Cloud computing is one of the most promising technologies in the recent years with the potential of making billions of money. It has become the hottest development in the field of information technology. Despite the advantage the technology offers to its users, it has many drawbacks and challenges that face it. This article describes the history of cloud computing. It also explores the challenges facing the cloud technologies. These challenges include lack of resources and expertise, security issues, management and containment cost, governance and control challenges, segmented usage and adoption, and performance. The article also outlines the trends in cloud computing which include exponential growth in cloud services solutions, increased cloud storage capacity, the Internet of Everything (IoE), and cloud security vulnerabilities. Lastly, it looks at the future of cloud computing.
Cloud computing is a term used to refer to the delivery of hosted services over the internet. It allows companies to use computer resources such as storage services, software, utilities, and virtual machines without the companies having to develop and maintain their infrastructures in their premises.
The history of the cloud technology can be drawn back in the 1960s while an intergalactic network in computer systems was first presented. In the recent years, this technology has served to shake up the information enterprise structure and the supplier landscape. Cloud computing is inevitable for the chief information officers as they need to shift their operations to off-premises for backup and other benefits offered by this technology (Satyanarayanan, 2015).
The technology allowed multiple users to be able to access a central machine using a dumb terminal that provided access to the mainframe computer. The cloud computing was developed as a result of the high costs to purchase and maintain the mainframe computers (Satyanarayanan, 2015).
In the 1970s, the concept of the virtual machines was introduced. The virtual devices through the use of VMware software among others made the uses run more than one operating systems at the same time in the same environment. It means that the virtual machines could be executed on the same hardware while running different operating systems (Hashem, et al., 2015).
In the 1990s, most telecommunication corporations started to offer virtualized private network links. Initially, these companies offered singled dedicated point-to-point links. The virtualized private network connect gave the similar quality as the dedicated facilities, but they were inexpensive. The telecommunication firms did not need to build physical network infrastructure as their users increased. The various telecommunication companies were able to utilize the shared resources in the virtualized private networks. The cloud computing evolved as a result of the following technologies; grid computing, utility computing, and Software as a service (SaaS). In the early 2000s, the Amazon introduced the web-based services to offer online services to other websites (Hashem, et al., 2015).
Challenges of Cloud Computing
The cloud computing despite its advantages it offers to its users, it has many challenges. Some of the problems facing cloud computing are described as follows.
Lack of resources and expertise
The cloud computing is faced with the challenge of lack of resources and the required expertise. Many organization have become aware of the technology and have given more workloads to the cloud computing technologies. The cloud computing services have increasingly advanced. The advancement has been a challenge to the organizations utilizing the cloud computing services. The companies have to keep up with this advancement by having skilled personnel. The companies have been forced to train the information technology and the development staff. The companies need qualified chief information officers to champion the adoption of the cloud services. The small organizations find the adoption of the cloud services more costly. They can automate most of the services done by the specialists to reduce the costs (Puthal, et al., 2015).
The cloud services are faced with security problems. The business does not have an idea of the location of the data stored in the cloud. The major security concerns include data breaches, broken authentication, hacked interfaces and APIs, and credential hijacking. Trusting the data to the cloud providers has been a problem for the businesses. It is important to verify the provider to ensure it has the best mechanisms for identity management access control, and authentication to ensure privacy and security of the organization (Ali, Khan, & Vasilakos, 2015).
It is important to confirm if the compliance of the providers to the regulations and standards governing the security of the data stored by the cloud providers. There should be policies that are put in place to recover the data in case of any data insecurity incidence.
Management and containment cost
Most businesses adopt cloud services to save their money. They do not require to purchase hardware and other processing capabilities. But in some cases accessing the services go as pay-as-you-go models. The on-demand and the scalability of the cloud services make it difficult for businesses to define and costs.
Governance and control challenges
There should be policies and procedures that are agreed upon by the stakeholders for proper IT governance during the implementation of IT. These policies ensure the assets are controlled and maintained correctly. The assets should support the strategy and goals of the organization. The businesses do not have full control over how the infrastructure is provisioned. It is difficult to manage risks and govern the systems. The business result to the traditional governance processes to mitigate the risks and uncertainties coming with the cloud services. Having a central IT infrastructure play an essential role in governing the cloud services. Third party organizations have also been providing governing practices (Ali, Khan, & Vasilakos, 2015).
Whenever a business shift to cloud services, it becomes independent to the cloud service provider for most its operations. Although the cloud services offer the business with different innovation that was inaccessible. But the problem with the cloud is that the performance of the business will depend on the performance of the cloud service provider. If the operations in the cloud service providers fail, it means the operations of the business are equally affected. In most cases, the cloud providers experience an outage. It is very difficult to make sure the provider has the right process in place and whether they will inform the business in case of any problem. The businesses do not have inherent control of the cloud services. Therefore there is no real-time monitoring of operations. It is difficult to ensure the SaaS provider has the real-time monitoring policies (Puthal, et al., 2015).
Segmented usage and adoption
Many organizations adopting the cloud computing services do not have a strategy before they start entering into the cloud. They use ad-hoc strategies that are fueled by different components. Many of them adopted cloud computing due to its speed. Other factors that led to the companies to adopt the cloud services was due to the staggering expiration of data center resources and contracts leading to shifting to cloud services. The companies also used the public cloud services for certain applications. The cloud environments have led to the integration issues which include isolation of cloud projects that lacked shared standards, ad-hoc security configuration issues and lack of shared resources and learning. The companies should have centralized IT, good governance and another controlling service can be inline strategies (Puthal, et al., 2015).
Trends in Cloud Computing
Most businesses have turned their attention to how they can employ technology to achieve their business objective. The following are the trends in cloud computing.
