As we know, the Cloud has made it possible for public users and for companies to store infinite amounts of data on online servers hosted by providers for a monthly or yearly fee, and/or based on the amount of memory storage they need (SaaS-Software as a Service)—or have a cloud computing system installed and run internally directly on the company server (IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service)—so they can then share and access all the data across their smart devices.
‘Mobile Offices’ are the wave of the future as more CEOs and employees have recognized the benefits of the Cloud and its integration with A.I. technology services to enable everyone to work remotely, saving on cost and time for both company levels and the managerial sectors (imagine for example how satisfying it would be to save on office space rent, or on transportation and especially gas!).
The benefits of the Cloud include reducing bureaucracy, making information easily accessible in real time to all company levels, and along with A.I. applications that employ processes like Machine Learning, Knowledge Management/Text Mining, and Semantics technology, delivering personalized solutions for both customers and businesses (predicting changes in future trends or fluctuations in customer preference by analyzing patterns of consumer behaviour, as an example). They are obvious to most companies and users around the world; so who are the providers that are dominating the industry right now?
The biggest cloud companies
Many businesses and users know the biggest players in the cloud industry and employ their services daily without their knowledge.
Think of Amazon’s Amazon Web Services Cloud system for example, which delivers high processing Cloud computing services to over one million users in more than 190 countries at high computing power capacity (that being the major factor for its success), delivering maximum storage and back-up for Big Data, and encrypted security options, data recovery, and more.
Google with its Google Drive, Google Music, Google Search Engine, and its YouTube company which all use Cloud/A.I. applications that are extremely user-friendly (and are used in fact by many companies, including the government and secret services, to wholly run their business operations through Osint: Open Source Intelligence).
Apple’s iCloud platform, or IBM with its SoftLayer user-friendly apps and Public and Private Cloud services that offer more price flexibility for customers. In particular, Amazon and Microsoft are so widely used in the cloud computing world that various learning platforms have sprung up offering cloud certification for both of these platforms.
Microsoft’s Azure Infrastructure, which offers hybrid computing software to run tasks on both the provider’s online server and also on the company’s data center simultaneously, is another strong asset of this big competitor which is expected to grow in influence in the near future.
Azure is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) system which sells all the Cloud technology except the App, which means that it is mostly used by application developers. However Microsoft sells all its apps over the cloud, and has also expanded its Azure program into IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) that installs the operating system into the company’s data center. After Amazon, Azure has double the capacity of all the other competitors combined.
As mentioned before, IBM is rising fast up the ranks of the major providers as well. IBM is now competing with EMC for acquisition of the cloud Computing giant SoftLayer Technologies, which is the largest privately held Cloud provider, while deciding to now use the hugely successful cloud technology OpenStack to develop all the cloud systems for its Public service which it sells at a cost and for the Private Cloud it installs in the data centers of its customers.
This move is meant to offset and sideline the competition by VMware and Citrix which offer alternate technology/services, by drawing the attention of businesses to the valuable potential of OpenStack.
Ultimately, the future of the Cloud industry is full of promises as the big competitors in the market struggle to deliver more efficient, high-capacity and less costly public and private cloud services, as in the case of Microsoft which promises to slash prices even more with Azure than Amazon has already done with its AWS.
As long as businesses know what specific or multiple Cloud applications they need for their business, and rely on the advice of reliable professional cloud computing experts instead of jumping headlong into Cloud technology implementation without knowing the basics, they can be assured of continued success, and of obtaining a greater competitive edge over its competitors within a short amount of time.
About the Author: Hanna Johnson is a freelancer that enjoys writing about technology trends and the Internet.