As 2021 starts to wind down, our minds now drift to the following year. Making plans, setting goals, outlining strategies to take into the new year. For business owners ,a new year can lead the way to a new innovation by harnessing the power of the technologies being rapidly developed all the time. One of the areas which could have a massive impact on businesses is that of Cloud Services. For a detailed rundown on how this technology works, check out our article breaking down the technology and its applications to users.
In a nutshell
In its simplest form Cloud Services are an off-shoot of cloud computing which focuses on the delivery of services to its users utilising the storage and processing power of an off-site server, colloquially called the Cloud. The biggest benefit this technology can give to business owners, especially those running smaller businesses, is the flexible scalability which they can offer. This is through the reduced reliance on physical hardware, saving costs and space.
The growth of this technology has also aided those involved in start-ups by allowing them to build their product or service and distribute that to customers on a small scale while revenue is being built up.
What Cloud Services can do for you
When it comes to the implementation of cloud services there are two main sections in which it can be broken down into.
The most commonly adopted aspect of cloud services is that of storage. Even as the price of storage comes down, the management and storage of all of this can cause issues for many small businesses, alongside the added complications regarding backups and security. This has led to many individuals and businesses adopting cloud storage. These cloud service providers usually offer paid plans for different amounts of storage to allow the costs to scale with the amount of storage that you need at that time. Aside from the operational cost savings, Cloud Storage comes alongside a multitude of other benefits.
With the near-monthly news of data breaches and leaks, customer confidence in tech services has dropped. It’s crucial for businesses to be able to reassure and provide a secure service to their customers. If as a business you are purchasing access to a white label cloud service in which you get administrative control, you are able to implement end to end encryption and other security measures onto the data and traffic going through the Cloud. An investment into these cyber security features will end up saving money in the long run as a liability due to data leaks can cost a business in legal fees and also affect the brand image, harming sales in the future.
Accessibility is another key benefit that can come from utilising the cloud, with users wanting to access internet-based services on many different devices these days with a wide range of power available within them. By having the data that your business uses stored on the cloud, you can allow other employees or customers to be able to also access that data on any device with an internet connection, anywhere in the world. This greatly expands the ability for businesses to operate over long distances and branch out around the globe, with all the data you need accessible.
The accessibility of this information also acts as a good method of marketing your business. By allowing seamless interaction with your product or service, you reduce the burden on the customer to be using specific hardware to engage. This allows users to be able to utilise your business’s service on the go.
The final main benefit of adopting cloud storage for your business is the ease of mind of organising backups. With all data stored off-site, it allows the business to schedule, implement and store regular backups without all the aforementioned issues of cost and storage by having it on-site. A lot of cloud storage providers for businesses usually offer these backups as part of the cost.
The less advertised aspect of cloud services is that on the side of the processing. As more and more people interact with the digital world from their phones, the need for more server-side processing increases. This can range from the compression of video to allow high-definition content to be accessed by many mobile devices, but also expands to the processing of any IT system your business might use. With the current prices and scarcity of GPUs as we discussed in a previous article, the feasibility for a business to invest in physical processing equipment wouldn’t be high.
Another reason why cloud processing is seeing such growth is due to the drive towards fancier UI/UX designs, as users get used to the sleek, interactive and primarily fast experience of a business app or service. This UI/UX design can take a lot of processing in the background to render and display the interface. Without utilising Cloud Processing this could lead to a sub-optimal experience for users on lower-end devices.
Looking to the future now, the growth in Cloud Processing has aided the boom we are seeing in AI/ML. In the development of AI/ML solutions, large amounts of storage and processing power is needed for all the data gathered to train it. This has led to its seamless integration into the world of Cloud Services. Many businesses now have the ability to design, train and deploy their own AI models utilising the processing power of the Cloud. These developments allow for smaller businesses and start-ups to develop these types of applications or services with much smaller team sizes and budgets. By lowering the barrier of entry into the space of Machine Learning, it allows all businesses to adopt the technology in relevant parts of their business and experiment at much less risk.
When looking at what cloud services can do for your business, it’s important to look at the external benefits as well. One of these includes the possibility of moving towards environmentally friendly cloud computing. By using green Cloud Service providers you can move your customers towards the right direction, and in turn, gain positive brand awareness by joining the forefront of environmental protection. As mentioned in our article on cloud services technology, Amazon are moving a lot of their Cloud Infrastructure to greener energy, offering a greener platform for developers to work on with their AWS.
With the global increase in mobile speeds, the use for mobile devices is growing. One of the areas with a lot of potential growth in future years is VR. The main limitation with VR currently is balancing the processing power needed to run these applications with the practicality of having it on the headset itself. Through the use of Cloud Services future VR applications could do the bulk of their processing power on the cloud, and basically ‘stream’ the content to the visor. This would give the benefit of not only a cheaper cost for the user, but a lighter visor as well which would improve the users’ experience.
With all technologies, it’s also important to consider the drawbacks and risks associated. One of the primary issues surrounding the use of Cloud Services is the reliance on an internet connection. Whilst those with access to a connection is always increasing, it’s still not a universal option. This would mean that businesses that solely operate using the Cloud could struggle to offer those services to those without this access, be it for regional issues or financial struggles.
Even in areas that usually do have regular internet access, power loss or other issues can disrupt the connection to the Cloud Services from the users end of the severs. To help prepare and prevent issues like this arising in the future, Cloud Service providers can invest in redundancy for their physical infrastructure, like the use of a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply.)
Because of this, the rollout of more cloud services needs to be alongside a rollout of infrastructure to allow everyone to be able to take advantage of this technology, and businesses would be wise to make themselves as accessible as possible in order to keep as many users as possible.
With all this new innovation around, it’s important to share and collaborate with others. Here at NetWorthPick, we champion new ideas and would love to hear what you think about the future of Cloud Services in the comment section below!
Nathaniel is a Web Design Executive who also writes content on technology and loves spending his days researching and building new projects, and generally complaining about new trends.