The Future of the Cloud

The cloud has been with us for some time now and growth for the Software as a Service (SaaS) market is extremely positive for the future. But what trends are likely to take place with the cloud in the future? We explore some of the current trends and areas where we can expect to see growth.

On demand software hosted centrally in ‘internet clouds’ has the ability to totally transform how businesses operate. The benefits include the ability to increase scalability without having to invest in expensive IT infrastructure. Technology research company Gartner has tipped the SaaS market to top $12 billion in 2011, an increase of more than 20 per cent in just one year and indicative of the way that more and more companies are becoming switched on to the possibilities of the cloud.

So where can we expect to see future growth in the SaaS market and for the cloud? The opportunities that the SaaS market and the cloud offer are endless. But continued innovation and development by specialist cloud companies is undoubtedly set to produce a very interesting future for the cloud, consumers and businesses in the future.

Some of these include:

Cloud Computers — This is an area where both businesses and consumers will soon see a real uptake in cloud based services. Thanks to the cloud, instead of downloading software to your laptop and saving documents to your hard drive — all things that could be lost forever if your laptop is lost or broken — new cloud based computers such as the Samsung Google Chromebook operate fully via the cloud. The Chromebook doesn’t have an operating system like Windows or Apple’s Mac OS X, instead everything is operated via the Google Chrome web browser.

Cloud Video Games — Currently, the games console is the standard way of delivering video games to consumers, but that could all change in the future with the cloud. There are a number of cloud based video game platforms in operation around the world. The largest is OnLive, which launched in the UK this year, closely followed by Playcast Media, which is already operating in Portugal and plans to launch in the UK and the rest of Europe soon. In much the same way as we access films ‘on demand’ through our digital and satellite TV subscriptions, the on demand gaming service allows consumers to access a catalogue of video games. The number of games available runs into the thousands and consumers simply pay and play via your TV using an appropriate handset.

Cloud Music — There are a number of new cloud based music services in existence that could transform the way we consume music in the years to come. Instead of buying individual albums or singles from online stores such as iTunes, the future of the music industry thanks to the cloud could be very different.

Cloud based services such as Beyond Oblivion, part owned by NewsCorp; Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity, Sony’s cloud based music service; and Amazon’s Cloud Drive, all in some shape or form, are designed to let consumers store and access all of their music files in the cloud, which can then be accessed via a web browser or specific operating device, such as a Smartphone. These services essentially mean that consumers will soon be able to access all of their music, all of the time, wherever they are.

This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of CRM software.