In the ever-changing business environment, Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, is the current king.
Bringing with it the potential to place all the computing power a company needs offsite and charging for it on a per-use basis, IaaS will radically alter several facets of a modern business. Here are some of the biggest changes that are already here — or that are coming soon.
The End of Legacy Vendors
Infrastructure as a service, with its paradigm of remote hardware in terms of processing power and storage, is not always a great thing for every company. The old giants now must face the fact that efficient cloud centers have less appetite for a treadmill of replacements than the older way of bulking up IT capacity company by company did. Combined with a perceived general slowdown of innovation within the core computing markets and loss of share to more casual-friendly smart devices, the old computer giant is becoming an endangered species.
Competition for Cloud Dominance
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The competition is not going to end with the vendors of the electronics, either. Cloud computing is a relatively new field and has thus far shown room for a variety of players to set up shop and grow the space. That will not last; in fact, it already shows some signs of consolidation as the big players begin to turn from purely growth-oriented strategies to begin winnowing down the competition. This is all a healthy part of the cycle of business, but it does mean that cloud companies will be forced to demonstrate value or move out of the way.
Some managers might look to the outsourcing of computing resources as an excuse to trim their companies' IT departments, but that is not really the case. It is true, however, that the shift to offsite infrastructure changes the mix of jobs among your computer people. Networking and security personnel are more important than ever, with the need to keep data safe and transmitting properly to the cloud partner. The huge amount of hacking scandals in the news, many of which involve data loss while moving data to the cloud, demonstrates how important keeping your connections and terminals safe is to keeping your data private.
The Growth of Big Data
You've probably read innumerable articles lately about big data — the use of huge quantities of raw information, sorted by computers, to do everything from profiling customers to improving health care outcomes. Of course, the trend toward big data collection is only going to accelerate with the pervasiveness of cloud storage solutions. Although an older company might feel the need to purge its old data stores in order to make room among its in-house infrastructure for new information, online vendors can provide more and more storage for a relatively tiny cost compared to building and maintaining capacity in-house.
Like all other technological shifts, IaaS brings the potential of productivity and profit to the wise. Make sure your business catches the wave, or be left underwater when the flood comes.