Cloud computing is transforming many aspects of life in today’s world.
It began in the 1960s as network-based computing, which allowed two or more people to work on one computer at the same time. Today, it’s letting millions of people in far-flung corners of the world access a single resource with their devices at once.
Thanks to the cloud, we can share files with people who aren’t physically present with us; we can both edit a single piece of work and enjoy the same piece of content even if we’re a thousand miles apart; we’re able to store huge amounts of data on a virtualized ‘web’.
It’s enabling digital HR and accounting solutions and expanding the scope for collaborative project management. It’s taking hospital records off papers, and supporting a global gaming industry.
But there’s more to come.
Analysts predict that in the coming decade, cloud computing will play an even more prominent role in our businesses, leisure, and wider lives. As the fourth industrial revolution takes shape, there’s bound to be an acceleration in its use.
According to Forbes, about 83% of enterprise workloads will be done on the cloud by 2020. Cisco predicts that this could shoot up to 94% in just a year.
With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence and 5G networks, new applications for the cloud will come about.
Here, we discuss the most important of these transformations and consider what they might mean for life in the 2020s and beyond.
Future Changes and Innovations In Cloud Computing
1. AI Will Play a Bigger Role in Cloud Technology
Artificial Intelligence works by continually receiving bits and pieces of data, ‘learning’ to ‘recognize’ the patterns in the data and then making predictions about the next set of data. The more data it gets exposed to, the better its predictive powers become.
We can expect much greater amounts of data to be created in the coming years. Managing these huge quantities of data could pose a challenge. But by deploying AI-enabled cloud technologies, even those bigger amounts can be taken care of with high degrees of efficiency.
AI systems will become more effective at predicting demand spread. This will allow engineers to allocate resources efficiently at preset times. Cloud service providers will be able to detect cost spikes beforehand, and also automate their operations.
2. Edge Computing Will Complement the Cloud
There’s been a lot of talk about edge computing in the past couple of years. It’ a computing paradigm in which data storage and processing happen closer to the devices on which data is generated.
For instance, we could have smart sensors on motor vehicles that pick up signals related to fuel use, average temperatures, and speed; the senors process all that data, and produce information about the car’s condition that we can read and act upon. This computation happens right within the car.
We could see a lot of this type of local computing occur with the numerous smart devices that will be produced and used in the new decade. As our refrigerators, TVs, streetlights, and cars become data generators (like our computers and smartphones are), edge computing will help us make sense of the data they produce.
Some claim that this localized compute will replace cloud technology. But the general expert opinion is that it will complement the cloud, in a hybrid network infrastructure. We will still need centralized storage like data centers for a while to come. Because they collect data from wider areas and for more users, they will be vital for maintaining an interconnected world beyond our immediate environments.
3. Cloud Security Will Become Stronger
Cloud security will continue to evolve to meet new challenges, as it has over the time it’s existed.
Today, cloud service providers protect their client businesses’ data and cloud environments through multi-factor authentication, background checks, and AI-enabled systems that can predict the risk of a security breach.
In the future, security will be boosted by advanced AI and Machine Learning. Biometrics will replace passwords as a defense mechanism, automated systems will work round the clock to secure data (something that humans struggle at), and Quantum Computing could make security systems operate at much faster speeds.
The result will be a cloud that’s steeled-up against hackers’ attempts to break into private networks.
4. Costs Will Be Lower
The changes already mentioned, including AI and IoT devices, will contribute to an ever-expanding cycle of data generation and processing. As this expansion takes place, costs will fall, thanks to the efficiencies of AI and increasing economies of scale.
For cloud service providers, this means less expense accrued on maintaining cloud infrastructure. And for the businesses that use cloud services, it could translate to lower prices for hosting their files and content.
Ultimately, the cloud will become ‘democratized’. Small businesses will afford to deploy cloud solutions in more aspects of their work and enjoy their benefits to a fuller extent. As current projections suggest, we could see almost universal adoption of the cloud by businesses sometime in the 2020s.
Predicted Trends Arising from Cloud Adoption in the Near Future
We could see these trends unfold in the next few years, as cloud storage and computing becomes a global norm.
•Businesses and the public sector will be able to collect, store, and process vast amounts of data, at much faster speeds than they currently do. Big Data and Analytics will become a staple for private and public sector organizations.
•Familiarity with multiple cloud platforms will be a required skill for workers in more professions.
•The cloud will support city-wide infrastructure and interconnectivity (smart cities).
•Flexible working models such as remote working will become even more common, as more tasks will be performed on the cloud.
•Cloud-based apps will become ‘smarter’. Users will expect applications to function intuitively, and transition between each other upon request.
How Do You Get Ahead of the Curve?
These changes hold great promise for businesses in Nigeria. If you’re a company that wants to reap the benefits they bring, you will want to leverage a cloud service provider that offers you the opportunity to do so.
At Layer3Cloud, we are already moving in the direction of the future. From data centers and virtual servers to managed security and data recovery, our range of services is designed to take care of the needs of Nigeria’s forward-looking businesses.
If you would like to know more about the future of the cloud and how you can take advantage of it, we are available to help you with this. Click here to get in touch with us.