce, you need to mitigate your risk with a back up plan in a private cloud.
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