This month, Synergy Research Group released a review of the 2017 cloud market. According to their analysis, the cloud services and infrastructure market has grown by nearly a quarter annually. Among the cloud services analyzed, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) saw the highest growth rate at 47 percent while Software-as-a-Service grew by 31 percent.
According to Synergy, this growth is part of a broader trend: The cloud-services market is growing three times as fast as cloud infrastructure hardware and software.
“We tagged 2015 as the year when cloud became mainstream and 2016 as the year when cloud started to dominate many IT market segments; in 2017, cloud was the new normal,” notes John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy. “Major barriers to cloud adoption are now almost a thing of the past, with previously perceived weaknesses such as security are now often seen as strengths. Cloud technologies are now generating massive revenues for cloud service providers and technology vendors and we forecast that current market growth rates will decline only slowly over the next five years.”
For those businesses looking for better ways to compete, cloud services are now key. And for those businesses desiring scalability, IaaS is often a perfect fit. IaaS consists of cloud infrastructure services that allow companies to access, monitor, and manage remote data center infrastructures. This can include data storage and networking. But what makes IaaS different is that companies don’t have to purchase hardware, instead businesses can access infrastructure that grows as they grow.
IaaS differs from the other cloud computing services because with IaaS, businesses are still responsible for managing their applications, data, and software. The providers are only responsible for managing the servers, hard drives, and networks that keep these tools running.
Several IaaS providers offer global services—chief among them, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine. But there are many new companies breaking into the industry every day, offering even more options and flexibility for businesses.
Companies are often interested in undertaking a digital transformation, but such transformations often require ample resources. Many companies, especially those on the smaller side often don’t have the resources to achieve their desired results, namely reliability and scale. In turn, this is precisely why IaaS can be of value, providing many of the same advantages of large IT infrastructure without the associated in-house costs and hardware.
With businesses charged based on consumption, like many other cloud-computing services, IaaS users are charged a regular subscription fee to access the services. Under a subscription model, businesses bypass the usual upfront costs of implementing infrastructure and spread out their costs via monthly or annual payments. And the cost isn’t just spread out over time. It can also be significantly cheaper for a business to use IaaS because they are only paying for what they need.
IaaS can also reduce infrastructure costs because it allows for virtually limitless scalability and agility. With IaaS businesses can scale up and down quickly to adapt to the ever-changing needs of their operation. Businesses no longer have to take the risk of investing in infrastructure resources they might no longer need down the line.
Additionally, it can often be difficult for businesses to stay on top of the latest technological advancements and incorporate them into their operation, especially for smaller businesses with limited resources. But IaaS providers often give users access to the most advanced storage and networking technology. They, too, are trying to stay competitive and being at the forefront of the latest technology gives their users a leg up.
All cloud services come with a certain level of automation and can simplify a number of processes in everyday business operations. But where IaaS especially excels is with security. In light of recent cyber-security breaches, many businesses are keeping their eyes on the latest IT security breakthroughs to find a solution that works for them. IaaS is a creative way to manage security because it can be more reliable than in house infrastructure that might be susceptible to a breach. The sheer size of IaaS operations—overseeing sometimes thousands of clients – means that they must have a number of fail-safes in place because if an IaaS company is hacked, it’s not just one businesses that would be at risk, but thousands. With this piece of mind, businesses using IaaS can spend more time focusing on other top-level priorities.
Overall, IaaS gives businesses greater flexibility to ensure they are not wasting valuable resources. And the benefits of using resources wisely can have a number of positive consequences, including reducing the time it takes businesses to get their product or service to market.