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How the Cloud Has Changed Over the Past 3 Years

John Grady

Cloud computing is not a new concept. Having gotten its start back in the 1960s, when computation was first envisioned as a public utility, it has been in development ever since. However, the past few years have seen more significant changes than we have seen in the entire history of the technology. In an age with ever increasing digitization of data and records, the cloud and cloud software have become unavoidable for virtually every business from small start-up initiatives to large multibillion-dollar corporations. As such, it is not surprising that vendors and developers are pushing to create ever more cutting-edge cloud products and services. During the past three years, we have seen the following significant developments relative to the cloud.


Many companies adopt cloud computing to keep their sensitive business information easily accessible for those who need it, and secure from potential theft. It isn't until later that they realize cloud computing has huge potential for crunching big data, which is becoming critical for staying ahead of the competition regardless of the industry. As cloud computing offers scalability, it is a practical means of gathering and implementing big data analytics. With new information available every month about how companies can use this data to their advantage, more businesses are maximizing these opportunities to leverage cloud based Big Data analytic tools.

Bring your own Device (BYOD)

If you'd talked to IT professionals even five years ago about the impact that mobile devices would have on cloud computing, it is likely that they would not have expected much of an impact any time in the near future. Ten years ago, the topic wouldn't have even been a consideration. Now the vast majority of consumer electronics around the world are mobile devices, which has created serious waves in the cloud computing world. Companies are scrambling to catch up with their users in order to create and implement policies and protocols to maintain a high level of security and protection for company information and data even when accessed remotely via a mobile device.


As cloud computing has become more widespread, many companies have concerns about the secure nature of the systems. The bottom line is that businesses need to encrypt their cloud data in order to prevent IP theft or unauthorized access. There are new options on the market every month that enable companies to separate their data without compromising security, such as CipherCloud's Searchable Strong Encryption (SSE). In order to keep systems safe, businesses need to establish and enforce cloud computing compliance standards.


The rapid developments in cloud computing have left many IT managers scrambling to keep their staffs up to date on the latest technologies and trends. With explosive growth in the number of companies utilizing cloud computing coupled with ever changing developments, it is tough to keep IT employees on top of their game. Many IT workers don't have current skill sets needed to handle the expanding job demands. Cloud computing increasingly requires specialized skills in a number of IT areas. However, as of early 2014, it's not clear where or how IT team members will get this specialized training to support their evolving job responsibilities.

By John Grady, Senior Manager of Product Marketing. XO Communications is a nationwide provider of managed network and IT infrastructure services. At XO, John has been responsible for launching numerous products such including XO's 100G Service and several XO Cloud Services.

Related topics: Cloud Computing


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