Tapping Into Cloud Computing's Growth Potential
WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING AND WHY IS IT A DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY?
Cloud computing is really the on-demand provisioning of computing, storage and software by large-scale cloud computing vendors to mainstream enterprises. It allows enterprises to access computing in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
For example, the benefits of cloud computing allow companies like Netflix to exist across borders because they can expand much more rapidly than they could if they needed to build a new data centre every time they entered a new country.
Cloud computing is very disruptive to some of the traditional IT and software companies who historically provide the equipment for those data centres.
HOW DOES CLOUD COMPUTING LOWER COSTS FOR COMPANIES?
One of the primary ways cloud computing can lower costs for companies is that these largescale cloud computing vendors can operate at a much greater scale so that they can stay on the leading edge of technology, even while having the scale advantage and lower cost, and they can pass those cost savings along to the customers. It also allows enterprises, rather than focusing on owning and operating their own data centres, to spend their time on their own businesses. That frees up both capital and employee talent.
WHO ARE THE LEADERS IN CLOUD COMPUTING AND WHAT MAKES THEM SUCCESSFUL?
In cloud computing infrastructure, so computing and storage, the leader is really Amazon through its Amazon Web Services division. And Amazon effectively invented cloud computing about a decade ago, and they still have the largest scale and the most breadth of technology today.
On the software side, companies like Salesforce.com and Workday really built their software from the ground up to take advantage of cloud computing capabilities. That gives them a big advantage over legacy incumbent providers and is fuelling the rapid growth that Salesforce and Workday are seeing.
WHAT ROLE WILL CLOUD COMPUTING PLAY FOR NEW AND EMERGING TRENDS AND TECHNOLOGIES?
Cloud computing is helpful in new technology advancement for a couple of reasons. One, because it lowers the overall cost of computing. Some applications that are very much computing intensive, think about autonomous driving or artificial intelligence, are now much more affordable and accessible.
And secondly, in a sense cloud computing democratises computing power because smaller companies can now access computing power rather than needing the scale to build their own data centre.
So it allows companies who are very innovative and younger in their life cycle to have the computing power they need to develop their ideas.
WHAT DOES CLOUD COMPUTING’S GROWTH POTENTIAL LOOK LIKE IN MARKETS OUTSIDE THE US?
Outside the US cloud computing is advancing at a similar pace to what we see in the US only with a bit of a time lag because it got started later.
In China, for example, Alibaba is really the leader there, and they're following behind Amazon's footsteps in the west. And if you roll the clock forward a few years, I think Alibaba will approach the scale that Amazon has today. Cloud computing's benefits really do cross borders because it's simply a more efficient way to access computing power.
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