The Future of Cloud

Discover what the latest developments in Cloud infrastructure mean for the future of IT Solutions

The current human relationship with technology is symbiotic. We interact with technology, applications, and data at every single level, regardless of when at home, in the car, going out for a walk, and even sleeping. Each of us naturally use 100’s of Cloud applications without even being aware of it. Even our own identity has moved away from bricks and mortar to our mobile devices.

When we bring this back to business and consider the IT that is needed in the workplace, this presents a real challenge to the IT teams responsible to meet those needs. The technology arms race to maintain pace and gain competitive advantage in business, whilst reducing costs, maintaining a secure posture, and staying on the right side of regulatory requirements is increasingly driving a requirement to evolve at pace.

Currently, it is reasonable to say that most businesses have a hybrid strategy to meet current applications and data requirements. Perpetual software licensing deployment still dominates over SaaS, which means that overall, the IT requirements are met through a combination of in-house solutions, Data Centre hosted, Cloud Infrastructure and PaaS solutions, and SaaS. However, this is unlikely to meet future IT needs.

For IT to maintain pace, as it continues to be a natural extension of the user and the business, requires a faster route to maintain pace, while maintaining security and compliance. Simplistically, one could say that the route for business is to move to SaaS. However, this has many challenges. While SaaS applications have their place for end user needs, SaaS on its own is unlikely to meet every need of the business.

How data is processed in every business is different, and there is not a SaaS application to meet every single business need. Therefore, unless businesses have an abundance of software developers, or have such a USP that there is very little competition, then the natural route forward is to move towards a paradigm which allows IT solutions to be evolved at speed, while meeting UX, security and compliance needs.

We then have a further challenge, in that there are always IT solutions which are so bespoke, or unique to the business, that there is no way of taking a forward-thinking strategy beyond the capability of extending API’s for those solutions.

The natural evolution to Cloud solutions would therefore be one which enables the business to evolve safely, securely, within boundaries of regulatory requirements, and within the capabilities and budgets of the business.

For smaller businesses without IT teams, the future is always SaaS. Let’s not forget that even your local copy of Windows 10 is actually a SaaS service, while it is rarely considered as such as the running components exist locally on your machine. The same can be said of mobile operating system software.

For larger businesses that have either the budget, or the skills to have IT teams to execute a strategy, this will no doubt move towards a very hybrid strategy. The journey from the locally deployed IT will make way for Cloud Infrastructure, to release burden on managing local IT. SaaS solutions will replace the current perpetual licencing and support solutions over time where practicable, where bespoke beyond boundaries of the application is not to much of a compromise.

Finally, those IT solution requirements to drive a unique USP within a business will naturally gravitate towards PaaS, as this is the quickest way with the least supplemental development time to create an IT solution which meets UX and UI requirements in the most cost-effective way.

While the Cloud centric evolution of IT is inevitable, the back-office Cloud UX and UI has not kept up. What this does mean is that expertise will be critical to develop, maintain and evolve those solutions to meet business needs.

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