When a major global brand enters a new market and quickly becomes synonymous with that market, it’s clear that there’s a solid new sector on the up. This is the case with the increasing importance of the public cloud as a powerful tool for business – illustrated by the stratospheric impact that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is making in the provisioning of cloud services.
As reported here, during the company’s earnings conference call in April, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky described AWS as a $10 billion business, and said that Amazon was “very happy” with the top and bottom line for AWS during Q1 2016 – highlighting a 23 per cent operating margin, up from 12 per cent a year ago.
The term ‘cloud computing’ has been around for years, but actual transition of business critical services and applications to the cloud is an ongoing process, with many talking about it but not actually implementing the change. The vast majority of general everyday actions today revolves around, or is dependent on, cloud services. From banking to big data, from the Internet of Things to online gaming, all use public or private cloud services – yet the use of ‘the cloud’ is still perceived to be the preserve of the technologically advanced.
Two surveys both reflect the readiness of organizations to move to the cloud, yet both also highlight the concerns about data security and privacy. The first was conducted late last year on our behalf, as we wanted to investigate whether operators were ready to deploy cloud-based BSS. The findings show that most operators and service providers are indeed ready to deploy cloud-based BSS services, with the majority of respondents saying they are already doing so or plan to do so in the next two years. Although those concerns about security and data privacy are universally perceived to be the biggest barrier to moving operator BSS to the public cloud – it is interesting that across all geographic regions and all operator types, the intention to make the transition is clear to see as confidence in cloud services rises.
Our findings were supported by the second survey, as reported by telecoms.com, which showed that while some decision makers still do not yet fully trust the cloud, the concerns are no longer preventing those organizations from investing in the solutions. The survey shows that ’42 per cent of C-suite executives say critical server workloads have already been virtualized in their environments; for IT systems administrators and engineers, that number is now as high as 65 per cent.’
And while ‘data and security breaches still top the list of concerns when considering such a move,’ the survey highlighted that some 82 per cent of C-suite executives who were surveyed believe they will migrate additional workloads to the public cloud this year.
Moving to the cloud requires the adoption of a new way of working – a shift in thinking from the traditional, and of course it is entirely usual for some organizations to be more forward-thinking than others. For us, the way ahead is clear. We have already announced our commitment to build a world-class, highly secure, business internet platform with AWS to enable the telecoms industry, and enterprise customers everywhere, to transform their IT environments in order to lower costs, improve operational efficiency, and still maintain the highest levels of security.
The cloud is here – it is proven and secure, and represents the way in which the world is increasingly beginning to work. The flexibility and agility of cloud services enable new business models to be explored, and means we can accelerate innovation and help our customers and partners drive their business transformation.