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50 Things You Absolutely Need To Know About the Cloud

Flexible cloud computing provides a variety of shared and scalable IT resources online, so that businesses don’t need to own, host, operate, upgrade or maintain these resources in-house. The cloud resources may include applications, services, infrastructure and more. These solutions can be used (and paid for) as needed, saving money, energy, human resources and capital costs. Here are some valuable facts and expert predictions about cloud computing:

  1. Spending on public cloud services could be more than $180 billion by next year, says the IT research group Gartner as quoted in InformationWeek).

  2. The cloud allows for quick scalability to meet demand. Companies can quickly scale cloud services and storage up or down as needed. Cloud users only pay for the extra services, extra processing capabilities or bandwidth for as long as they need it.  

  3. The public cloud will grow 45% annually over the next five years, while on-site computing will grow by just under 9%, according to Barron’s Tech Trader Daily and Piper Jaffray. 

  4. Cloud providers can efficiently, accurately and quickly manage upgrades, backup, disaster recovery, maintenance, some security and more. Businesses can enjoy more reliability than they might if handling everything on their own.

  5. If they could use the cloud for just one application, 25% of IT decision makers surveyed worldwide would choose storage, 20% would choose ERP (enterprise resource planning such as supply chain and HR), 16% would choose email and 15% would choose collaboration, according to a Cisco survey.

  6. Companies using the cloud can save on capital costs because they don’t have to buy any (or as many) servers, software, etc.

  7. Companies concerned with being environmentally sound can choose green IT (data centers powered by renewable energy, like a wind farm for example.) 

  8. According to an NSK survey of 3500 IT executives, more than 80% saved money by moving company business to the cloud. 33% of the companies have reduced IT spending by 25%, and 13% have cut tech spending by at least half.

  9. Nearly 15% of IT companies in the NSK survey downsized staff after moving to the cloud, thereby saving even more money.

  10. Cloud computing allows IT costs to be more transparent and expenses can be divided among department budgets, depending upon how much each has used cloud services.  

  11. Almost all of those surveyed by RightScale, 94%, use cloud computing. Close to 60% of those use a combination (public and private) cloud solution, 30% use public cloud only and less than 10% use private only.

  12. Using the cloud helps small businesses and entrepreneurs access the latest, full-featured technology, quicker and at lower cost, than they could if they had to purchase the tech outright.

  13. By 2020, 60% of storage capacity is expected to be in cloud apps, according to Seagate, the industry’s leading producer of storage such as hard drives.

  14. Using cloud computing, companies can operate without a large IT team in-house. 

  15. An estimated 1 exabyte of data is currently in cloud storage, according to Seagate and SiliconAngle. One exabyte is equal to 1000 petabytes (PB), or 1,000,000 terabytes.

  16. A whopping 90% of IT professionals surveyed saw an improvement in either security, quality or efficiency after moving to the cloud, according to NSK.

  17. The cloud allows businesses to be use remote workers. Employees can work from wherever they are and share information, documents and applications in the cloud.

  18. Employees and freelance consultants can use their favorite devices (and multiple devices) to access the cloud data or apps. 

  19. Small businesses trust the cloud to handle at least some of their sensitive data, according to Thales e-Security. More than half of the 4000 businesses they surveyed worldwide use the cloud for confidential information sharing and storage-- and 60% of them believe that security is the responsibility of the cloud provider. (In reality, businesses planning to use the cloud should be certain they understand needed security measures, capabilities and risks of each cloud vendor and solution.)

  20. Small or large firms can save a significant amount fairly quickly on software and energy expenses by moving e-mail to Web mail and getting antivirus protection via cloud software.

  21. About 60% of new spending on cloud computing is by North American businesses. Western European users account for about 25% and this trend is growing, according to Forbes and Gartner.

  22. By the end of 2014, businesses in the United States will spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing and managed hosting services.

  23. More than 60% of businesses use the cloud for IT operations. Approximately 75% of businesses surveyed said service availability improved after moving to the cloud, according to Security Week.

  24. According to EMC, nearly 40% of all information in the digital universe will be touched in some way by cloud computing companies.

  25. The number of cloud providers currently is huge: 2200+ cloud services are being used by 3 million people in the following major business sectors: finance, health, technology, manufacturing, media and services, according to Yahoo Finance and SkyHigh Networks, a cloud access and security provider. Many businesses go to name brand cloud providers because they feel safer from data breach.

