The start of a new year is always the same, a time when industry experts release the latest valuable statistical analysis and predictions for the upcoming year. The recent research provided by the International Data Corporation (IDC) is that cloud computing spending will be increasing throughout 2014 with as much as 25% growth. Industry experts also predict that overall worldwide IT expenditure will grow by 5%.
How does this translate into the world of business? What changes in the way businesses and other organisations function, develop and innovate supports these predictions? In this article, we will have a look at what specific solutions are predicted to grow and, deriving from that, some specific fields of the IT environment businesses are looking to improve and increase expenditure on.
For the past several years, the percentage of businesses and other organisations such as charities and the public sector, who have adopted cloud solutions has been growing! As the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) previously reported, as much as 76% of UK companies were expected to expand their cloud based services in 2013 and recent data points out yet further growth. What does the cloud owe its success to then?
First of all, operational costs savings. It allows the business to choose where to invest, does not demand excessive capital spending for in-house IT infrastructure and other expenses related to more IT staff than needed to manage in-house IT. Other factors driving cloud solutions adoption are flexibility of service delivery, scalability, agility or the levels of 24/7 support provided by the many cloud service providers just to name a few reasons noted by many businesses for cloud adoption.
Nowadays, businesses across all industries are looking to increase productivity, communications and work efficiency through improved collaboration between team, clients and partners. Companies also focus more on innovation and how to deploy existing applications to their team to access them instantly on diverse devices regardless of the location.
As a result, more businesses and organisations than ever before are looking to the cloud as an ideal solution to meet their requirements at reasonable costs.
Hosted Desktop to grow in 2014
Since early 2013, we’ve noted a dramatic increase in interest for Hosted Virtual Desktops (HVD) and more importantly a far greater number of conversions with new businesses moving to Hosted Desktop and realising the benefits. But where is that increased interest coming from? Much of it is based around the need to replace ageing server and PC hardware and the growing realisation there is a better way available now without huge capital expenditure for more servers which need constant maintenance, age faster than ever and depreciate rapidly.Servers aside, the average cost of rolling out a simple desktop PC for any of your users stands at around £600-£700 when you take into account having to add Microsoft Office, anti-virus and installation. Even after the capital expenditure it’s up to you to maintain the PC and pay for anything that might go wrong. Adopting a Hosted Desktop solution allows companies to keep existing PCs until they expire and simply replace them with a thin client device at around £200 which requires almost no maintenance and can be delivered ready to boot into your desktop environment where any of your users can login, creating more flexibility and greatly reducing costs when projected across many users.
Outside of the hardware aspect, the driver for many businesses has been the need for greater mobility, access to businesses applications and data from any location on a wide range of devices, and to help improve communication and collaboration across the business.
Gartner explains that with the adoption of a Hosted Desktop organisations can increase security by centralising valuable data and applications within a secured data centre. While many argue that the concerns over security are great when it comes to the cloud, the truth is that the more technology advances, the more security risks arise for IT departments internally, datacentres and cloud service providers combined deal with any security risk better than any business would. The key lies in risk mitigation and the cloud enables this incredibly well by providing additional security, for example two-factor authentication when logging in, advanced firewalls and other security and greater levels of redundancy than most businesses ever invest in.
Cloud Storage demand to increase – Backup
Datacentres are not only expected to grow in numbers but also in position and importance in the global landscape. It has been pointed out by an IDC report that the amount of data backed up in the cloud will also increase. The lack of an effective Backup and Disaster Recovery plan puts business at serious risk not only of losing data but also increases the chances of a business failure. As we’re in the information age, data is everything and as we store more and more, backup requirements naturally increase and so does the ability to recover from data disasters. Businesses have now demonstrated more confidence in cloud backup as cloud BDR adoption has increased over the years significantly. It has been shown the high level of data security and lower levels of downtime allowing businesses to perform more effectively.
Mobile keeps ruling and BYOD is here!
It comes as no surprise that mobile device market is also predicted to rise this year particularly the increase of tablets and smartphones respectively by 18% and 12% as ICD predicts. Remote working is critical in certain industries for example transportation, freight, logistics, quality control units, recruitment and even charities that are expected to carry out works outside their offices. All these users have a need to access data and applications, sync devices with headquarters and stay in touch via email, phone or video conferencing. Therefore, we can expect a significant growth in companies requiring Business Mobile Plans that are relevant to the business need, value for money, and support all the mobility needs for accessing applications and software required such as Hosted Exchange or Hosted Desktop on the go. As growing number of business will be looking at integrated solutions to increase productivity, i.e. not just devices and handhelds but the actual connectivity and software, more cloud solution providers will no doubt begin offering integrated deal packages which encompass all these hosting, connectivity and hardware requirements.
Despite the scepticism from some about the cloud, it’s fair to say that cloud adoption will continue to expand. Datacentres all over the world, in the UK in particular, are proving secure and reliable. Businesses and other organisations can expect high levels of support, increased security and a variety of cloud solutions that fit their needs and scale as required. Also, with cloud solutions being cost-effective and based on monthly subscriptions over capital expenditure, business can have and keep up with the latest technology solutions today, at a price they can afford.
For more information on what the cloud can offer for your business in 2014, download our Cloud Computing Guide for Businesses.