The trend of supporting cloud solutions is very strong and it will most likely continue throughout the rest of 2020. As a profitable tool, the cloud is interesting to our clients, but also to engineers who are eager to work with new technologies.
When choosing cloud solutions, clients wonder what is happening to the data stored within. The greatest advantage of the AWS and Azure clouds – the giants standing behind them (Amazon and Microsoft) – is at the same time the feature that often discourages entrepreneurs from using this type of solutions. Large players invest a lot of money to ensure the security of data, but they also use it to analyze and test their own solutions in exchange for benefits, which is not a sufficient incentive for some companies.
What to do with sensitive data if the client is not willing to put so much trust in Microsoft or Amazon? Cloud solutions are not only based on public or private clouds, but also various types of hybrids, combining the capabilities of both. This enables in-house data storage (in private clouds), but in my experience their possibilities are generally lesser compared to the public cloud offering. Therefore, when storing sensitive data in-house, it is worth taking advantage of the benefits provided by the public cloud in terms of maintenance and other services available.
Are we saving money with the cloud?
Another sensitive issue, right after security, is the financial aspect of cloud solutions. Does the cloud bring any savings? We know that this scenario assumes quite a significant mandatory monthly fee for the availability of servers and services. However, it should be borne in mind that the cloud significantly supports fast and efficient application delivery, agile development processes, application creation, and automatic updates of cloud components. Overall, the cost balance is definitely favorable. Thanks to the cloud it is possible to create software up to four times faster compared to writing it from scratch. But the cloud offers even more advantages, including the flexibility and mobility of solutions, which allows access to the cloud from anywhere on Earth. Cloud products are also redundant. This means that if a company or users are from, for instance, the US, then the global cloud can transfer data to American servers on a redundancy basis. This significantly reduces data access time.
The state of the advanced technologies
Despite their numerous advantages, cloud solutions still have many areas that require further development and improvement. The quality of Machine Learning products still leaves much to be desired. I’ve even heard of companies that decided to write their own algorithms for self-learning programs instead of using the unsatisfactory tools offered by public clouds. The cloud is also connected with Deep Learning, i.e. neural networks and their multi-layered learning, as well as the rapidly growing branch of Data Science. More and more companies are becoming aware that since they gathered huge amounts of data about their users with various tools, they should know how to use it, for instance, to create specific solutions. The process of breaking up data for tailor-made models and algorithms capable of using it, for example in the field of automotive, retail, or banking, is very interesting… Each such area can be treated individually, taking into account predictive modeling, process optimization, as well as generating revenue sources and targeting specific client areas.
The solutions discussed above may at times seem abstract, but I’m sure that we still haven’t used all the capabilities the cloud can offer. I’m convinced that 2020 will also be a year of business in the clouds.
Marcin Połulich, Manager Digital Software Services at Hicron
The commentary appeared in ITwiz No. 11-12 / 2019 – Cloud Computing report.