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Taking to the Cloud: A Look at the Future of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has gone far beyond an inevitability or trend; the cloud is a reality now, a business tool that many companies have been using for years. The recent explosion is just the latest in a series of developments that have seen many businesses adopting the cloud and making it a regular part of their operations. According to a recent study, 58% of businesses spend more than 10% of their yearly budgets on cloud services. There’s little debate that cloud computing is sweeping through the business world, but what does the future hold? A close look at current trends and movements reveals details that could shed some light on what awaits the cloud in the years to come.

New Applications & Services

Cloud providers are always looking for ways to stand out from the rest of the pack, and the best way to do that is through developing the latest innovative applications. In most cases, the innovations will come from already existing providers or those businesses that are already using cloud computing. It is this added experience that can be a driving force for new solutions and applications in the cloud community. Existing services can also be expected to get better, while using these services can open up new ways to use them, thereby leading to even more applications for companies to use.

More Hybrid Clouds

The cloud is usually broken into two types: public and private. Both offer distinct advantages and drawbacks for companies to consider. A third option that has been developed in the past few years is called the hybrid cloud, which essentially mixes public and private clouds together. Some businesses already use the hybrid cloud, but they’re currently in the minority. The future paints a much different picture, however. Gartner estimates that by the year 2017, roughly half of all organizations will have hybrid clouds. The transition into a hybrid cloud-rich environment makes a lot of sense. After all, the hybrid cloud combines many of the advantages found in clouds contained both on and off premises to enhance each company’s performance while minimizing the disadvantages. It also eliminates the difficulty of trying to move every company’s operation entirely to an off-premise cloud.

Increased Government Involvement

Private enterprises may be getting a lot out of cloud computing now, but expect that convenience and improved productivity to make its way to government institutions. In fact, it’s already happening. The state of California has announced its intention of transferring most of the state’s infrastructure to the cloud. But that’s just the start. The National Science Foundation has also announced two projects designed to test out cloud computing models. Both projects will cost $10 million each and allow researchers from all over the country to develop and experiment with new cloud applications and architectures. The idea is to revolutionize the science and engineering that surrounds cloud computing. New developments designed by government agencies may in fact reach the private sector, leading to new breakthroughs in cloud computing technology.

Improved Security Measures

If there’s one thing that has prevented many businesses and organizations from fully adopting cloud computing, it’s the worry over the cloud’s security and reliability. Protecting data is a top priority for many companies, and security breaches are a very big concern, especially relating to the cloud. As more and more businesses seek out cloud security solutions, cloud providers will develop new ways to tackle and eliminate threats before they become a problem. Some providers are already making strides in this area by deploying firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption programs optimized specifically for the cloud. As cloud providers adopt these processes and techniques for securing data in motion, more companies will feel comfortable trusting them with their sensitive data.

The future has a lot in store for cloud computing. With more innovative applications, improved security features, the widespread adoption of hybrid clouds, and more government involvement, cloud computing is expected to play an even bigger role in organizations in the coming years. Businesses are growing more comfortable with the idea of the cloud, and as it becomes more commonplace, more companies will see how useful it can be in improving an entire organization.

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