Analysts were already prophesising years ago that, sooner or later, cloud computing would play a decisive role in data storage and processing of digital information. Brainloop was one of the first SaaS providers and, as early as 2003, showed its “cloud subscription model” at CeBIT as a platform for enterprise collaboration. Since then, this idea has seen increasing adoption. Solution as a service have created a completely new line of business that’s probably still a long way from reaching its saturation point.
And companies’ scepticism about the cloud has faded – for the first time, the percentage of storage on local devices compared to cloud solutions has evened out. Experts believe that this trend towards the cloud will continue over the next five years. After all, the volume of data produced globally is increasing constantly. While 2010 broke through the zettabyte barrier, in 2018 data production had already grown to as much as 33 zettabytes.
Why the Cloud?
A company’s digital transformation often begins with a journey to the cloud. It enables firms to work in a more agile and flexible way, while preparing them for tomorrow’s connected world. With cloud solutions, employees can access data and documents anytime and from any location. And companies can significantly reduce their IT infrastructure costs as they don’t necessarily need their own datacentre. Another advantage is higher scalability and the ability to profit from ongoing improvements in data security precautions by the cloud providers. According to Bitkom Cloud Monitor, data protection and IT security are among the top criteria that companies consider when choosing a cloud service.
Making the right choice…
The scope of a cloud service can be adapted to customer’s needs. Alongside data protection and the security architecture, there are other selection criteria companies should use. These include how and where their data will be stored. They should also check whether the provider can prove it has the official certifications and whether customers always have complete control over their data.
…and ensuring legal compliance
In the past, many businesses were restricted from using the cloud due to professional secrecy and confidentiality obligations. But legislators reacted to this. For example, in 2017, Germany passed a law governing new regulations on how third parties work with people who have confidentiality obligations. Paragraph 203 of the German Penal Code (StGB) allows the use of reasonable IT systems – including the cloud – by people subject to obligations of professional confidentiality. But information security is crucial in these cases: in secure data room, administrators can configure personalised access permissions for users. And every activity in a data room is logged and completely traceable. That ensures complete transparency.
A peek into the future
IDC predicts that the collective sum of the world’s data will grow from 33 zettabytes to a 175ZB by 2025, for a compounded annual growth rate of 61 percent. So what else can we expect to see?
One thing’s for sure: cloud solutions will continue to become more specialised. Hybrid and multi-clouds have the potential to establish themselves on the market. A hybrid cloud is a combination of the public and private clouds, while a multi-cloud comprises more than one implementation of the same type of cloud but from different providers. Artificial intelligence is another aspect and will affect the cloud too. Cloud providers are working intensively to add AI applications to their platforms and expand their range of services with them. For companies, the way forward is the cloud, sooner or later.