10 Things to Know About Cloud Computing
Sangeeta Uke is an architect and security expert. In her 17 years at SAP, Sangeeta has seen the field of cloud computing grow in extraordinary ways. She is positive about the future of this technology and believes it can make the world a better place to live in
1. What cloud computing is
I once asked a kid, “Where do we get the best mangoes?”; The answer was, “From the internet.” The internet is an integral part of our day-to-day activities, starting from ordering food, studying virtually, building a career, staying connected with our loved ones, learning what is happening in the world, to asking your personal web assistant to switch off the lights before you sleep. Distances do not seem to matter; The world is well connected. Cloud computing is a mechanism for the delivery of these different services through the internet.
2. How it works
Cloud computing allows a client to access data over the internet from remote servers. The data is stored in a database, and the transaction is performed by processing the data as per the client’s request. There are three forms of cloud computing: virtual, software, and network storage. Furthermore, the cloud services are divided into three main categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
3. When it all started
The cloud came into existence in the early 90s. I would say that the actual start is from 1994 onwards. Since then, cloud computing has became more affordable, streamlined, and widely used. Starting in 2008/2009, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) have tremendously evolved and are now used everywhere. They have become very important activity post-2008 and now a lot of other services have started coming in as a result.
4. The benefits of cloud computing
Cloud computing is definitely helping us in our jobs and making everything faster because time is money, right? To be able to get what you want in a second everything has to be automated. I would say that with cloud computing the job opportunities are increasing for the cybersecurity expert, the edge computing expert in machine learning, the robotic process automation, and within big data, especially due to the pandemic situation. Big data is really doing great work. There are a lot of opportunities to create windows using big data and genome sequencing and also in the research process.
5. How it impacts our lives
Providing data access from anywhere is a key feature of cloud computing. As of 2021, 50% of corporate data is stored in the cloud. The discrete manufacturing industry is the biggest spender in the cloud. Cloud computing is widely used in education systems, government sectors, farming, banking, e-commerce, transportation, etc. Health care sectors use novel patient care applications, disease analysis, better ways of producing medicines, and data analysis to help the entire world be healthier. Handling the COVID-19 pandemic situation became much easier with cloud computing, and it has played a vital role in producing and delivering vaccinations.
6. The most promising fields
For me healthcare is definitely one because it will be important so that we can finally be free of COVID-19. Cloud computing is helping in terms of providing a platform for healthcare workers so that they can monitor and also track the situation across the globe and take immediate action to save lives. That's a crucial part, no doubt on that front. Also, as we are using more online services, there is a huge potential opportunity for cloud computing to be utilized in much more specific ways. For example, the entire manufacturing system can also use robotic process automation to get faster deliveries to the customer. I see these two areas as very important and able to touch everyone's life. Cloud computing can work miracles.
7. Security concerns
I would definitely say that now that cloud computing is everywhere, security is a concern for many. Although, cloud computing is changing people’s lives, it also increases the risk of data loss, specifically monetary and personal data. Take examples of any online services that you have in your day-to-day life, but also the mobile phone, which is becoming a part of everyday activity for all of us. It's important that the data which is getting exchanged through cloud computing is very much secure. As per a recent survey, around 80% of companies have experienced at least one cloud data breach in the last 18 months. Critical customer and personal data are stored in common resources and hence the encryption management, identity and access management, active vulnerability checks are critical activities in cloud computing. Every customer should feel comfortable using cloud computing.
In cloud computing, a lot of data is required and intelligence needs to be derived out of it. The challenge is that we have to find patterns in this data so that it leads us to make meaningful inferences. It should tell us what would be the next set of challenges that may arise and also propose solutions. For example, in the current COVID-19 situation, we see the issue of new variants, and we don't know what is next. In this case it is unpredictable, and we don't know what would be the solution for that because we don't have that kind of insight. The challenge is to try to understand the huge data from the beginning of a situation. So while there are opportunities in the cloud, for cloud computing to help, people may still have to go through a lot of other challenges. Cloud computing is definitely one of the opportunities that we need to invest in.
9. How to make cloud computing more efficient
It is important to take care of critical activities right from the beginning while defining the cloud strategy for any organization. The cost-effective infrastructure, better technology that covers the inbuilt security, storage, networking, load balancing, better utilization of the data centers, greater user experience, performance and scalability, better monitoring capabilities to track what’s going on in the customer environment, and, most importantly, automating all repetitive activities are crucial improvement factors. The right infrastructure and the right architecture in place are the key differentiators for efficient cloud software.
10. Cloud computing in the future
The data shows how the future changes. Half of all companies worldwide are predicted to become cloud-dependent by 2021. The cloud computing market size is expected to grow from USD 445.3 billion in 2021 to USD 945.3 billion by 2026. The data created every day will be utilized to make more meaningful results and to make everyone’s life much simpler. Cloud computing is already everywhere and will be even more so. You start your days with cloud computing, you buy everything online through cloud computing, all your office activity and your study is through the cloud. I would say that we have changed the world in a more positive way. With the latest cloud computing technologies (ML, AI, RPA, IOT) making the best use of this data is a path to make the world a better place to live in.
This article is part of a content cooperation between FemaleOneZero (F10) and SAP SE. In the newly established “Tech Agenda” category on #F10, we aim to present interesting women from SAP Labs worldwide, publish major interviews with thought leaders and background stories on digitization and innovation.
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