The importance of getting up to speed with cloud computing has never been clearer for IT professionals, with the latest statistics on the subject indicating the technology is set to become an even greater part of business infrastructure around the world in the years to come.
New figures from Market Monitor predict the cloud market is set to expand at a rate of 36 per cent a year until the end of 2016. This will see cloud revenue around the world edge towards $20 billion (£12.8 billion) by that point, emphasising what a popular and successful solution it has been and will continue to be in the future.
A report that provided an overview of the cloud-as-a-service market was recently published by 451 Research - which runs Market Monitor - and it compared the results and forecasts for revenue at 309 cloud services providers, as well as some of the leading technology vendors.
Yulitza Peraza, analyst in quantitative services at 451 Research and a co-author of the report, said: "Cloud computing is on the upswing and demand for public cloud services remains strong. However, public cloud adoption continues to face hurdles including security concerns, transparency and trust issues, workload readiness and internal non-IT-related organisational issues."
The results of the study show that it is infrastructure-as-a-service that was the driving force in the cloud market in 2012, making up more than half of the entire market share. It is also expected to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 37 per cent between now and 2016, highlighting the long-term importance it has in the cloud market.
Next in line is the platform-as-a-service sector, which is said by Market Monitor to be responsible for 24 per cent of the total public cloud revenue last year. This will also record the fastest growth rates over the next three years, with a projected expansion of 41 per cent.
Many cloud solutions providers are still very much in the early days of development and can look forward to high growth rates in the coming years. There are several vendors that are known to be huge players in the general IT market but have yet to really excel when it comes to the cloud, although this is unlikely to last for too long.
So what does this all mean?
It has become clear that cloud computing is going nowhere, so it needs to be embraced if businesses are to succeed with it in the long run. Firstly, this means firms must be ready to make an investment in cloud technology and implement it in their offices so that it can be relied upon each and every day.
Perhaps of just as much importance is the training of IT professionals so that they are able to maximise use of the cloud. There are few technologies in recent times that have offered as much potential and such a wide range of abilities, making it an option that really can revolutionise the way a company works and lead to it achieving much better results.
With this in mind, it seems reasonable to assume that IT professionals are likely to become even more invaluable in time. While those with the skills to excel in computing have always been held in high regard and are vital to the running of almost any business, the arrival of the cloud heralds the beginning of an era in which IT staff can truly make a difference and drive an organisation on to even greater heights.
Enhancing skills working with the cloud
IT workers in the UK might be wise to get one step ahead of the game by immediately doing all they can to enhance their credentials when working with the cloud. Whether this is by taking on responsibilities with a current employer that involve dealing with the technology, or by seeking qualifications of experience away from an existing workplace, it can pay to build a CV that revolves around the cloud.
After all, few technologies in the market will have anywhere near as much of an impact on operations over the next ten years, so IT personnel seeking attractive positions in this field will need to prove they not only understand it, but also have the talents required to use it efficiently and effectively to drive results.
Taking on board career tips is always important but when they revolve around a technology that has already - and will continue to - affect the way IT departments work it is even more significant. There is not an IT professional in the land who can get away with ignoring the cloud or refusing to buy into its role in modern computing.
So getting up to speed with it as quickly as possible and gaining plenty of experience of working with it is a must, at least for any IT experts who have the ambition and determination to move on to senior roles over the course of their careers.
Read our related blog: No more cloudy days with the cloud