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Cloud Continues Its Move Into the Mainstream

March 14, 2013 No Comments

Whether being implemented in one of the world’s largest corporations or helping a mom-and-pop shop back up employee records and track supplier invoices, cloud computing is now a growing part of everyday business processes and functions.

Cloud not only is laying the foundation for a more streamlined IT department and, in the process, freeing up the tech department to work on revenue-generating projects, it’s also the catalyst behind the next potential technology boom.

A recent CompTIA study on cloud computing revealed that the market for cloud options as part of an IT infrastructure continues to be robust. More than 80 percent of companies now claim to use some form of cloud solution.

While cost is still a main factor for moving to the cloud, 44 percent of companies said that cloud is simply a better option for a number of reasons, suggesting that companies are enjoying the flexibility that cloud brings and the capacity for exploring new avenues through the use of cloud resources.

And while few believe cloud computing will completely take over traditional data centers run by corporations, the flexibility it provides businesses to increase or decrease their use of computing and storage power on an as-needed basis is compelling enough that most agree its use will only increase, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to freeing financial resources, cloud computing also allows organizations to reassign software engineers and other IT workers from time consuming  maintenance tasks to efforts that could directly impact business performance, such as developing new applications needed by their organizations to compete more effectively.

Large organizations are adopting cloud technology for many of the same reasons held by smaller organizations: greater flexibility and cost savings, resiliency in the face of natural disasters and the ability to implement new technologies without long-term commitment. And while they acknowledge concerns about cyber-security, they believe they can safely pursue their cloud strategies while taking appropriate precautions.

Additionally, cloud computing isn’t just potentially driving savings and flexibility for existing organizations; it’s also laying the groundwork for a new generation of business startups.

A study of 1,300 U.S. and executives in the U.K., conducted by Rackspace Hosting with support from Manchester Business School in the U.K., finds cloud engagements are delivering positive impacts, from cost savings to more innovation, according to an article on Forbes.com. The survey also reveals that most of these executives see cloud as laying the groundwork for the next entrepreneurial boom.

Sixty-two percent of respondents either agreed totally or somewhat with the statement that “cloud computing is a key factor in the recent boom of entrepreneurs and start-ups,” the survey found. Twenty-five percent agreed strongly with this idea.

Many respondents are speaking from experience – 43 percent of the group say their businesses were launched just within the past three years. A majority of respondents with startups in the survey, 52 percent, said they would have not have been able to afford on-premises IT resources, or would have had difficulty acquiring computer systems, if it weren’t for cloud computing. In fact, 43 percent say the availability of cloud-based resources has made it “a lot easier” to set up their businesses.

Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting

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