As the number of business days left in the year keeps getting smaller and smaller, publications left and right are starting to come out with their predictions for 2016. Without even looking at what their success rates were in predicting this past year, one thing stood out in some recent articles: 2016 being yet again named “the year of the cloud.”
Perhaps the headline should have added an “again” or a “still.”
All we’ve heard about the past few years is the growth of the cloud. Businesses and organizations everywhere are moving to the cloud; or this is the year where the cloud really takes hold in the enterprise; or now is when it will really “take hold.” Why is this? Were people off with their predictions, or is something else at play here?
Thinking about cloud adoption and what we’ve seen the past few years in the industry, it’s not incorrect to say that every year has been the “year of the cloud.” Businesses and organizations everywhere have started to implement the cloud, turning over large portions of their operations to it. The thing to note, however, is that every company is different and has come to the cloud on its own terms.
A few years ago the idea of the cloud seemed novel, then that was followed by acceptance that the cloud was a legitimate way of doing business, then the idea that it was necessary to compete in this day and age. Those changing beliefs led to tests being run and small parts of a company’s business being pushed to the cloud. Eventually more and more of a business made its way to the cloud, along with some adjustment between cloud models as companies figured out what model (public, private, hybrid) was right for them.
For example, this CIO article quotes a survey that found that “…more than half (56 percent) of a company’s IT environment will be hosted in the cloud by the end of 2016, up from 44 percent today.” While the cloud has been successful and has seen massive adoption across all industries the past few years – businesses have been slow and deliberate about it thus far. 2016 should be the year where companies continue their evolution to be “all in.”
Forbes pulled out some additional data from this study to support this, including that “enterprises surveyed are predicting they will invest an average of $2.87M in cloud computing technologies in 2016”; and that “25% of total IT budgets will be allocated to cloud computing in 2016.”
So, it looks like 2016 is truly shaping up as the year of the cloud (still). The only question then, is, if you haven’t already, then what are you waiting for?
Here are a few tips on what you should keep in mind as you decide to expand (or start) your company’s path to cloud computing:
- Remember Every Company is Different: One size does not fit all. What worked for your closest competitor or the company across the hall may not be right for you. Many factors should come into play when selecting a solution for your individual organization, including the type of data you’re storing or applications you’re cloud-enabling, how quickly and often your employees need to access them and the level of security necessary to meet particular regulations, such as HIPAA.
- Security has to be a Part of the Discussion: The cloud has matured over these past few years. Security options are many – and they’re now at the point where excellent security can be provided to companies over the cloud. In addition, it is up to the cloud vendor to regularly upgrade and enhance security, meaning one less thing for the company to remember.
- Make Access and Capacity Issues: Can your cloud vendor grow with you? If your company experiences rapid growth, does your partner have the capacity necessary to handle it? Can they enable you to access your critical apps and information anywhere, at anytime? Your future success may depend on the answer to these questions.
- Pick the Right Partner: When selecting a cloud provider, ensure they understand your goals, offer the services necessary to deliver reliable uptime and backup and will work with you to implement whatever it is your business needs today – or during the next year of the cloud.