Cloud Technology Explanations and Predictions

With cloud technologies becoming more and more popular in both developed and developing markets, it’s important to us at Invested Development to understand both the opportunities and the potential implications that the shift to the cloud will have. Below is a selection of recent articles explaining cloud services and predicting growth and potential change in the market.

How to Make Sense of the Cloud’s Alphabet Soup: What are SaaS, IaaS and PaaS? By Bryan Tamador on Forbes

As more companies move to the “cloud” it is important to differentiate the offerings. To start, Information Technology as a Service (ITaaS) simply means that instead of a company running its own data center, a service provider runs a data center and provides services and support through the Internet. The term can apply to an entire IT operation or specific components such as aspects of software, infrastructure or platform. Companies pay a monthly fee to the ITaaS or cloud service provider, reducing or eliminating the need to buy, maintain and support an in-house IT system, allowing them to use that budget for core operations.

Leveraging cloud technology, there has been a big increase in Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastrucutre as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) models. SaaS models allow users to access software applications via the internet, eliminating the need to buy software licenses, install or maintain the applications. This allows for rapid deployment of new or updated applications. IaaS models allow users to utilize a cloud service provider’s hardware via the internet. One form of IaaS is storing data “in the cloud” i.e. on a cloud provider’s server. PaaS or Platform as a Service models use an IT platform, such as a customer relationship management system from a cloud provider, and access it via the Internet.

SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS models all reduce the need for on-site hardware and reduce the risk of data loss. What’s interesting to us is how cloud offerings are making technology more accessible. Further, if cloud providers move into emerging markets en masse, we will see another leapfrog movement as many companies rely on the cloud instead of the more traditional software models that were successful in previous years.

South Africa, Kenya Cloud Revenues to More than Double by 2018 by Lilian Mutegi on AllAfrica

Due to rapidly expanding bandwidth capacity following the landing of undersea cables, the combined revenues of the cloud computing markets in South Africa and Kenya will rise from $114.6 million in 2013 to $288 million in 2018. According to a report by Frost & Sullivan, the increased bandwidth availability has led to the proliferation of data centres and established a platform for the development of cloud computing services. While private cloud services have been the main focus of tier I competitors in the large enterprise sector, there is now movement toward the public cloud in both countries. According to Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Lehlohonolo Mokenela, the increased availability of affordable and convenient public cloud offers is drawing small and medium enterprises to turn to cloud computing as well.

Data centre market change: Four major factors by Ian Barker on IT Pro Portal

According to research firm Gartner, four factors will cause dramatic changes in the data centre market by 2016. Gartner believes that vendor behaviors will fall into one of three categories (protectors, evolutionary disruptors, and revolutionary disruptors) and outlines the likely impacts of each disruptive factor on the Data Centre market.

  1. Highly Disruptive Competition – there are a number of potentially disruptive technologies that may spark changes to the business model.
  2. Big Cloud Provider Dominance – the dominance of big cloud providers (Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft) is likely to see a shift away from traditional managed service providers as they find it more difficult to compete. This may influence the price of data centre architecture.
  3. Economic Warfare – Countries with deep resources, such as China may improve their share of the data centre market at the expense of others.
  4. Nationalism – There is likely going to be a shift towards local hosting as buyers lose trust in the ability of big players to protect their data.

Although growth of the data centre market is projected to be large, it can’t be assumed that these predictions will hold true according to Skorupa, VP and analyst at Gartner. Skorupa stated that “Increasing market pressures are driving a change in vendor behaviors, which, along with the four disruptive factors, make the market ripe for a period of major disruption.”

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