Over the last few years, businesses have openly adopted cloud storage over conventional on-premise services. Cloud storage has proven to be beneficial to companies as it is cost-effective, agile, and flexible. Additionally, the sudden global adoption of remote work increased the demand for cloud storage as it enabled companies to let their employees work from anywhere, at any time, on any device.
What Is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is a way of storing private data, files, and applications off-site in a service that is managed and owned by a cloud provider such as Microsoft, Google, or Amazon. Using it, one can access the data from anywhere at any time as long as one has the correct credentials and an internet connection.
While cloud storage requires a bit of initial investment, it has proven to be cheaper in the long run. For small and medium-sized businesses, this tech solution is very cost-effective as instead of investing money into managing and maintaining your dedicated servers, you can simply pay third-party companies for these services.
In addition, companies operating in the cloud storage industry provide a wide range of deployment models and payments. These companies offer different plans for businesses based on their needs, use, and budget.
Beyond this, cloud storage offers the utmost flexibility. The global adoption of a work-from-home culture is possible due to the widespread use of the cloud. Post-pandemic, several companies offered to work in a hybrid modality.
Major Trends in the Cloud Storage Market
Cloud storage is certainly the future for any business. However, the industry is constantly evolving and improving its services to maintain its customer base. Thus, cloud storage companies constantly upgrade their offerings and add new benefits and capabilities. Having said that, here are some of the major trends in the cloud storage industry for next year:
1. Cloud Storage to Evolve with New Use Cases
According to Allied Market Research, the global cloud storage market is expected to reach $222.25 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 21.9% from 2020 to 2027. Factors such as the increase in demand for low-cost data storage, the rapid shift to hybrid cloud as the primary deployment model, and the surge in cloud adoption are expected to propel the growth of the market.
Cloud computing infrastructure is all set to become the backbone of any company. Every sector demands fast networking, from social media platforms to OTT, entertainment platforms, and autonomous vehicles. With the advent of 5G infrastructure, more data can be streamed from the cloud, which opens new opportunities for businesses and clients.
This will help cloud storage companies to evolve and offer better use cases.
Already, Google and Amazon have offered gaming platforms such as Stadia and Luna which will boost overall investments in the coming years. Additionally, the boom in augmented and virtual reality will demand cheaper and smaller headsets. For these, cloud storage is an essential aspect. Cloud technology has the potential to make every other technology faster, lighter, and more accessible. This encourages the migration of more services to cloud platforms.
2. Adoption of Hybrid Cloud
Not every company can suddenly migrate to the cloud. For them, a hybrid cloud is the ideal solution.
Since companies were realizing the benefits of migrating to the cloud, they had two options. These businesses can use pay-as-you-go public cloud solutions or more flexible, customized private cloud solutions. In a private cloud, companies have a dedicated cloud and data does not need to leave the premises. Moreover, for some companies, a private cloud is essential for security and regulatory reasons. Thus, major cloud storage companies such as Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft have focused on promoting their hybrid model that offers the best of both worlds.
Companies can get way more flexibility with a hybrid model. Companies can secure their sensitive data on private servers where you can continuously monitor and process their data access. Also, if you need to access data quickly and frequently, you can store it on public AWS servers. Additionally, the popularity of hybrid cloud is due to the rapid adoption of cloud computing for additional use cases. More and more companies are no longer looking at multi-cloud environments and using new services to meet their customer demands. A hybrid cloud approach offers them flexibility while reducing the complexity of digitalization.
3. Sustainability to Gain Importance
Over the last few years, more and more people have realized how chronic the issue of climate change is. Every major business must play a part in tackling this challenge and must take firm steps to reduce overall energy consumption. With every little technological innovation, tech companies will have to use more powerful computing engines. They also will need to cater to greater digital storage requirements. Moreover, the 24×7 always-on infrastructure is the norm in today’s digital world, which demands a colossal amount of energy.
Therefore, the leading companies have to spend a dedicated amount of money and resources to implement eco-friendly measures. Additionally, they will need to invest in innovations that can help in achieving net-zero carbon emission goals. For instance, Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce and cloud company, is also the biggest buyer of renewable energy and has invested in a variety of sustainable energy projects. Other tech companies have already started to follow in the footsteps of Amazon and have taken firm steps to reduce downstream energy use.
4. Growth of Metadata
According to pundits in cloud storage, metadata is a serious issue in the cloud storage industry. In today’s world, the amount of metadata is expanding at an unprecedented and alarming rate. That’s why the issues with it will only get worse as the unstructured data is bound to explode.
Even today, many companies realize that their metadata is way more than the volume of data being stored, which negatively impacts scalability and performance. It also affects sharing databases and creates new problems that cost money and time. The issue of metadata has forced IT companies and teams to take a careful look at their software stack. Consequently, they can make sure that it is suitable for modern, next-generation application demands.
