The world of technology, much like the cosmos, is constantly expanding. New technologies are being introduced with such rapidity that the technology of today becomes outdated, even obsolete, in just a few weeks’ time. The latter half of the 20th century saw speedy technological advancements, headlined by the birth of computers. These machines bolstered the central human endeavour of simplifying tasks, increasing efficiency and productivity, and optimally utilizing the limited resources, including time, at our disposal. The advent of the cloud marked a watershed moment in the field of computer science and forever changed the laws governing the technological universe.
What is Cloud Computing?
In the simplest of terms, cloud computing can be understood as instantaneous access to computing services, delivered over the internet or the “cloud”. These services encompass hardware solutions such as servers and software solutions such as analytics, databases, and intelligence. Cloud-based systems offer a host of advantages such as:
- Lower costs as cloud systems remove the need for spending on expensive hardware and software;
- Scalability, since cloud solutions allow businesses to upscale or downscale their operations over the cloud as per requirement;
- Higher productivity, because cloud systems eliminate issues of hardware set up and software patching that typically plagues on-site data centres; and
- Excellent reliability as cloud computing enables safe backup and retrieval of data in case of an adverse event.
Given its extensive benefits for businesses, it is not surprising to note that the cloud computing market is growing at breakneck speed. According to Fortune Business Insights™, the global cloud computing market size stood at USD 199.01 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 760.98 billion by 2027, surging at a CAGR of 18.6% during the forecast period. It will be worthwhile to check out some of the most notable strides that have been made in this industry in the past few years.
BlackRock to Leverage Microsoft’s Azure Platform to Host Aladdin
In April 2020, BlackRock, the US-based investment corporation, entered into a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to host its investment infrastructure, Aladdin, on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. By making Aladdin available on Azure, BlackRock will be able to utilize the cloud system’s network of data centres spread around the world, allowing the company to vastly expand its scale of financial instruments and services for its clients. Moreover, this move will also empower BlackRock to leverage Azure’s superior cloud capabilities to meet its clients’ localized needs, whilst maintaining the security of its system. With this strategic manoeuvre, BlackRock hopes to gain a leading position in the financial services industry.
Wipro Joins Forces with IBM to Offer Cloud Solutions
Wipro, the Indian IT giant, joined forces with IBM in June 2020 to develop and deliver hybrid cloud solutions to businesses. Under the partnership, the two companies have created the Wipro IBM Novus Lounge at Wipro’s campus in Bangalore, which has been designed as a state-of-the-art innovation facility. Here, holistic solutions harnessing the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) will be engineered to accelerate innovation among enterprises and independent developers. The focus, according to Wipro, will be to design hybrid cloud systems to facilitate migration, management, and transformation of mission-critical business operations across private and public clouds.
Oracle Brings Its Public Cloud Services to Enterprises
The US-domiciled computing innovator, Oracle Corporation, announced in July 2020 the release of the Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer, it’s a fully-managed cloud system that brings together all of the company’s second-generation cloud solutions to customer datacenters. Costing only $500,000 a month, the new system includes Oracle’s flagship Oracle Cloud applications and the Autonomous Database. At a price that is only a fraction of that quoted by other cloud providers, enterprises will be able to gain access to the complete set of the comprehensive cloud services offered by Oracle’s public cloud regions in their own datacenters. Organizations such as the Oman Information and Communications Technology Group and the Nomura Research Institute in Japan have already adopted Oracle’s innovative cloud offering to deliver high-quality services to customers with an enhanced security quotient.
Cloud Computing Start-Ups: Convergence of Entrepreneurship and Technology
Even more exciting than the industry developments listed above is the proliferation of start-ups in the booming cloud market. These nascent companies have reenergized the tech world with their innovative ideas and are making tangible breakthroughs in cloud-based technologies. Some of the most prominent start-ups in this industry include:
- Stripe – a San Francisco-based financial technology company specializing in developing and delivering cloud solutions to small businesses to optimize their online payment architecture in the form of a simple algorithm.
- Slack – this is a cloud solution designed to simplify corporate communication and facilitate efficient, channel-based collaboration between different teams working on a particular project.
- Tanium – this company offers a comprehensive security platform powered by cloud technology. Its solutions are designed to safeguard all endpoints in an enterprise network.
- Procore – this start-up has made a name for developing and providing cloud software solutions for efficient management of construction projects as these ventures involve a large number of moving components.
These entities represent only a small portion of the number of cloud start-ups that have cropped up since the turn of the century. The important thing to remember is that the cloud market is opening avenues for individuals and groups to funnel their entrepreneurial zeal and provide actionable solutions to enterprises.
Is Cloud Computing the Answer Businesses Have Been Looking For?
Enhancing operational efficiency and maximising revenues are two central goals of any enterprise. Cloud-based systems, strengthened by the integration of automation technologies such as AI, ML, and IoT, appear to possess the properties necessary for businesses to attain their dual aims. However, cloud computing is not infallible. It has its shortcoming, most notably visible through its vulnerability to hackers and cyber-criminals. Nonetheless, the potential of cloud systems is immense and seemingly boundless. Moreover, crisis situations such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced people to work from home, are further fuelling the adoption of clouds in organizations. How the future of this industry unfolds will certainly be an interesting experience for the world.