Utilizing cloud services for your business isn’t a new idea, but it has evolved over the past few years. Today, the Cloud functions less as a supplement to your business and more as an essential element of the whole. Team collaboration, file storage, and collection and analysis of Big Data are all easier and more secure than ever with cloud services for businesses.

In 2015, worldwide cloud computing market revenues increased 28%, and this trend isn’t expected to slow any time soon. So what does a business today need to know about the cloud?

cloud services for businesses

Shifting Cloud Computing Powers?

Some of the biggest players in business cloud services have included Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, HPE, Salesforce, and Alphabet’s Google division, but recently one of these businesses has made some big moves to strengthen its place in this growing market.

In a major shift, Google’s Cloud Platform and a variety of their cloud-based services have been combined and rebranded as Google Cloud. This move comes at the same time that Google Apps for Work is being rebranded as G Suite, which will include Docs, Drive, Gmail, Calendar, and Hangouts, among other applications, and Gmail users are being given a new option with Inbox. Focuses are being sharpened at Alphabet, and the business world is paying attention.

Google Cloud might well be a power to contend with. After Google’s late-2015 hiring of VMware co-founder Diane Green; their recent successes as the cloud-based partner for Pokemon Go, which showed cloud-based scalability and agility at its finest; and their recent announcement of integration with Particle, an Internet of Things cloud platform and hardware provider, the only question seems to be, “how will Google distinguish themselves within the cloud services marketplace?” In these early stages, their answer seems to be with the use of machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence, but time will tell.

Choosing a cloud services provider is a bit like making a bet on the future—both your business’s and the tech industry’s—but whoever it is that you choose, make sure you’re aware of the latest moves from all sides.

The Rise of Hybrid Cloud Computing

The growth of cloud adoption and the shifting players aren’t the only trends to note. “Over 70% of heavy cloud users are thinking in terms of a ‘hybrid’ cloud strategy,” according to the International Data Corporation (IDC)’s study, CloudView 2016, and “over 40% of heavy cloud users plan to spend money on open source and standards projects.”

These findings make two dramatic points:

  1. The Cloud is becoming an essential part of many businesses, but a single public or private provider is not the only answer for all of a business’s needs.
  2. The value of custom-built web applications and open source development continues to have a marked role in enterprise-level solutions.

And the IDC is not alone in these findings. A recent F5 Networks’ survey found that 81% of organizations they surveyed are “operating or planning to operate in a hybrid cloud environment.” Their survey included over 3,000 businesses.

Chief Information Security Officers or Cloud-Focused Partners are Vital

With the rise of hybrid cloud computing, there is also a rise in complication—a complication in understanding the technology, in understanding the relationships between the internal and external systems, in communicating what the best practices should be for a company, and in keeping all data secure.

Whether the answer to this dilemma is an external cloud computing partner or the hiring of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) depends on the size and needs of the business, but putting someone in the role to focus on the details of the cloud is essential.


The question is no longer whether utilizing the Cloud is a wise business strategy, but the question of “how” still remains. The correct answer will vary from business to business, and it will likely change over time.

Information technology (IT) infrastructure is a major player in your business’s success, whether internal web applications or external cloud solutions. As with any business decision, be sure you are well informed before planning your next course of action.