5. Threat of Ransomware
Ransomware is a never-solved issue that has troubled companies for years. It is a form of malware that encrypts access to the target company’s files and data. The cybercriminals then ask the company to pay a ransom to unlock their files, which is usually extortionate in terms of cost. If this form of malware gets into your cloud storage, it can be a major problem for the company. Under these conditions, the company will not be able to access sensitive company data, which could halt the company’s entire business operations.
However, on the bright side, cloud storage providers are not unaware of this issue and take every possible preventive action to fight against ransomware. Several cloud storage providers have developed in-built malware scanning services, which continuously check for files that are free from viruses as soon as the user uploads. If the scanning services find anything suspicious, they can automatically quarantine it.
6. No More Free Storage
We have become accustomed to using a certain amount of cloud storage. However, this trend will soon end, and vendors will offer quite an insufficient amount of free storage to individuals and companies. Once the cloud storage market matures and consolidates, the cloud will become an essential feature and the free storage feature will come to an end.
Users of cloud storage will need to use cloud services and cloud storage providers will begin to capitalize and monetize on this to cover their losses which may occur after providing free cloud storage. As a result, there will be heavy investment in advertising their paid services to encourage more customers to invest in the paid one.
What Does the Future Hold for the Cloud Storage Industry?
The two most important reasons behind the rapid adoption of cloud storage are speed and price. Providers of these services have realized that they ought to focus on reducing overall costs and making storage faster to maintain their foothold in the market. This is the only way to meet customer demand. Vendors can help reduce costs and improve agility by removing large fees and incorporating data security measures. Moreover, there are ways to offer fast and easy access. Over the next few years, cloud storage providers will look at moving toward the edge of the network and find a way to be closer to their customers irrespective of their location.
While the security of cloud storage is a major contributing factor to its global adoption, the cost is a challenging issue. Not every company can afford cloud providers’ pricing plans. Thus, new vendors are more open to adopting pricing models that enable customers to benefit from discounts in exchange for commitment. This plan has opened new opportunities in the cloud storage industry.
Having said that, companies look toward cloud storage as a backup of their services. We can say that this is the least exciting cloud application but has become quite popular and critical. Whether due to an accident or malicious attack, companies can lose their data in a fraction of a second. Moreover, there are ways to offer faster and easier access. Over the next few years, providers of these services will look at moving toward the edge of the network and find a way to be closer to their customers irrespective of their location.
While the security of cloud storage is a major contributing factor to its global adoption, costs are a challenging issue. Not every company can afford cloud storage providers’ pricing plans. Thus, new vendors are more open to adopting pricing models that enable customers to benefit from discounts in exchange for commitment. This plan has opened new opportunities in the cloud storage industry.
Having said that, companies look toward cloud storage as a backup to their services. We can say that this is the least exciting cloud application but has become quite popular and critical. Whether due to a malicious attack or an accident, companies can lose their data in a fraction of a second.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of ransomware attacks and data breaches increased significantly. As a result, companies are more inclined to use cloud services as a means to back up their data. This way, companies can avoid financial and reputational damage, which may cost them a lot more.
Additionally, companies will have to invest in encryption to prevent data from being compromised. Companies have become very conscious about data security and privacy, especially if they are using cloud services. Currently, cloud storage providers have automatic encryption that runs 24×7 to detect ransomware and malware attacks. However, there are some drawbacks to such automatic encryption. In the future, these mentioned providers will focus on investments in homomorphic and convergent encryption to ensure the personal data of individuals or companies is safe from cybercriminals.
In the future, cloud storage vendors will focus on edge computing. While most people don’t realize that their geographical decisions about the placement of cloud services are of utmost importance. Further, the more cloud service infrastructure is used, the more expensive it will become. But it will also be more complex to offer a seamless connection. That’s why cloud storage companies will focus on edge computing, where providers will attempt to offer cloud resources close to the people who are using them. In simpler terms, edge computing requires your business to choose a specific location for the service closest to your address. This helps increase overall speed and reliability.
All in all, cloud storage is about having your data accessible at all times no matter what happens to your device. Traditional ways to back up data, such as magnetic tapes and hard drives, have already become obsolete. These methods are slow, risky, and complicated. These services also offer incredible speed at a relatively cheap cost. In addition, they cloud attracts customers with its ease of use and ubiquity while being less complicated than its alternatives.
From the adoption of hybrid cloud to the integration of edge computing and artificial intelligence, the cloud storage industry is on the verge of transformation. While some people still have concerns about its safety and security, cloud providers have already invested heavily in improving safeguards against cyber criminals.
Over the next few years, more and more companies will invest in cloud storage and migrate their data to the cloud. While vendors will play a major role in providing a sense of security to customers, the demand for these cloud services will increase tremendously as customers realize its true potential. Cloud storage offers the utmost scalability, durability, and security at an astronomical cost. And this is something that should not be ignored in today’s time and age.
About the Autor
Swamini Kulkarni holds a bachelor’s degree in Instrumentation and control engineering from Pune University. She works as a content writer at Allied Market Research. Swamini is deeply fascinated by the impact of technology on human lives and loves to talk about science and mythology. When she is not glued to the computer, she loves to read, travel and daydream about her areas of interest.