Many forward-thinking organizations are now implementing the foundational steps toward full cloud integration. Cloud computing is the movement of data and software from internal (local) to external (remote) servers and hard drives. It is projected that within three years, cloud computing will collect $331 billion in market revenue.
The Future of Cloud Computing
Information technology (IT) experts believe software will become almost completely detached from hardware in the future, with an increasing number of applications being stored on remote servers rather than on a user’s own local hard drive. This change in storage location offers several key advantages, including increased cybersecurity and a unification of end-user experiences.
Users today are tasked with upgrading software to address security vulnerabilities on their own; for example, a centralized software application allows developers to patch a single program installation that filters down to all users. With the additional potential of the single application instance being placed on a large, advanced server drive, experts predict to see larger and more complex applications that can take full advantage of the potential of cloud systems.
Is Serverless the Future of Cloud Computing?
Serverless computing means that developers can build and fix applications without having to manage computer infrastructures. The cloud is highly dependent on serverless computing, as it allows developers to modify applications within cloud software without shutting down the entire program. Developers can also focus on problem areas while maintaining core functionality for software users. On the other hand, this means IT professionals will soon need to consider how these modular components interact with multiple cloud servers, especially with the rise of serverless services.
If a program’s components are stored in separate clouds, then developers will have to ensure solid service agreements to reduce the possibilities that users would lose access to key parts of their programs.
What are the Advantages of Cloud Computing?
There are additional benefits for organizations that implement cloud-based storage systems. The ability to centralize data from various sources via the cloud will enable companies to create substantial databases. The information extracted from these databases can be used for predictive analysis about target markets, consumer behavior and business trends, giving companies a distinct competitive advantage.
With continued advancements in low-power processors and other chip technology, companies can optimize investments and scale operations continuously, leading to greater revenue, higher profit margins and greater operational agility. Another factor is the velocity in which data travels across devices. Combined, these advancements will allow companies to create larger applications and utilize their data in more complex ways.
What are the Disadvantages of Cloud Computing?
Such marked changes in the way we interact with computers will certainly necessitate a period of transition. The movement of a large percentage of an organization’s workflow to an offsite server does raise some questions about cybersecurity and privacy.
This will demand a significant investment in physical security, including biometric scans, electronic passes and alarm systems. Server hosts will also need to guarantee a constant and reliable source of power. Where once a power outage meant reduced productivity for a single company, it could now potentially halt the work of hundreds or thousands of employees across multiple organizations and time zones.
According to a Deloitte report, organizations can face four other disadvantages when adopting cloud computing into their business:
- Anticipated benefits don’t materialize: When companies integrate the cloud into their system there can be an average cost increase because most cloud resources require technology investments, new hires and training for the staff.
- Vendor lock-in: Moving a large IT portfolio from one platform to another can be difficult. And with that may come lock-in consequences like renegotiating pricing and the inability to migrate to another platform that offers more attractive services.
- Compliance and regulatory risks: Meeting cloud computing regulatory and compliance requirements can be complicated and difficult to practice. With the market being relatively new, it’s still making sense of industry standards and operating models, so organizations may face specific challenges concerning limited negotiations with cloud providers.
- Hybrid cloud integration: Companies that consider combining cloud services must make sure they understand how cloud applications will integrate into existing applications. Customizations for the functionality of hybrid clouds require a lot of money and constant maintenance, making the conversation about integration a crucial one.
If companies can ensure constant, reliable and safe connection to a cloud server, businesses stand to gain tremendously in productivity and efficiency with the move to cloud-based storage.
Is Cloud Computing a Good Career?
Back in 2014, major IT research and advisory firm Gartner predicted that the emergence of cloud computing would be explosive, stating that they were seeing “CIOs increasingly reconsidering data center build-out and instead planning faster-than-expected moves to cloud computing.” And they were right.
Today, cloud integration has resulted in a salary increase for people with certifications in cloud computing, according to an IT skills and salary report published by consulting firm Global Knowledge. LinkedIn data shows that cloud computing will be a top skill in high demand with year—over-year growth, and likely to lead to promotions.
In addition, the 2020 Robert Half Salary Guide states that both cloud specialists and security specialists who focus on the cloud cybersecurity are some of the top technology positions in high demand across North America. The guide lists cloud, specifically AWS, Azure and Google, as an in-demand area of expertise. Some job titles listed in the guide include:
- Cloud Computing Analyst | Median Salary $87,250*
- Network/Cloud Architect | Median Salary $141,750*
- Network/Cloud Manager | Median Salary $120,000*
- Network/Cloud Engineer | Median Salary $112,000*
- Network/Cloud Administrator | Median Salary $92,500*
*Technology Salary Guide 2020, Robert Half Technology, on the internet at https://www.roberthalf.com/sites/default/files/documents_not_indexed/2020_Salary_Guide_Technology_NA.pdf (visited November 19, 2019).
National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Degree and/or certificate program options do not guarantee career or salary outcomes. Students should conduct independent research for specific employment information.