Just a mere ten years ago, the job of an IT manager was to pack his or her server room with stacks of equipment, keep them blinking happily away and then build a huge wall of defences around it to keep the cyber riff-raff out. How simpler our lives seemed back then...
Today, networks are porous, to use a cliche. Users and guests alike come and go, expecting unimpeded internet connectivity almost everywhere; and the ability to work when they want and where they want. Sounds great, however networks have had to evolve to keep up with these changes.
One such obvious change is the rapid adoption of cloud services and hosting platforms. Hosting some or all of a companies infrastructure in the cloud has obvious costs and maintenance benefits, with some security nail-biting on the side. Cloud has seen such large scale adoption that industry giants have taken note and fundamentally altered their business models, as further evidence of the permanent place of cloud in the future of IT networks.
Namely, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
Amazon Web Services is the King of the Market
For the year 2017, Amazon Web Services was the clear dominant market force with share of 57%. This is credited to their early service offering and pricing strategy which has allowed them to penetrate the market quickly. Undertaking a migration to a cloud platform is a huge project and as such, migrating between cloud service providers is not a project which is likely to come around very often. Speed was certainly the key to the current success of AWS.
Microsoft Azure is the fastest mover
Between the years 2016 and 2017, Microsoft Azure has shown the largest adoption and growth. Much slower into the market, Microsoft now reports that Azure has become their core sales proposition, finding huge success converting existing customers of their operating systems, applications and productivity suites.
Crucially for Microsoft, they are offering services over and above the capabilities of other large providers. For example, full active directory in the cloud which can be paired with an on-site deployment for end-to-end domain services.
Cloud is not necessarily cheaper
Studies and surveys have found that while on the face of it, cloud certainly appears cheaper. Up to 30% of consumption cloud costs are wasted, whether that be cloud services left on when they are unused or the fact that the resources being deployed were over-calculated. Ultimately cloud services are consumption based, something which traditional IT teams are not used to managing.
As a result cost optimisation has become a huge factor for some users of cloud providers.
Cloud is going nowhere
Not in the negative sense. What is meant here is that there is no let up in cloud adoption. In fact some might say the industry is booming.
In surveys among industry experts, cloud adoption ranks as the second most important trend for finance, retail, manufacturing and the public sector. Ever so slightly beaten to first place by big data.