The global adoption of cloud computing has helped businesses advance at speeds unimaginable in previous decades. Cloud computing has transformed how businesses interact with their customers, suppliers and employees while improving product delivery.
To understand how this technology will influence our lives in the future, we must dive deeper into how cloud computing has taken hold and which industries have wisely harnessed this immense power to improve the products and services they offer.
What are the types of Cloud Computing?
What is “the cloud” and how do we get there? Essentially, the cloud is merely a metaphor for the Internet itself, a wide-branching network of connected servers that host and deliver information worldwide. By hosting data and software “in the cloud,” companies have untethered their computing capabilities from the physical and financial restraints of local servers and hardware.
- IaaS – Utilization of cloud-based IaaS (infrastructure as a service) allows companies of all sizes to rent the use of IT essentials like servers, data storage, and operating systems on a monthly or yearly basis with easy upscaling or downsizing as needed.
- PaaS – Similarly, platform as a service (PaaS) allows tech companies and developers to quickly develop, test, deliver, and manage new apps in the cloud, freeing them up from the necessity of physically setting up and managing needed servers, networks, and databases prior to development.
- SaaS – The adoption of SaaS (software as a service) has allowed businesses and industries of all sizes to free up local computing resources by accessing vital software like the Adobe Suite of creative production programs online rather than on local servers. Giants like Google G Suite and Microsoft have changed the way we access shared documents, manage intra- and interoffice communications, and more. SaaS Salesforce and Shopify have greatly impacted a wide variety of businesses in sales and customer management.
All of these types of cloud computing help businesses reduce costs and improve cybersecurity while providing vast scalability once nearly impossible, especially for smaller businesses and up-and-coming industries.
Which Industries use Cloud Computing?
The Cloud Computing Executive Summary survey performed in 2018 revealed that 73% of companies and organizations were currently utilizing at least one cloud-based application. It also revealed that an additional 17% of organizations were planning to adopt cloud computing technologies within the following 12 months.
Differences in usage of Cloud Computing Technologies between global industries
The impact across industries that are technology-dependent, such as manufacturing, automotive, and the financial sector is immeasurable. However, each sector and business is discovering ways to use cloud computing to best solve problems unique to its own needs.
Telecom and computer manufacturers: the earliest adopters
Naturally, the companies which create the equipment that cloud computing relies on were among the earliest adopters of cloud applications.
The manufacturers of the computers, telecom system components and electronics that cloud computing itself uses have benefitted by being able to quickly and relatively effortlessly scale up or down in their computational abilities, all while saving time and money in bringing new products to market. As well, access to cutting edge technology through the cloud such as CAD/CAE/CAM software essential to modern manufacturing has helped these industries make massive strides in a short period of time.
Cloud Computing in the automotive industry
By 2025, it is projected that the automotive industry’s global market size in regards to cloud computing should reach upwards of 9.62 billion USD.
The cost efficiency of accessing data generation, customer-centric applications and the rapid access and integration with futuristic technologies like IoT, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are opening doors that otherwise may have taken decades for individual automotive companies to enter. IaaS giants such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) lead the way for the automotive industry adoption of cloud computing.
Automotive companies are lowering the costs of inventory planning, forecasting, and replenishment with the use of cloud computing platforms, as well as speeding up transport scheduling and optimization necessary for product delivery. Cloud computing also allows for high-levels of encryption and security to protect priceless designs and technology.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of automotive cloud computing is the development and protection of connected vehicles that assist in navigation, keeping drivers engaged, and alerting drivers regarding road hazards.
How the financial sector benefits
In a recent survey of financial institutions 64% of the firms interviewed said that cloud computing will transform the financial sector over the coming decade.
Regulated industries such as the insurance and banking industries have, in the past, been hesitant to utilize cloud computing due to security concerns. However, with the advent of blockchain technology, more financial institutions are welcoming and even helping to develop failsafe cloud computing options for their sector.
Blockchain is not only safer than other means of data transfer, but it is also more cost-effective for financial institutions as it cuts out the “middle man” with broker-free transactions.Of course, financial institutions also use cloud computing for customer relationship management, interoffice electronic communications, and the like.
The old objections, including security concerns, are quickly falling away as the technology expands and develops to become a safer, more trustworthy option than local servers. The future of AI and Blockchain promise to collectively open a vast horizon of possibilities for industries old and new.