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How COVID-19 has forced us all into the clouds

Over the last few months, it’s become blindingly apparent that virtual working, for most, is the ‘new normal’. Our meetings have become video calls, our offices have become our living rooms, and any method of working that previously wasn’t online is now very much online.

But how well have we embraced our new home in the clouds? 90% of companies are already on the cloud, so it’s not so much the move that has thrust us all out of our comfort zones, but more the hasty, almost complete, reliance we now have on online services. So, how prepared are we for a seemingly entirely cloud-computing-based future, where we are (for now) almost completely reliant on technology to fulfil our everyday business needs?

Let’s start by going back to the basics. If you’re not already familiar with the term cloud computing, or collectively ‘the cloud’, it refers to the ways in which we store and access data, programmes and software over the internet. It can be broken down into three main models: Software as a service (SaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – find out more about the differences between the three in our blog here.

There are now 5.3 billion internet users worldwide – up from 4.2 billion in 2019 – and it is estimated that almost half of the world’s stored data will reside in public cloud environments by 2025. From facilitating global roll out of projects, to the smooth day-to-day running of offices, and even call centres from home, the power and necessity of cloud computing has really come into its own in 2020. It’s no longer just ‘tech talk’ about servers and storage, it’s now about connecting to on-demand networks that enable us to share and access resources, as well as being able to communicate regularly and efficiently with one another.

And so, the ‘one size fits all’ approach to cloud computing that we may have all got by on up until now is no longer viable. Currently, the most commonly used cloud application for businesses is SaaS. And while we’re not expecting that to suddenly change, we need to pay much more attention to the specific needs and niches of our organisations, and design, develop and deploy cloud computing infrastructures that will accommodate these.

Right now, businesses are presented with a unique opportunity to re-evaluate and improve their cloud transformation strategies. Companies are increasingly seeing the value in cloud platforms, and so the demand for them is growing. There is a 47% expected increase in public cloud spend by organisations in 2020 alone, and the global cloud computing market is set to exceed $330 billion in 2020, and accelerate to well over $600 billion by 2023. As a result, we will continue to see innovation in the technology that supports cloud infrastructure, so being able to take an agile approach to the way our organisations are run, is now business-critical. On top of this, 59% of enterprises expect cloud usage to exceed prior plans due to COVID-19. Therefore, there is an ongoing need for upskilling in this area.

A good place to start is with the three most used public cloud computing services: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google’s Cloud Platform. AWS dominates the market, with a 32% share, but all three are great platforms from which to build your strategies.

As it happens, ILX offers online courses in both AWS and Azure. Have a read of one of our earlier blogs to find out about the specific differences between these two services, or browse our AWS and Microsoft Azure course pages to get a flavour for what might work for you and your organisation. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our training advisors to find out more.