What's happening in the Cloud?

From data to innovation, how the cloud is affecting hiring and firing as well as life on the farmyard, this latest round-up of Cloud news and trends suggests big developments are on the horizon. How do you store data? Is the Cloud making you braver? Read on for news on how business is changing and the next step for the Cloud Computing industry as its take-up becomes more mainstream and less on the fringe of everyday business. The Cloud and Innovation

The potential for innovation thanks to the Cloud will be explored as businesses gather for a technology conference in Dubai this autumn. The Gitex Technology Week plans to cut through the hype surrounding the adoption of Cloud Computing and examine the impact it has on business.

The conference, which will see leading figures in the industry rub shoulders with some of the biggest firms in the Middle East as well as exhibitors, may seem far off but the effect the technology is having on the working world is becoming increasingly clear. A new study from Bain & Company, The Five Faces of the Cloud, points to a 30% to 40% price advantage from using a public cloud to have a server onsite. In under a decade they predict cloud spending to increase from $30 billion to $150 billion. It will, they claim, represent around 10% of total enterprise technology spending by 2020.

To match this shift the report calls for some changes to the industry, including a more targeted approach for customers and a greater understanding of what they’re looking for. One of the biggest shifts they predict is IT leaders in business looking to replace core legacy systems, that impacts every corner of the company. The focus will move to profitability and a sea-change in behaviour and adoption.

Read more at www.bain.com

Is the Cloud boosting outsourcing?

Many firms, small, medium and otherwise, are looking for increasingly creative ways to help their business expand. Outsourcing is great news for entrepreneurs like web developers, copywriters and designers, as well as IT specialists.

The Cloud could well be the driving force the change. Over a third of businesses, 35%, said in terms of development, hosting and the maintenance of their technology solutions they’ll be looking to outsource. It’s seeing them focus their budgets on applications that help them work more flexibility, streamline their outgoings and help foster collaboration. Big providers like Google and Microsoft obviously benefit, but so do smaller niche operators.

The most attractive factors are the features, functionality and how quickly they can get it up and running. Food for thought for those looking to grow their client list and understand what they need to start selling.

How to make the most out of virtual storage

Say you have a Cloud Server. You use it to host websites and store data. The major selling point is flexibility and the ability to help you access information wherever you are, adopt a more cost-effective solution and not worry about traffic levels. Yet if the move to core legacy transformation is what is on the cards for business then it does leave a bit of a grey area in the middle. How easy is it to move everything, wholesale, into the Cloud?

If legacy is the way to go then you’re looking for a more heterogeneous system that’s still high performance, highly reactive and sits across different departments, specialisms and environment that lifts and supports a new infrastructure, how will the Cloud fit in? It doesn’t need to be separate. Virtual storage is set to become the key adoption tool. It allows you to put data in a central pool using several different servers. It’s a virtualised solution meaning you can be working from several different locations. HP is launching a product along these lines in September.

Intelligence and Big Data

While considering how a business opts to use data and the Cloud, more consideration is being given to Business Intelligence and Big Data. As more people understand the benefits of the Cloud, and its adoption becomes more of the norm and more mainstream, how it is used and how it integrates into existing business practice will become more of interest.

One analyst says that public and virtual cloud adoption will become more of an issue for Business Intelligence in the coming years.

Coinciding with this is the growth in Big Data: more and more information stemming from social media, the growth of the digital sector etc. This analyst argues that Big Data should be parked in the Cloud. If we’re reaching critical mass in terms of Big Data, and only a small percentage of it is useful and pertinent to our businesses, then the Cloud offer the ability to store it and segment it.

The Cloud heads to the country

When we think of IT solutions inevitably we often think of city slickers, fashionable office spaces and urbanites. We rarely think of a farmyard. Yet for many farmers they are turning to the Cloud to help them run their enterprises more effectively. Cloud Computing and Internet services is helping farmers keep track of their assets. They can manage livestock figures, crops, their incomings and outgoings much more simple.

More Cloud start-ups are starting to focus on agriculture and selling in the specific benefits of the technology for the industry. At the moment the trend is limited to America but with any luck it could spread to Britain’s green and pleasant lands in the next year.