The explosive growth of cloud computing in the past couple years has been a well-documented phenomenon in the IT market, and 2013 saw widespread adoption of cloud technology, especially by small and medium businesses. SMBs that choose cloud computing solutions see great benefit from the rapid time-to-market, reduced costs and flexible customer support and response times compared to legacy, on-premise software that is usually expensive and bulky to use. Thanks to these benefits, cloud computing’s growth is expected to continue unabated – according to research stated on ARMA.org, by 2016, the majority of new IT spending will be on cloud platforms and applications. This year will be a pivotal year for cloud-based technology, and here are a few trends driving growth in 2014:
BYOD/Mobile Device Management
As more workers bring their personal mobile devices into the office, IT departments must support a range of new devices while ensuring that corporate data on these devices is secure. Using trusted cloud service providers is of utmost importance and having a strong cloud infrastructure in place is a big part of a strong mobile device management (MDM) strategy. The cloud allows 24/7 access to mobile apps and other resources. It’s scalable, so there’s no limit to how many personal devices can be brought to work and it gives IT departments a centralized way to secure and manage these devices.
Evolving IT Department
As businesses continue to grow with the use of innovative cloud solutions, IT teams are beginning to drive more strategic cloud implementations. The changing role of IT includes being more involved with decision makers and users across their organization to understand business processes and challenges. With this information IT then finds cloud technology that will be the best fit for their needs.
Cloud computing is known for making business functions more efficient and easier to scale, and this will extend into the world of applications. Enterprises already use cloud versions of e-mail and CRM software – that trend will continue as more business functions will be translated into software-as-a-service models, lowering costs and increasing efficiency. More enterprises are shifting towards the use of HTML5 to build well-designed, easy-to-use web applications that live in the cloud.
The Internet of Everything
Pretty soon, you’ll be getting messages from your toaster, refrigerator and thermostat – a result of the Internet of Things movement. All these devices generate a lot of data, which is stored – where else? – in the cloud. The same thing is happening in enterprises today. The cloud will help extend the Internet of Things into businesses with smart, software-controlled hardware that’s managed from centralized, off-site locations. And by keeping all this information in one centralized, easily accessible hub, it’s much more feasible to run analytics and crunch numbers to get the most value out of the vast amount of data being generated by the machines that surround us.