Cloud computing has come a long way in terms of its capabilities and utility for organizations worldwide. Let’s take a look at the Evolution of Cloud Computing over the years.

Cloud computing has become an integral part of numerous organizations in the last decade. It’s a transformative technology that has enabled us to harness the power of technology to boost enterprise efficiency and accuracy. Moreover, it has also helped businesses throughout the pandemic with remote work capabilities.

What started as an exclusive competitive advantage for big enterprises has now become mandatory for every organization to survive and thrive in the new market scenario. Today, due to an unprecedented shift in the business environment, the prominence of cloud computing has grown tremendously across various industries.

We’ve come a long way in terms of what cloud computing can do for your business. Constant technological advancements have opened new possibilities for cloud computing and analytics to maximize the use of the internet to achieve unprecedented flexibility and scalability and cater to various business needs. The journey of cloud computing is as fascinating as its worldwide applications in modern times.

In this blog, we shall take a closer look at the entire journey of cloud computing so far. This includes a brief history of the cloud, how it became sophisticated over the years, its prominence across industries, the introduction of data analytics, and its future.

A brief history of Evolution of cloud computing

Cloud computing today has become one of the most popular technologies and buzzwords in the global economy. But who actually coined the term? The answer might actually surprise you.

The term “cloud computing” was first documented when Google’s then CEO Eric Schmidt mentioned it in an industry conference held on August 9, 2006. However, its roots go way back to 1996 inside the office of Compaq Computers, where a small group of technology executives were discussing the future of the internet as a business and called it “cloud computing.”

What they envisioned was to migrate all business software to the web and common consumer file storage under “cloud computing-enabled applications.” This is what modern cloud computing systems are most commonly used for.

Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it?

Prior to using cloud infrastructure, organizations kept a set of small individual data centers to segregate and store a variety of data. This provided very limited scalability and the only way to achieve cost-effectiveness was to buy in bulk. Furthermore, this allowed limited configurability in a heterogeneous environment.

Modern cloud computing, as we know it, started in 1999 when it gained popularity among companies that understood its utility in achieving business efficiency like never before. Salesforce became the most successful cloud computing service provider with a business model of delivering software programs through the internet to its end users. The best thing about these enterprise applications is their availability to anyone with internet access.

Thus began the era of on-demand and cost-effective applications for enterprises that could be bought and operated without leaving the office.

The biggest shift in cloud technology happened during 2006 when Amazon launched its most ambitious project, Amazon Web Services (AWS), which specializes in providing web-based services to other websites and businesses and covers a variety of industry-grade applications for data storage, computation, and analytical capabilities. Another AWS web application worth mentioning is Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which allows businesses to operate a virtual computer for online applications.

This technological advancement was further accelerated by Google Doc services, which allowed the storage of company documents and spreadsheets. And the best part was that users could edit, save, and distribute the same document with secured document access. Spreadsheets were the most prominently used among organizations for storing and analyzing financial information. The program is Ajax-based, making it compatible with the traditional Excel file format.

In 2007, Netflix released its video streaming services on the cloud, which started the tradition of “binge-watching” that we’re familiar with today. NASA’s OpenNebula, released in 2008, became the first open-source platform for businesses to deploy private and hybrid cloud networks, making cloud computing even more efficient and diversified for businesses.

Apple’s iCloud, released in 2011, enabled users to store their personal information like photos, music, and videos on a private server with easy and secured access to the internet. And in 2012, Oracle Cloud offered all the three basics of cloud services for businesses, i.e., IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), and SAAS (Software-as-a-Service).

Besides secure data storage and distribution, the biggest gift of cloud computing for businesses has been access to cutting-edge data analytics and business intelligence.

Enter the age of analytics

The rapid pace of technological development combined with cloud computing’s ability to store and process a vast amount of data has resulted in a comprehensive data analytics system for organizations to make business operations more agile and accurate.

Although the concept of big data was prominent far before it went mainstream, cloud computing accelerated the entire process of data collection, processing, and deriving meaningful results. As a central data storage system, cloud computing can access data from its internal servers and use technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to streamline cluttered data using pre-set parameters, thereby offering meaningful insights that can help organizations make better management decisions.

The biggest application of cloud analytics in businesses is conducting scientific research for acquiring business intelligence, operating Internet of Things (IoT) machinery, managing security, and more. In the business environment, where data is the most important asset of companies, cloud analytics has become the biggest factor in achieving a competitive advantage.

Unlike previous data management systems, cloud computing can gather the stored data across a company’s servers while simultaneously processing it to deliver real-time business insights. Additionally, cloud analytics is highly scalable. You can adjust the amount of cloud processing for a cost-effective data analytics system that also adapts to the dynamic business environment. It doesn’t require a physical data server, as many public cloud service providers offer cost-effective cloud solutions that are operated on their own servers.

Cloud analytics has quickly become the most valuable asset for industries where quick decision-making is the difference-maker. From retail to healthcare, cloud analytics has been utilized to provide the best possible service while reaching the right people at the right time. It has also reduced the significant potential for human errors, thereby providing the most accurate results every single time. The only room for error in cloud analytics is when the data itself is measured against the wrong context and parameter. However, these issues can easily be rectified by an industry expert.

