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The cloud keeps rolling in

by Mark Adams, on January 23, 2015

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The cloud keeps rolling in

The outlook for enterprises globally is that it will soon be blanketed by cloud – those tools and services which enable users to store and transfer data online, instead of on physical devices.

This forecast comes from the reputable American information technology research and advisory firm Gartner.

The company’s research shows that the cloud is not only here to stay, but that it will continue to roll in rapidly worldwide as more businesses rely on the technology to develop, market and sell their products. According to its prediction for 2011 – 2017, Gartner expects cloud adoption to reach $250-billion by 2017.

“Gartner even predicts that the number of companies that will be making use of hybrid clouds will have reached 50% by 2017,” says Gerald Naidoo, CEO of Logikal Consulting, a South African-based IT consulting firm whose services include systems implementation and application outsourcing services.

“This is because the hybrid cloud, which is a combination of managing some resources inhouse and outsourcing others to an external party or moving it to an off-site location, offers companies the best of both worlds while still allowing them to have control over their cloud-based applications.”

Statistics gathered by and released by another information technology American market research firm, International Data Corporation (IDC), found that 85% of new software being built today is for the cloud, and projects that 20% of all application revenue this year will be generated by one of the cloud’s most popular applications, software as a service (SaaS). IDC also predicts that there will be an increase in third-party, commercial and enterprise developers and contributors to cloud application programming interfaces (APIs) by 2017.

The other reason for the cloud’s increasing popularity, Naidoo says, is cost. “Cloud technologies such as SaaS are typically less costly than using on-premise alternatives, because many of them work on a subscription fee basis. The cost savings come in when it is time for the annual updates, which will then happen automatically and at no additional fee to the business owner. In fact, one of the finalists in last year’s EuroCloud UK awards used a portfolio of cloud services to run a business, and in the process of cutting operating costs by 15% ”

He says apart from the obvious financial benefits, there is also another definite perk of doing it this way: “Since the annual updates are guaranteed in the cloud, you can be assured that at least some of the business critical applications that you are employing in your business will remain up to date and cutting edge without you having to renew expensive software licensing fees or buy new software from scratch again,” Naidoo explains.

“And such cloud applications also usually have disaster recovery built-in, so you will be able to swiftly recover valuable data in the event of a network failure at work, or some other catastrophe happening, such as property damage due to fire, flooding or anything else that could harm your computers.”

Naidoo says it is no wonder then that Gartner predicts that the SaaS market will grow at a yearly growth rate of 20.2% worldwide, jumping from $18.2 billion in 2012 to $45.6 billion in 2017. And statistics released by IDC suggests that 20% of all application revenue this year will be generated by SaaS as well.

In conclusion, Naidoo says that the cloud has too many benefits to ignore it any longer. “It provides businesses with mobility, since the applications can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, and from most mobile devices. And above all, it allows businesses to plug into processes which would normally be beyond of their reach.”