Consider this: 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the past two years. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to evolve—bringing billions more devices and data into the digital sphere—we face a huge potential problem in data storage. Now, that problem is being solved by the cloud.
Chances are, your company is already using multiple levels of cloud technology to keep your workplace running. It seems to have snuck up on us most recently in the form of Software-as-a-Service (Saas)—and everything else as a service (XaaS). Far more than a storage vehicle, the cloud now houses everything from programs, data, machine learning applications, and customer profiles for any number of different industries. And the skies are only getting cloudier.
The truth is, if your company isn’t using some form of cloud, you’re probably a step behind in the digital race. The following are a few reasons cloud makes the most sense right now:
As with anything in the digital transformation, flexibility is essential. Customer demands—and even services themselves—can change in a moment’s notice. Cloud allows you to shift, scale, and access your information as needed at any time. That’s flexibility you simply can’t find with a data center. Even more, clouds play nice together. Many businesses find success using multiple clouds or hybrid cloud environments that tie together numerous different types of cloud services into one cohesive cloud-based machine.
It Can be Personalized
Face it: our customers aren’t the only ones who like personalization. But once you invest in a data center, you’re stuck with it for the long haul, even knowing it will already be outdated as soon as its installed. With cloud, you can subscribe to any number of public or private clouds as you see fit, depending on the specific needs of your data and team. For instance, if you need more storage for a highly regulated sector of your company, you can scale that specific cloud while keeping your less strategic data in more affordable cloud spaces. The concept of “different clouds for different crowds” is helping businesses around the world be leaner and smarter when it comes to data storage.
It Moves Quickly—Just Like Your Industry
Data centers can take up to a year to create. But what if you need space now? Cloud gives you the chance to grow in real-time, sync in real-time, and machine-learn in real-time—and to stop or pull out at a moment’s notice. That’s just not possible with on-site data systems.
It’s More Affordable
In the last few years, 60 percent of businesses have set aside money in the budget for the purchase of more storage space, drives, and solutions. Data storage centers simply can’t keep up with demand. The cloud, on the other hand, removes the front-end expense of investing in a data center, as well as life-cycle expenses associated reworking, maintaining, and fixing it. That’s money that can be better spent on storage space itself. In fact, a study showed that retail companies could save nearly 40 percent in a three-year period by moving to cloud. The savings can only increase as companies move further toward moving long-term data, back-up, and archival data to the cloud, as well.
An Incredibly Small Cloud Caveat
As if the capacity of cloud technology weren’t mind-blowing enough, research shows that an entirely new form of data storage could be on the horizon within the next 10 years—one all of us area already familiar with. Scientists at a number of major tech organizations are researching the capability of storing data within human DNA. Just four grams of DNA can hold a year’s worth of data produced by all of mankind. In fact, every movie ever made could fit inside a volume tinier than a sugar cube. And, it can last for 100 years or more—far longer than floppy disks, CDs, or data centers themselves. In trial studies, the files were recovered completely error-free, making DNA an incredibly promising option in data containment in the next decade. Although work still needs to be done in areas of speed and affordability, I’d say we’ll soon be taking our head out of the clouds—and into DNA—fairly soon.
Additional Articles on This Topic:
Mastering the Management of Complex Cloud Environments
Hybrid Cloud Security: Achieving Full Protection
Cyber Resiliency: Key to Business Success
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Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.