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Cloud computing: A guide to understanding the rapidly growing technology

30 June 2021

Digital transformation is high on the strategic agenda for many companies across all industries. From big banks to Federal Government departments, more and more organisations are integrating digital technologies into all areas of their business to streamline costs, improve capability and innovate their products and services.

One such technology underpinning these efforts is cloud computing, which is changing the way companies operate and deliver. The global IT cloud market is expected to grow 18% this year, accelerated by COVID-19 and booming commerical demand. The days of strained internal servers and bursting PC hard drives are gradually phasing out in favour of cloud technologies managed by external providers.

In this article, we define what cloud computing is, why it has become so popular, and what this means for companies across industries from a recruitment perspective.

What is cloud computing?

Ever heard the phrase “It’s in the cloud”. No need to look up, this simply means your IT resources (e.g., data, servers, networks, analytics, software, applications) are being stored, managed, processed and delivered on a remote network of servers usually inside a data centre. Simply put, the cloud enables digital products and services to be delivered over the internet (“the cloud”) between IT vendors, enterprises and end-users.

Why are companies shifting to the cloud?

Turn on the news, and inevitably you’ll see the latest company undergoing their own ‘digital transformation’ project. In the wake of COVID-19, 70% of Australian organisations plan to increase their cloud spend. Why? There are three key reasons.

1) Cost
Firstly, managing IT infrastructure is expensive. It requires lots of IT people to run it, significant electricity to power it, and a temperature-controlled environment to keep it operating smoothly. Add in continuous upgrades, fixes, maintenance and other resource-consuming costs, it’s an expensive model for organisations to manage internally. Shifting to the cloud enables organisations to outsource these expensive tasks saving them time and money to focus on other business matters.

2) Performance
Secondly, major cloud platforms run across vast global networks of data centres that help maximise performance of IT systems. Data centres are equipped to manage, store and process enormous amounts of data to keep your IT systems running efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, They are constantly upgraded with the latest hardware and software, and allow companies to be flexible and agile in their IT usage by seamlessly scaling up and down capacity according to their actual needs.

3) Security
Thirdly, since cloud providers store sensitive company data, their security protocols and technologies are well above an average internal server. In an age of rising cyber-crime and disruption, these extra layers of protection and reliability are crucial for business continuity and peace of mind. If an internal server breaks down or a PC fails, the impact on a business can be catastrophic. By shifting to the cloud, your capability to keep data safe, ensure business continuity and recover from a disaster is considerably improved if something does go wrong.

Who are the top cloud players?

Competition for commercial workload in the global cloud market is fierce. Not surprising when Australia’s cloud market alone grows 40% each year. Two companies lead this booming market: Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure. What do these companies have in common? They’re both owned by global tech giants, they both leverage their leading tech capabilities (e.g., AI, analytics, software, etc.) into their cloud offering and they both are growing at a staggering rate.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) boasts a 32% share of the global market, and is the cloud infrastructure arm of e-commerce giant Amazon. AWS leverages its competencies in AI, managed databases (e.g., MySQL), machine learning and serverless deployments to deliver on-demand computer resourcing services to individuals and organisations. To put its economy of scale in perspective, AWS delivers more operating income for Amazon than its entire e-commerce business. This is because many businesses, including multiple Federal Government departments and popular video collaboration tools like Zoom, rely on their platform to store critical data and deliver valuable services.

Close behind AWS is Azure, which forms part of tech giant Microsoft’s intelligent cloud business. Microsoft’s commercial cloud business differentiates itself via incorporating its hugely popular software suite (Microsoft 365), it’s partnerships with other popular software players (e.g., SAP, Adobe, etc.) and its compatibility with program design languages, machines and softwares into its broader cloud offering. This has granted Azure a $70 billion commercial footprint in the global IT market, making it a strong alternative cloud bundle for enterprise customers.

What does this mean for clients?

Whether you’re on the verge of commencing your own digital transformation, or are years into it already, it’s important to understand the challenge ahead of you in finding talent to execute your digitisation strategies. It’s well documented Australia’s tech talent shortage, exacerbated by international border closures restricting inflows of overseas talent. In fact, there are estimates Australia will need 200,000 technology workers over the next five years to remain globally competitive. This shortage has seen the price tag for cloud technology talent soar over 30% in the past twelve months alone. Therefore, unless you have an unlimited hiring budget, you need a strong recruitment plan in place to access top talent to deliver your digital transformation objectives.

Fortunately, at Ignite, we specialise in technology recruitment, and can not only help you build this recruitment plan, but also connect you with amazing technology talent to ensure your digitalisation efforts succeed and broader business thrives.

Talk to our team to find our more!