Exponential Growth in Cloud Services Solutions
Cloud services offer software as a service SaaS which has unlocked flexibility and affordable opportunity for organizations and the clients to attempt and embrace cloud services. There has been evolution in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and the platform as a service (PaaS) have increased the solutions provided by cloud providers in both the public and the private sector. Many organizations can take advantage of the simple and are guaranteed high performance. The solutions have grown to be deployed and used all over the world. Most of the workloads in the cloud providers will in the form of the Software as a Software. Both the Platform as a Service and the Infrastructure as a Service are believed to increase (Tari, et al., 2015). The exponential growth of cloud services is anticipated in the coming years. The will enable businesses to simplify their operation and ease the accessibility of their services by the customers. These can be achieved by the integration of SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS into the business’s processes.
Increased Cloud Storage Capacity
The data storage in the cloud services has increasingly grown as these services have become an integral part of doing business. Many of the data centers have been brought online thus increasing the capacity for storing more data. The storage capacity is expected to grow in the coming years. The companies owning the data centers are continuing to increase the storage capacity, the businesses should take advantage of the available storage to achieve their objectives. The businesses can exploit the data analytics capabilities of the data centers. This analytics will provide insight concerning customer behavior, strategic financial, and human system. Small business will benefit from bespoke storage options at a low price (Tari, et al., 2015).
The Internet of Everything (IoE)
Recently, the growth of internet of things and artificial intelligence has played an important role of in the technology advancement. The two have seen continuous innovations and growth in the data analytics and cloud computing which have led to the internet of everything (IoE). The internet of everything communication between machines data, processes and the communication between everything in the environment and the human beings. Cloud computing will play an essential role in the development of the internet of things which are aimed at simplifying interactions between everything and the human beings (Assunção, et al., 2015).
Just like the internet of things, the humans will interact with the objects intelligently over the internet. IoE will provide organizations with more insight on how the customers relate to services or products. The data can simplify customer experience by automating systems and use of robotics. The automation will provide real-time and other services that will be accomplished by them in the future.
Cloud Security Vulnerabilities
There has been increasing the number of security breaches. The security issues will continue to be a major issue with any technology including the cloud solutions. The data breaches have exposed a large number of important personal information which includes the names, bank account number, social security numbers, dates of births, and credit card numbers. Data breaches in the banks are as a result of the banks adopting open banking that will make their system more vulnerable to the hackers (Assunção, et al., 2015).
The Future of Cloud Computing
The future of cloud computing depends on a technological breakthrough for the companies employing technology in their operations. In the future, the cloud computing will bring more advantages and benefits to the whole world. It is crucial for the company owners to be updated on the newer developments in the cloud technologies for them to remain competitive. In the digital world, almost everything is connected to the cloud unless due to the security reasons they may be kept locally on the company’s premises (Kyriazis, & Jeffery, 2018).
The future cloud technology will combine both the software in the cloud and on the organization premises to enable the creation of a hybrid information technology solution that will give the scalability and flexibility that are associated with the cloud, security and the private data center control.
The cloud computing will separate software from hardware. Many cloud applications are used in the automation of business activities using systems such as Customer Relationship Management, enterprise resource planning, Professional services automation and human resource systems. All these are gradually growing with time. In the future, the software that will be used will not be stored within the companies, and the data will be filtered before the interaction with the user computers (Stergiou, et al., 2018).
The cloud computing will prioritize modular software. Most of the programs are complex and of large size. The cloud technologies are required to think of new system and software development to cater for the growing leaps of programs. The programs will consist of many building blocks that are stored on different servers in the cloud services. Storing programs in different storage will help in reducing the cost of the software.
The cloud technology has enabled many organizations not to have physical servers and even the use of data centers. The companies only need to hire processing power, storage facilities and other tools from different vendors. The companies do not need to be obligated to design and manage the servers for themselves. This has led to the growth of serverless computing. Serverless computing is an example of the Function as a Service (FaaS) which is the next step in the cloud computing journey. Serverless computing is more reliable and scalable for the organizations using it. The cloud services have developed low power processors that in return has reduced the prices of the cloud services (Kyriazis, & Jeffery, 2018).
The growth of cloud computing will offer everything as a service. All the services will be subscribed either monthly or annually thus having a big advantage due to the implementation simplicity and high performance (Stergiou, et al., 2018).
The cloud computing is a transformative technology that has drastically changed the computing nature. It has evolved to become one of the most used technologies to be used by organizations to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. The companies do not need to have and manage their infrastructure and software on their premises. The technology has enabled many organizations to enjoy high processing speeds, large storage and they do not incur the cost of maintaining the systems.
Despite these benefits, cloud technology has many challenges. The performance of the company using the cloud computing technology directly depends on the performance of the cloud service provider. If the cloud services fail, it will affect the operations of the organization. Data breaches and privacy concerns are significant problems with the cloud technologies. It is difficult to control and govern the IT infrastructure in the cloud environment. The companies lack adequate expertise and resources to match the requirements by the cloud service providers.
There are several trends in cloud technology which have been experienced in the recent years. The technology is increasing, and more are expected in the cloud computing technology. The solutions offered by the cloud technology are rapidly increasing. Data breaches have been on the rise in the recent year. Technology is advancing enabling the interaction between the humans and almost everything that can be found in their environment.
The future of cloud computing is depended on the technological advancements. A lot is expected to be seen in the coming years concerning the development of cloud technology. The progress in the technology will bring more benefits to the users and the companies that have adopted the cloud technology. They will enjoy scalability and efficiency of the services provided. It will be able to store more data due to the increased storage capacities.
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