Today, using cloud services is not seen as an advantage, but rather a necessity. Business processes are experiencing a significant shift towards cloud solutions, and predictions showed that by 2023, the cloud would be a standard tool in most industries and the majority of companies. Is it?
Interestingly, the European Commission has developed a strategic plan for cloud computing that extends to the end of the decade.
Different types of cloud services exist: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Anything as a Service (XaaS). These can be public, private, or hybrid. However, they all share common features – virtualization, environmental friendliness, and efficiency. For these reasons, governments around the world are encouraging this part of the IT industry and companies that have decided to move their processes to the cloud.
The use of cloud services will vary based on the size and type of the company. Startups and small companies tend to lean towards public cloud solutions due to their cost-effectiveness and accessibility. On the other hand, corporations often worry about data security and have more complex business processes, which require a private cloud or even a custom solution built from the ground up.
Cloud Computing: Serious Business for the EU and the US
The US government has launched a program called “Cloud First” that aims to encourage businesses to fully utilize the benefits of cloud computing to increase capacity, IT flexibility, and minimize costs. Europe also supports cloud solutions. The European Commission stated that 80% of companies using the cloud have saved 10-20% on IT costs, with half of these businesses reducing these costs by up to 30%. As a result, the EU has prepared a strategy for “unleashing the potential of cloud computing in Europe”. They were expecting that by 2023, this would increase the Union’s GDP by one percent annually (160 billion euros), creating approximately 2.5 million new jobs.
Cloud Computing: The Green Partner of the Future
Another reason governments endorse cloud services is their environmental aspect. By using cloud services, companies can move towards paperless offices, significantly reducing their costs for hardware and software and consequently reducing energy consumption.
An analysis of American, French, and British companies that moved their processes to the cloud shows that they managed to cut their emissions by half. The cloud started to infiltrate even peripheral industries and economically less developed countries. In recent years, it was predicted that by 2023 companies would stop worrying about data security in the cloud, as it hasn’t been shown that data stored in the cloud is more at risk compared to physically stored data.
And the predictions were right. In 2017, we were primarily replacing Excel in companies and constantly addressing questions about the security of data stored in the cloud. Today, most clients have experience with cloud solutions and are looking for something even better, and questions about security are rare and, if they occur, are merely a formality in the selection process.
Alignment with EU Legislation on Cloud Computing
While cloud computing may seem like the Wild West of technology, legislation exists to regulate this sector, especially in the European Union. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for instance, sets stringent rules for data protection, which companies must comply with when switching to cloud services. This regulation requires companies to ensure the confidentiality and security of their customers’ data.
For businesses operating within the EU, it’s crucial to understand and comply with these rules to avoid potential penalties. Therefore, businesses should look for cloud services that comply with GDPR and other relevant EU regulations.
Cloud computing is one of the most significant technological trends of the 21st century and offers numerous opportunities for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a startup seeking an affordable and flexible solution, or a large corporation in need of a secure and robust solution, there’s a cloud service that fits your needs. With increasing government support and demonstrated economic and ecological benefits, it’s only a matter of time before cloud computing becomes a standard part of every business.
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