One area of cloud computing that is used widely, but often isn’t as flashy as the software side is cloud storage. Storing files in the cloud to make them easily accessible and shareable from anywhere was one of the very first uses of the cloud that was adopted widely by many users.
As advances like automation and AI come to other types of cloud services, like team communications and business apps, cloud storage is not being left behind. The industry also continues to evolve to make storing data in the cloudless complex, more reliable, and better secured.
It’s estimated that in 2021, 50% of all company data was stored in the cloud. This is an increase of 15% from just five years earlier. With today’s hybrid teams that may be working from home and be hundreds or thousands of miles away from co-workers, it’s important to centrally locate files in cloud systems that can be accessed by everyone.
What can you expect to see in the cloud storage market this year? Here are some of the most interesting trends to keep an eye on.
1. Built-in Ransomware Defenses
Ransomware can impact data no matter where it is stored. Whether on a computer, server or in a cloud storage platform, this malware can encrypt the information and make it unreadable to the business that owns it.
In 2021, the average ransomware payment increased by 82% and ransomware incidents rose 64% during the first half of the year. A survey of CISOs found that over the last 18 months, 98% of organizations suffered a cloud data breach.
To combat ransomware, you’ll begin seeing cloud storage services offering ransomware recovery protection. This involves sophisticated systems that can help prevent files from being encrypted by code as well as those that take a copy of files and store it securely away, so files can be restored at the click of a button.
With ransomware showing no sign of stopping, this is a welcome addition in the cloud storage arena.
2. “The Edge” Becomes More Key in Cloud Storage
One of the new buzzwords of the last few years has been “Edge” or “Edge computing.” This means bringing data applications and storage resources geographically closer to the user that needs to connect to them.
As reliance on cloud storage and other cloud applications has increased, so has the need to improve response times from user to server. When data must travel across large distances, it becomes more difficult to quickly and economically deliver the best user experience. Thus, cloud service providers have been moving to an Edge computing model.
What this means for you is better reliability and faster response when accessing or searching on files because your provider is going to work to provide your service from one of the company’s cloud servers that is geographically closer to your location.
For companies with offices spread out around a country or throughout the world, this means that you’ll want to keep service location in mind when signing up for cloud storage and have a discussion with the provider about distance and how Edge computing factors in.
3. Expect More Help from AI and Machine Learning
AI and machine learning are making just about every area of technology smarter. Microsoft Word and text message apps now predict what you might type to help you fill in the blanks and type faster. Programs like Photoshop can crop around a person in an image in seconds using AI.
AI is also going to become more prevalent in cloud storage this year. You can expect help with automatic organization of your files based on your cloud storage patterns.
Look for features designed to eliminate manual or repetitive tasks to free up more time. This includes AI helping to automate things like provisioning, obtaining, and importing data (known as “ingesting”), managing data retention, and more.
4. Legacy Vendors Begin Offering More Cloud Options
2022 is going to bring more cloud storage options coming from legacy technology providers. For example, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise recently introduced a new Data Services Cloud Console, and Dell Technologies just announced a new APEX multi-cloud design that it is working on to improve the cloud ecosystem.
More cloud storage options mean you may need more help deciding which model will work best for you, as pricing will vary widely. You don’t want to end up with more storage than you need or be paying a lot for a smaller amount of space.
It pays to keep on top of new offerings and understand that every new cloud storage option might not be a fit for your organization’s specific data storage needs.
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