It is that time of year again when we pause and give thanks. As we prepare to break bread around our annual Thanksgiving dinner tables, we ponder the blessings of the past year.  And given our inherent nerdiness, our thankful thoughts turn to technology and, more specifically, the cloud.  We plucked out three developments in cloud computing this year that we believe will have a lasting impact on the digital transformation your businesses are experiencing:

Cloud Computing Services are an Integral Part of the Business Conversation

Just a few years ago, there were industry pundits claiming cloud computing was a passing fad which would be a waste of businesses’ money. We’re happy to see that amidst all the noise, the benefits of cloud computing have made their way into every industry sector. Forrester predicts that the global cloud computing market will surpass $200 billion in 2019, with companies increasing spending to update their aging legacy applications.

According to IT World, 90 percent of North American enterprises are already leveraging some form or another of cloud services. With this adoption has come a maturity in cloud services, now supporting complex and mission-critical functions instead of just dipping its toe into non-critical workloads. More than 80 percent of North American enterprises use cloud services for workplace productivity, sales, marketing, customer management, portals, content management, analytics and reporting. Nearly 80 percent also use cloud services for the important back-office functions like finance, accounting, human resources, and procurement. More than half have gone even further, adopting cloud services for supply chain and R&D functions.

While cloud giants such as Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft Azure have continued expanding this year, CompTIA finds that sourcing where you procure your cloud services is just the start of the conversation. Less than 40 percent of organizations are sourcing their cloud services directly from cloud vendors – more than half source from cloud vendors and third-party companies, while another 10 percent source from third-party vendors. We’ve seen more companies come to US Cloud to get expert support on integrating their cloud services, keeping their systems up and running, and migrating to new cloud environments.

Cloud Computing is No Longer One Size Fits All

Every business has unique needs, and the early days of cloud computing forced many companies into a box of what cloud vendors were able to offer. The broad adoption of enterprise cloud services is powering a proliferation of technology and service delivery models. Whether Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, or Application as a Service, enterprise cloud is no longer a choice between a virtualized whitewashed solution or one-size-fits-all hyperscale solution.

After an initial migration of certain applications to the cloud, the next stage of evolution is determining which model is the best option for each application. This means examining multiple cloud providers, exploring hosted or on-premise private clouds, and accepting traditional on-premise solutions depending on the situation.

According to CompTIA, after the first migration to a cloud service, 68 percent of businesses are performing secondary migrations to another cloud provider, while 40 percent migrate to a private cloud and 28% migrate to an on-premises system.

The good news is you have options to ensure you are meeting the critical needs your specific business requires. We’ve seen more companies come to US Cloud to help them determine the right IT portfolio that will help them meet their business needs.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt No Longer Control the Cloud Conversation

As enterprise cloud services have become more prevalent, embedded in core operations, and diverse, the key challenges have shifted from security, privacy and sovereignty to more complex needs related to service performance and end-to-end process integration.

Over the last five years, the key risks related to security, privacy, and data sovereignty have largely been addressed, as there is only a small minority of enterprise (10 percent or less according to IT World) that continue to see issues with these critical risks not addressable in the market. The largest concern, market availability, has essentially become a non-issue as more enterprises believe there are solutions readily available.

The largest focus now is ensuring cloud services can power mission-critical operations and all that comes with that – including service availability, incident restoration, monitoring, alerts, and disaster recovery. Together, these operational concerns represent the most important obstacles to enterprise cloud adoption. US Cloud has seen this shift as well, continuing to deliver enterprise IT services that meet businesses’ mission-critical needs.

Above all, we’re thankful for you, our clients – the trust that you give us every single day to simplify your infrastructure, unburden your IT teams, and protect your brands.  So for those of our clients in the US,  all of us at US Cloud would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  And for our international folks, well it may not be a holiday for you, but it’s a good excuse to say thank you anyway!