SOME SAY THE FUTURE OF TECH HARDWARE IS BLEAK, AS CLOUD SERVICES PROGRESSIVELY DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF SERVERS REQUIRED BY AN ORGANISATION. BUT IS THIS REALLY THE CASE?
In fact, with large-scale organisations increasingly recognising the benefits of moving to the cloud, industry experts claim that over the next four years, demand for public cloud infrastructure services in Australia will increase significantly.
The market for cloud infrastructure is expected to reach $650 million in 2018, up from $305 million in 2014, whilst the Gartner Group estimates that SaaS (Software as a Service) revenue will be more than double its 2010 numbers by next year to reach a projected $21.3 billion.
But is this the “death of hardware” as some cloud advocates proclaim?
According to Kareem Tawansi, CEO of the Solentive Technology Group, these musings are a little premature. “I don’t see organisations going hardware free in the near future”, says Tawansi, “but I’m sure one day this will be the case to some extent.”
Whilst the uptake of cloud services has decreased the amount of servers an organisation needs to run, the elimination of hardware altogether is not appropriate for all organisations or departments.
“The SaaS model is more suitable for job functions that do not require a high level of technology usage,” Tawansi explains. “I think it’s going to be a long time before this model is adopted to an extent that will drastically eliminate hardware in the business.”
“We will become increasingly more internet-focused,” the CEO concedes, “but there will always be some hardware component.”
There’s little doubt the cloud has become integral to the operation of many organisations. The abundant supply of information technology capabilities at a relatively low expense offers appealing opportunities, as more and more organisations run their business activities from the cloud, from routine apps to critical infrastructure.
In addition to reducing operational costs, cloud technologies have also become the basis for radical business innovation and new business models.
However, like any new technology, cloud computing also creates disruptive possibilities and potential risks. “The thing about business is, if you change things too quickly and too often, you can actually damage the business,” warns Tawansi.
The CEO also sees setup costs as a barrier for some organisations to make the switch.
For organisations considering a wholesale move to the cloud, Tawansi suggests engaging a third-party consultant to consider their options. The CEO recommends running a pilot programme on a select group to measure whether the potential model is suitable for the organisation or department.
SaaS offers cost savings and significant reductions in maintenance, but depending on the system used within the organisation, this may not work for all departments. However with trial and error and professional advice throughout the process, the risks to the organisation can be kept to a minimum.