The many benefits for innovation and efficiency in business enterprises are the leading factors that explain the rising popularity of Cloud technology on a wide and global scale. Its use across all the demographics among the general public and its application in multiple industries such as business, banking, transport, medical care, and any other sector you can think of, demonstrates its innovative character and how it is on its way to becoming, quite literally, the wave of the future. This is also evinced in the integration of Cloud services with A.I. technology. As a matter of fact, automated A.I. assistants and robotic waiters or travel agents are only half the picture. The Cloud enables one to upload and store any information of any format on online—thus, ‘Cloud’—servers hosted by the various popular services on the World Wide Web. Most of those used by the general user to store and share docs, music or video files offer a free account depending on how big the file is, as in the case of Dropbox, which enables users to upload up to 2 GB of files. For extra memory storage one normally has to upgrade to their premium services for a fee.

The major providers include Dropbox, Google Drive and Google Music, Amazon AWS, Apple’s iCloud, Box, Safesync, Opendrive, as well as newer participants who were quick to latch onto the growing importance of Cloud Technology. Amazon’s ‘Amazon Web Services’ (AWS), for instance, has achieved enormous global popularity, boasting in 2016 well over one million users across 190 countries. Since the main concepts for its development first began over 50 years ago, when through a process known as ‘time-sharing,’ major corporations used huge and expensive mainframe machines to share their computing resources with clients/customers on a paying basis, it has evolved over the decades and throughout the internet era to give birth to numerous tools that have helped business face the challenges of a highly competitive marketplace.  Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) software/applications providing ‘traditional’ ERP (customized and installed by a provider but operated by the company) or SaaS ERP solutions (Software as a Service—meaning hosted and operated solely by the provider) are only some examples of these innovative technologies. In concomitance with IT integration of ever more efficient Knowledge Management Systems through recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence technology, every business from any industry has gained enormous advantages from Cloud implementation. The ability to share information, applications, servers and data centres over the Internet has reduced the level of bureaucracy, optimized the speed of decision-making policies, and eliminated any need for storage devices, while at the same time optimizing the internal and external structural make-up of a company.

It is important to recognize the difference between SaaS (Software as a Service) Cloud providers, through which a company can access their applications and data on the host’s servers and storage systems through their web browser for a monthly fee, and IaaS (infrastructure as a Service), providers which enable the business to customize, install, and operate on its own the Cloud servers and related applications, storage and connectivity resources provided by the host service on a pay-as-you-go basis. While the first option (SaaS) is a good idea for a business without the financial or planning resources needed to train its employees on Cloud tech integration with the company’s online/IT infrastructures, IaaS has some major advantages. The first issue is privacy and security; there is less danger of sensitive info falling into the wrong hands because the technology is operated and run by the company, while the host is only responsible for providing the maintenance of the software and the servers, and this is a valuable asset in the modern cyberworld, which is often under threat by hackers and government/industrial espionage.

This concern also reveals the reason why there is such a high demand currently for professionals from the IT/High-Tech/A.I. industries to join the growing job fields offered by the Cloud technology sector. Hiring a team of IT consultants and legal experts, financial and business analysts—along with trained Cloud experts who have earned their cloud computing certification through one of the several accredited institutions like Cloudacademy, will not only help to resolve any security issues and optimize company/employee efficiency; it will also provide more opportunities for employment, while saving time and leaving more power and control over Cloud implementation in the hands of the company to further specific business needs.