5 signs the cloud is becoming the standard in business

Cloud computing is growing as an industry, and projections indicate that this will continue in the near future. In a few short years, the use of cloud software solutions is likely to become the standard in business practices. The technology is growing because of its flexibility, among other assets. Below are just a few reasons you should expect cloud computing to dominate the IT sector soon enough.

1. Annual global cloud IP traffic
According to research conducted by Cisco, annual global cloud IP traffic will reach 6.5 zettabytes by the end of 2018. This would be an increase of nearly four times the 2013 figure, which was 1.6 ZB. The overall CAGR in this five-year span is expected to be 32 percent. The source also predicted that global cloud IP traffic will account for 76 percent of total data center traffic in 2018.

Windows is discontinuing support for one of its widely-used servers in the UK, which opens up new doors for cloud solutions to take a hold of the market. Windows is discontinuing support for one of its widely used servers in the UK, which opens up new doors for cloud solutions to take a hold of the market.

2. Discontinuation of Windows Server 2003 in Europe
A study by the Cloud Industry Forum noted that Microsoft is dropping support for Windows Server 2003 in July, a product that is in used in some form by 61 percent of U.K. businesses. CIF suggested that this is a ripe opportunity for the growth of cloud computing in Europe, as the companies that still used Windows Server 2003 will immediately need a new solution. By the end of 2015 CIF projected that 90 percent of U.K. firms will have formally adopted a cloud-based service.

3. Cloud data centers are overtaking traditional ones
Cisco said it expects 78 percent of workloads to be processed by cloud data centers in 2018, overwhelmingly beating out traditional data centers. The source also noted that while overall workloads will be 1.9 times the 2013 amount, those that are cloud-based will nearly triple in that time period, at 2.9 times the original figure. In addition, Cisco noted that workload density in the cloud is already higher than on-premise data centers, with a rate of 5.2 workloads per physical server. For perspective, the density rate for traditional data centers is just 2.2 WPS. Both numbers are expected to grow by 2018, though the cloud's workload density will see much more significant increase as it will reach 7.5 WPS, while traditional will jump up to just 2.5 WPS.

"By 2018, 2 billion Internet users will use the cloud for personal storage."

4. Consumer Internet population usage 
In 2013, 38 percent - or 922 million - of the consumer Internet population already used personal cloud storage, Cisco reported. But by the end of 2018, the source said it expects this number to jump up to 53 percent of all users, coming in at 2 billion overall. The consumer cloud storage traffic per user rate will likely be 811 megabytes per month, which is almost six times the 156 MB per month that was recorded in 2013

5. Global compound annual growth rates
By 2018, Cisco projected that Asia will have surpassed North America in terms of cloud traffic generation, with an expected total of 2.3 ZB annually. Globally, cloud traffic will see big surges in this time span. The Middle East and Africa's CAGR will be 54 percent, according to Cisco, and every continent should be in good position see an expanded rate of at least 26 percent. Western Europe and North America are expected to undergo the lowest measured growth, but such a development would be a byproduct of these regions having already widely adopted the cloud and driving traffic accordingly.

The cloud is being established as the pre-eminent sector of the IT world, and will continue to do so over the course of the next several years. Global annual traffic rates are currently growing, and this trend has shown no sign of stopping any time soon. As traditional data centers are phased out over time, cloud alternatives will step in to take their place.