Cloud computing will continue to be the way of the future– not only domestically, but for international emerging markets, as well. Studies project that more than 50 percent of all information technology will be in the cloud within the next five to ten years; not surprising, as international markets believe in cloud virtualization, and it’s an ideal environment for many of their use cases.
This transformation has great implications for places such as China, Korea, Hong-Kong, Brazil, Russia, and India. It will allow them to leapfrog outdated markets and take advantage of lower costs for building out infrastructure, as the cloud bulldozes all sorts of costly technology barriers. Countries who have this foresight and are willing to embrace cloud virtualization will put themselves in a position to exploit these opportunities; individuals and small businesses will have access to enterprise-quality hardware that will drastically increase productivity and agility.
Growth of the cloud-platform industry will be exponential, as cloud virtualization is increasingly appreciated globally and is more readily available in more regions. Particularly in Asia, where we’ve seen a strong desire for greater capacity in the region. Despite these positive gains, however, security in the cloud remains a valid concern.
In order to build confidence in cloud adoption, the Singapore government has “launched a new cloud security standard to provide greater clarity on levels of security offered by cloud service providers,” as recently stated by Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman at Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. This is certainly a step in the right direction. It’s worth noting that the amount of information available concerning cloud security is much greater than other large-scale technology adoptions in the past; this is why the rate of expansion has continued to increase despite some current uncertainty.
Asia Pacific is of particular interest as it’s very likely to be the leader in growth over the next few years. According to Cisco’s Global Cloud Index, the region is projected to generate 1.5 zettabytes of cloud traffic annually by 2016: the highest in the world.
There are a few key reasons why cloud adoption is happening even faster there than other emerging markets. First, there’s what Microsoft’s chair of emerging markets Orlando Ayala calls the “mobile revolution,” which is a response to the demand for access to corporate services and applications from anywhere at any time. Another factor is price point.
Small and medium-sized businesses do not have the same budget to spend on IT departments as enterprises. Cloud computing is an ideal solution because hardware is virtualized, providing users with the flexibility and performance of dedicated servers at much lower costs. Predictability is also a great benefit to businesses transitioning to the cloud: users typically pay a flat-rate monthly fee that easily adjusts as their business scales. As cloud technology develops, it will continue to centralize and simplify, allowing for increased employee productivity and more efficient use of limited resources.
There may be resistance from some business owners who feel more comfortable keeping everything in-house. They’re hesitant to allow someone else to look after their data; they’re worried about cyber attacks; they’re uneasy over the recent reports of government surveillance programs; they want more information about legal liability and information security in the cloud. There’s also a growing concern in IT departments about how cloud virtualization affects the business of computer maintenance and repair, and it’s difficult to say what the exact ramifications of that will be. These are concerns that can arise during any large-scale technology transition, and cloud providers must do their best to ease these worries. Overall, an effective cloud computing strategy makes storing data, automating backups, and increasing access much easier, saving a lot of time and resources that can benefit all businesses.
Cloud is expanding all over the globe. Cloud hosting providers have a lot to consider when deciding where to invest infrastructure, but it’d be foolish not to recognize that the transition is happening everywhere. It’s happening fast, and it’s happening now.
Ben Uretsky is the founder and CEO of New York-based cloud hosting provider DigitalOcean.