The data generated from cloud computing can be utilized for planning future marketing campaigns, identifying patterns in a geographical area for improving the availability of medicines and vaccines, developing better community development projects according to census data, implementing the results into other technologies like IoT to maintain its efficiency, etc. With cloud analytics, the possibilities are limitless.

Now that we’ve covered the history and analytical applications of the cloud, let’s take a look at the industries benefitting from cloud infrastructure.

Various use cases of cloud computing

According to a study conducted by Flexera, over 50% of organizations moved their workloads to the cloud in 2020. This means a plethora of companies are migrating to the cloud to overcome the impact of the pandemic and the rate of adoption has been increasing with every passing month.

The sheer versatility of cloud computing allows it to cater to a variety of industries. Here, we shall take a closer look at some key industries using cloud computing for accelerating their business operations.

SMEs

The use of cloud computing has exploded among small and medium enterprises in the last year. Over 78% of small businesses have fully adopted the cloud in 2020, and rightfully so. Because many businesses are adopting a remote work model, it is almost mandatory for small businesses to incorporate a competent digital platform.

Cloud computing has helped many SMEs to survive and thrive during the global pandemic by creating a central digital platform for remote work. Among the alternatives, the public cloud has been the go-to choice among SMEs with tight budgets due to its pay-per-use model and limitless scalability.

Education

Just like SMEs, the education industry has been significantly impacted because of the remote work mandate. Besides the benefits mentioned above, cloud infrastructure helps in creating a better student-teach collaborative environment. Institutions can also create customized and dedicated teacher portals to create a secure data bank of educational literature.

The future of education demands quick adoption of the latest technology to make the learning process more accessible, fun, and interactive, and cloud computing helps educational institutes achieve just that.

Healthcare

Cloud computing has been a prominent part of the healthcare industry since the last decade. From analyzing geographical locations for a better supply of medicines and vaccines to creating a secure database of patient information, cloud computing offers numerous benefits that improve healthcare worldwide.

The healthcare industry realized the true potential of cloud computing during the pandemic, where hospitals had to record, maintain, and distribute information regarding active cases and geographical spread, and the number of high-risk patients. Cloud computing helped in creating a centralized data bank to store this information securely.

In the post-pandemic environment, the use of cloud computing in the healthcare sector will keep on increasing and allow the automation of data transfer, timely reminders, and much more, along with added security on a digital platform.

Automotive

Cost and time-effectiveness are at the core of the automotive industry. The faster you bring quality vehicles into the market, the more of a competitive advantage you gain in the market. That’s why many leading automotive industries have adopted cloud computing as on-demand digital support for their manufacturing and supply chain management.

Being cost-effective and highly scalable, it has also witnessed applications in IoT and machine learning for automating manufacturing processes without errors and the ability to operate factories remotely through a central dashboard.

Government

Globally, even governments have understood the importance of cloud computing, as many government institutions and agencies are operating digitally on private cloud infrastructure. Rather than having on-premise digital infrastructure for digital activities, cloud computing provides unlimited flexibility in adding or changing services without worrying about transforming your digital infrastructure.

Incorporating cloud computing has made government operations more agile, cost-effective, and accurate by collecting and processing a tremendous amount of data securely.

The way forward

We cannot overlook the prominence of cloud computing in the modern business environment. The future holds many possibilities for what the cloud can achieve in terms of data storage, sophistication, and agility. Datacenter speeds are predicted to exceed 1000G in 2021, and according to GlobalData’s predictions, spending on cloud services (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) will exceed $429bn in 2024.

It is important to watch out for the latest trends in cloud computing to gain a major leap ahead of the competition. That’s why we’ve compiled the most promising future cloud trends for the coming years.

Cloud AI: The much-improved cloud AI is about to get even better with the ability to optimize business operation and automation capabilities improved to perfection. Cloud computing is on its way to becoming the only way to scale up AI systems that can process an enormous amount of data.

Integrated Blockchain Technology: Using blockchain technology in cloud computing would substantially increase accountability, as companies can track the progress of the product life cycle at every phase. It also provides added security to cloud operations. Although a much deeper understanding of blockchain technology is required to implement it correctly, we’re almost there.

Intelligent SaaS: Improved AI and ML result in even smarter SaaS. More industries will incorporate cloud computing to optimize and automate business operations for creating a smart work environment.

The prominence of Kubernetes: Google’s Kubernetes has rapidly grown to become the most impactful management solution in the global economy. Microsoft has already made its move by purchasing container-orchestration vendor Deis to expand its Kubernetes toolset and further its cloud capacities.

Conclusion

We hope this blog helped in underlining the importance of cloud computing and why you need to begin modernizing and digitizing your business on the cloud. If you want to start the cloud computing journey for your business, VBeyond Digital provides custom cloud solutions that cater to your unique business needs in a cost-effective and outcome-oriented manner.

Just reach out to us and we’ll get back to you in no time.