A few of my posts have touched on the speed at which cloud computing is growing, both as an industry, a provider of jobs or simply as a new way for SMEs to used hosted exchange and other cloud based services to gain a stride on the competition.
The growth of the cloud is, however, just one side of the coin. In order for hosted email, cloud platforms and cloud based data centres to grow, the whole IT sector has to change and adapt, to radically re-think the way it does business.
A recent cloud computing conference likened the process to that which occurs in a living ecosystem which has to contend with significant change. Just as with nature, the people that emerge strongest from the cloud revolution will be those who are agile and far sighted enough to adapt rapidly.
What happens to the rest, I’m afraid, has rather less of a happy ending as those who can’t, don’t or won’t adapt will inevitably find it harder and harder to keep up and, ultimately, once cloud based services such as hosted exchange have become the norm for most people, those businesses will be threatened with extinction.
It might sound over dramatic, but consider these big impacts that cloud computing is having on the IT sector right now:
Data centres (and data) are growing exponentially
The explosion of data is a wheel that looks set to keep on turning forever. As new cloud based data centres allow data to be stored more cheaply, more efficiently and more securely, businesses are able to embrace new ways of working that rely more and more on high data traffic. This in turn means more data… bigger data centre… and so the cycle continues. Whilst most people start off their cloud journey by dipping their toe in the water with a hosted email service such as Hosted Exchange 2010, before long the lure of more efficient data management convinces them to turn to the cloud for most, if not all, of their IT needs.
IT is evolving faster than ever before
As IT continues to change at break neck speed it gets harder and harder for in house IT teams to keep up and the case for cloud based IT support gets stronger and stronger.
Environmental concerns are top of mind
The power required to store and run all that data has to come from somewhere and with the world generally agreeing that energy consumption must reduce, the attractions of cloud based storage will only increase.
Economic efficiency is a must
And if the recent economic turmoil has taught us anything, it’s that it pays to operate with the leanest, most agile – and most accountable – operating structure possible. In many ways the banking crisis was partially caused by the fact that so many of the sectors key players were simply too big and too out of date to properly keep up with market developments. We all saw the results… and I think you’ll agree they were pretty frightening.
So, to sum up: This isn’t a case of ‘too big to fail’ but rather a case of ‘if you’re too big to adapt, you’ll very likely fail’. Good luck with your own journey to the cloud, I’m sure it will prove a rewarding one.