  26. 91% of users surveyed said the cloud makes it easier to meet government compliance requirements, according to Baseline.

  27. More than 33% of survey respondents said that accessibility to access cloud information with multiple devices was the main reason they adopted cloud computing, according to Ramco.

  28. According to Baseline, 75% of companies surveyed experienced improvements in their network availability.

  29. The top cloud file sharing services are DropBox and Google Drive, and the top collaboration services are Office 365 and Gmail, according to the Cloud Security Alliance.

  30. Survey respondents stated that the fastest areas of growth in cloud applications will be in the IT areas of big data, backup, help desk operations, mobile, system management and security, according to North Bridge Growth Equity Venture Partners and GigaOm Research. There were 850+ respondents, including business users, IT decision makers and cloud vendors. More than 33% were C-level executives.

  31. GigaOM predicts the total world market for cloud computing will be approximately $160 billion by the end of 2014, which is up about 125% from just 3 years ago.

  32. Businesses can add cloud services as needed, for instance, you might move email first, but keep your data files on a local server and use a cloud-based system for backup.

  33. About 65% of companies surveyed said that switching to cloud solutions reduced waste and lowered energy consumption, according to Ramco

  34. Although data security and intellectual property rights are concerns when choosing a cloud provider, 94% of businesses found that IT security actually improved after switching to the cloud, according to Security Week quoting a ComScore survey.

  35. 80% saw the improvements in the first 6 months after switching to the cloud, according to EMC.

  36. The private cloud typically offers more control, flexibility and performance but public cloud services may provide specific applications at a lower cost. Many businesses use a combination.

  37. In 2013, most cloud activity was related to banking (64%) partly due to the introduction and adoption of mobile banking. This was closely followed by shopping at 63% of cloud activity, social media at nearly 60%, online gaming accounted for 45% of cloud activity. Nearly 30% of cloud activity was due to photo sharing and almost 20% due to file sharing, according to NSK Inc.    

  38. When evaluating a cloud provider, make sure you understand the details like the data storage location, how backups are done and how data is secured. Get details about the provider’s disaster planning and also what service levels are guaranteed.

  39. More than 60% of cloud users said their levels of privacy protection increased, according to Security Week quoting a Microsoft study.

  40. The cloud allows companies to shift employees to other tasks like data analysis, strategic planning or sales.

  41. SaaS (software as a service) is the most popular of cloud services, used by about 65% of companies surveyed by GigaOM and North Bridge.

  42. Nearly 40% of respondents plan to increase their training investment to support the expansion of cloud computing in their business, according to GigaOM and North Bridge.

  43. Cloud advertising is the largest segment of the cloud services market, making up almost 50% percent of the market in 2012, with $310 billion to be spent through 2016, according to Gartner.

  44. Gartner predicts that, through 2016, the most widely used cloud services segment (after advertising) will be business process services (BPaaS, nearly 30% of total market), followed by application services (SaaS, software as a service at nearly 15%), cloud system infrastructure (infrastructure as a service, called IaaS, at about 6%), cloud management and security service (at about 3%), and application infrastructure services (PaaS, platform as a service at 1%). 

  45. By 2020, private and public clouds will be common and will exchange data seamlessly, according to EMC.

  46. When surveyed by Citrix and Wakefield Research, consumers said the cloud would benefit the economy by lowering costs for businesses and lowering prices for them (35%), spurring small business growth (32%) and generating jobs (said 26% of Millennials and only 19% of Baby Boomers).

  47. More than 75% of survey respondents expect hybrid cloud solutions to be the core of their cloud strategies within five years, according to GigaOM.

  48. Among those reluctant to use the cloud, the top reasons were cost (34%), security issues (32%) and privacy concerns (31%), according to GigaOM.

  49. Despite all of the cloud usage, many members of the public don’t realize when they are using it. According to a survey by Citrix, 95% of consumers said they never use the cloud, but when asked, said they do engage in online shopping, social media, mobile banking and more.

  50. According to Wakefield Research, a little over 50% of respondents, including a majority of Millennials (born in the 1980s and 90s), think that stormy weather interferes with cloud computing.

Although we’ve ended on a light note, we’ve hopefully conveyed that the cloud is serious business. Perhaps these stats can help you start discussions at your company about moving some of your business to the cloud. Need expert advice? Contact Us.

Posted: 12/9/2014 10:08:41 AM

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