Cloud computing is used to store and access data over the internet instead of using internal storage on
a computer’s hard drive. Cloud is a segment of a network that can be accessed from any number of devices and portals. Each segment develops the concept of virtualization where one or more physical servers can be arranged individually but it appears to the user as single physical device. Cloud computing services provide various hardware, software, and information resources that consist of highly optimized “virtual data centers”. Cloud computing is also a technology and IT game changer because it provides different levels of flexibility, control, and management capabilities. Many companies are considering using cloud computing because it is more secure, reliable, scalable and provide access to possibly unlimited storage. The companies use cloud to compute, store and deliver data. One of the main reasons to migrate to Cloud is cost savings. Cost savings help in “keeping capital and operational expenses to a minimum.
The first concept of cloud computing was started in the 1950s, where the computers were big in size
and could take an entire room’s space. Therefore, firms thought of ways to improve the efficiency of their large- scale mainframe computers. They decided to access to the mainframe computers and allow the users to have physical access to the computer from multiple terminals as well as shared “central processing unit” time, which is also known as “time sharing”. By the mid 1990s and the start of the new “millennium” the .com burst had many companies struggling to create efficiency and effectiveness in their data centers that could reign in the huge expense that the internet had become. By 1996, companies such as compact
computers started to develop internal use marketing strategies around cloud service models known as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). In the 1970s IBM took the 1950s “time sharing” model to the next level by releasing an operating system called “virtual machines”, which allowed users to have multiple VMs on a physical node. In 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched “IT infrastructure” where many companies adopted the platform as a low-cost possible alternative to internal IT initiatives, now being called the cloud.
Types of Cloud Service Models
There are three cloud service models. The first one is Software as a Service (SaaS), which is a hosted
application and it is only accessible via a browser. SaaS is designed for end- users and it allows users to run applications, store data online, and facilitate collaborative working. It is estimated that 45% of businesses use or plan to use this cloud, and so far SaaS has been adopted by 74% of all businesses.
The second model is Platform as a Service (PaaS). PaaS is hosted development platform
for deploying SaaS Apps. PaaS is a set of tools and services designed to make coding and deploying applications quick and efficient. Users can also create their own cloud applications. PaaS has advantages such as; rapid development at low cost, and limits providers to provider languages and tools.
The third model is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). In this model the use of IT resources has to
be paid instead of actually owning them. In the IaaS model users run applications on cloud hardware. Several companies are operating under IaaS, such as Amazon. All of these allow users to run applications and store data online. Many companies, such as Amazon, played a significant role in the development of cloud computing. Amazon created Amazon Web Service (AWS) to
provide an advanced system of cloud services from “storage to computation”. According to Synergy Research group, Amazon Web Service (AWS) “continues to lead the pack” and continues to grow with the percentage of 31 in the public cloud market share, followed by Microsoft with 9 percent, IBM with 7 percent, Google with 4 percent and Salesforce with 4 percent.
Cloud Computing Forecasts and Market Estimates
Amazon and Google are the biggest cloud providers. To prepare for the battle, Google cut the cost
of most of its cloud products, lower than Amazon. Google also added new cloud services to sway the market away from its competitors. Microsoft also employed the same strategy as Google by cutting prices “with the overall market prices having fallen by as much as 85 percent.”
According to Garrtner, Inc. the size of the “public cloud services” market will increase in 2016
by 16.5 percent with the total of $204 billion, compared to $175 billion in 2015. It is projected that Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), will have 34.5 percent growth, which is considered as the highest growth, and it will also have the “fastest-growing segment” in 2016. This segment is predicted to reach $22.4 billion. Also based on Gartner, Inc, “cloud advertising, the largest segment of the global cloud services market, is expected to grow 13.6 percent in 2016 to reach $90.3 billion.” Another software that is expected to grow by 20.3 percent in 2016 is cloud application services (SaaS), which will reach $37.7 billion.
In one of the studies by Goldman Sachs, there will be 5 percent growth for the overall enterprise
IT compared to the cloud computing infrastructure and platform which will have the growth of 30 percent CAGR from 2013 through 2018. Also it is projected that, “By 2018, 59% of the total cloud workloads will be Software-as- a-Service (SaaS) workloads, up from 41% in
2013.” Based on the Cisco prediction, Infrastructure-as- a-Service (IaaS) will have the total cloud workloads of 28 percent by 2018 compared to the total cloud workloads of 13 percent for Platform-as- a-Service (PaaS). As a result, Software-as- a-Service (SaaS) will have the highest growth among other cloud computing services, Platform-as- a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure- as- a-Service (laaS).
The Near Future
Cloud computing will continue to show aggressive growth. Cloud technology will no longer be meant
only for IT giants, but average households and small companies will have access to cloud computing. For example, turning on the lamps in the house, or even turning on the espresso machine can all be connected to a cloud network.
Tech startups such as Uber, Dropbox and Airbnb are all fundamental examples of the
disruptive strength in cloud services over the traditional on site server approach."All these household names that we have today are young businesses that have grownup on the cloud and became really big really quickly without having to own any IT resources” (Warner Vogel, CTO-Amazon Web Service).
Cloud will have a lasting impact for businesses so they can truly get more out of their data including analyzing and executing
on it real time. Which will help companies transform more quickly remain relevant and compete more in today’s era of disruptive innovation. Future analysis will be done with different machine learning applications within the cloud.“First, we have that data, data about you, your preferences, your organization, and the world.And to do that on a continuous basis, you need lots and lots of computing power. That's what we get through the cloud.” Customers and business will benefit with cloud computing becoming progressively a stronger battleground for many new technologies to come in the future.