Cloud computing has long been hailed as the next big thing. The adoption of cloud computing has been a slow but steady process. It’s usually safe to assume that any modern company will have at least some cloud based technologies. It’s quite common for the cloud to end up as a 1 to 1 replacement for a company’s aging systems. But 2017 has also brought some real world examples which show just what the cloud is really capable of.
6. 1 to 1 Replacements
Replacing older computers with a cloud based system might not seem revolutionary at first glance. On the surface it might seem similar to replacing a Windows 2000 based computer with a new model running Windows 10. Limited computing lifespans are a given within IT. But there’s one important detail which makes it an example of cloud technology trends. The important point is that it’s not a linear upgrade path.
Moving from a standard infrastructure to a cloud based one is closer to a company moving from a human with a pencil and paper to a computer. At first things will usually move about as fast as people are accustomed to. But with both examples a company will quickly begin to see just how revolutionary their decision is. Replacing existing computers with cloud based systems which do the same things can be seen as a vital starting point. This is especially important when one considers that an estimated 95% of larger companies now use cloud computing.
HTML5 might well be tied with cloud computing for sheer versatility and power. It’s little wonder that these two technologies work together so well. Cloud computing places emphasis on raw number crunching. But actually displaying the results of those calculations will require some form of user facing output. By default the easiest way to accomplish this is through a simple text based system. But most people, even at a professional level, want full graphical user interfaces for their programs. The compromise between these two methodologies is often found with HTML5.
HTML5 makes it relatively easy to make beautiful and responsive user interfaces. Furthermore, the fact that HTML5 is centered around the web makes it especially well suited to cloud computing. One can write graphical interfaces for cloud platforms in almost any programming language. But most people want to go with the option that provides the strongest benefits. And with cloud computing that usually means going with HTML5. It’s one of the most important cloud technology trends because it instantly gifts the platform with a whole host of new functions.
Cloud technology trends usually focus on specific metrics or achievements. But when there’s an exception, it’s for good reason. Advertising is an example of why cloud computing’s versatility is so important. The link between cloud computing and advertising wasn’t very clear at first. But some companies have realized just how significant the pairing of user data and powerful computing technologies can be.
The biggest example of this comes from a company which has a huge amount of user data and equally powerful cloud computing systems. Every time someone performs a search on Google they’re giving the software giant a look into their lives. Google’s able to work with such an immense amount of data thanks to their cloud based systems. The end result is that they’re able to more easily match a company selling a product to people who might be a good match for it. Few companies have the same resources as Google. But almost anyone can sign up to use Google as their advertising platform.
3. Online File Storage
File storage and manipulation is one of the most basic features of an operating system. For a long time this seemed like a problem which had been solved. Computer file systems were developed to be somewhat analogous to real world filing cabinets. And they’ve been successfully implementing that idea almost as long as computers have existed.
The first successful rethinking of file storage wouldn’t happen until the cloud was available to power it. This new type of file storage is one of the most important cloud technology trends due to how ubiquitous it’s becoming. Most new computers and smartphones have built in services to automatically synchronize files between local storage and a cloud based service. Google Drive and iCloud are the most popular examples of cloud based storage.
The files can be accessed locally on one’s own computer. But they can also be accessed through the cloud using a Web browser or mobile app. The trend is growing so fast in part because many people aren’t even aware they’re using it. But as more systems provide cloud storage by default more people will realize how powerful it can be.
Webapps show what a combination of HTML5 and cloud computing can do. It might seem odd to call it one of the most important cloud technology trends. After all, webapps have been around for quite some time now. But webapps have been secondary considerations until very recently. The slow growth came from any number of factors. Slower processors on mobile devices, lack of just in time compilation on mobile browsers, business strategies focusing on leveraging particular operating systems and a whole host of other factors have slowed overall adoption of webapps. But by 2017 the vast majority of these considerations have become irrelevant. And the solution to many of those problems was found through the use of cloud computing. It’s little wonder then that webapps are becoming a huge part of the everyday computing experience.
One of the most significant examples of this is Office Online. Microsoft Office was often used as a selling point for Windows. The fact that Microsoft is now pushing it as a cloud based cross-platform service shows just how important the cloud has become. One can now even run it in a private cloud through Office Web Apps Server. While this is just one example, it’s a particularly important one due to Microsoft’s history of platform lock in. When even Microsoft is pushing for an alternate platform than one can easily see that it’s something which can’t be ignored.
1. Cloud Based Operating Systems
Some of the cloud technology trends have touched on the basic foundations of modern computing. Standard applications are giving way to webapps which run on the cloud. Standard file systems are giving way to cloud powered online file storage. But with so much functionality online one might wonder if hardware is still important at all.
That question is one of the big selling points of Chromebooks. They’re small laptops which use the cloud to push real world power far beyond what the hardware specs would suggest. Limited physical storage is irrelevant due to full integration with cloud powered online storage. Native applications aren’t even needed due to how well integrated webapps are. And setting up a new computer will, quite literally, take most people little more than a minute. Signing into a Chromebook with a Google account instantly creates a roaming profile that’s compatible with all other Chromebooks.
At the moment Google dominates the market for cloud powered laptops. Chromebooks are currently synonymous with cloud based laptops as a whole. But with or without competitors, the sheer success of the idea makes it a powerful trend in cloud computing.
All of these trends come together to paint an interesting picture of the future. The cloud technology trends showcase the real power of innovation. The cloud is so versatile that it can easily match any conceivable idea. It’s a rare case where technology isn’t limited by physical constraints, but instead by imagination. Any success will expand people’s own views about what can be done with the cloud. As such, it’s clear that growth in the cloud is an exponential rather than linear trend.