Cloud computing has taken Australian companies by storm, with nearly half (42%) of all businesses using some form of paid cloud service.
The technology has garnered mainstream adoption in recent time due to its capacity for improving productivity, mobility, and innovation – helping achieve further growth and greater business results. At the same time, its services have grown more affordable and accessible than ever, making the shift to such platforms a top priority among industries.
With its ability to take a workplace online, companies can benefit from greater flexibility, competitiveness, and business stability. We dive into the top advantages of cloud computing below, what it is, and how to break into the field yourself.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing takes the digital resources one would typically access from their hard drive, and stores it on the internet (or “the cloud”). These include one’s data files (i.e. documents, images, etc.) and software programs.
There are three main types of cloud computing: IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and SaaS (Software as a Service).
IaaS cloud services provide an alternative to local infrastructure, offering users virtual storage and networking. Its solutions are highly scalable, allowing companies to pay as they go – upgrading or downgrading their online services as necessary.
PaaS services are typically used by developers, providing them with hardware and software tools over the internet. Such solutions help them hit the ground running, saving them the time and money of coding applications from scratch.
Finally, SaaS services provides users with software over the internet through a subscription-based model. These include online storage, marketing, or sales services (i.e. Dropbox, MailChimp, Salesforce, etc.), and save users the extra step of downloading and installing applications onto their computer.
The benefits of cloud computing
As mentioned, cloud computing comes with a multitude of business benefits, including:
By relegating your company hardware and software needs to an outside organisation, you’ll save yourself the time and energy required to constantly plan, upgrade, and implement new IT infrastructure.
Cloud computing platforms offer users peace of mind by taking care of the software services, storage, security, and automatic updates your business needs, helping you focus on company growth, development, and customer satisfaction.
Its pay-as-you-go, scalable solutions also allows you to meet business needs in a timely manner – often cited as one of its top reasons for widespread adoption.
Higher cost savings
With most of your hardware and software needs shifted to an online space, cloud computing often results in less capital spending. You’re simply required to pay for the storage space or services you need per month, a subscription that’s often easily adjustable to fit your current business needs. This ensures no money is wasted on unnecessary tools or features; resulting in high returns for a lower cost.
With a trusted, reputable cloud provider, you can rest assured your data is in safer hands than under most in-house security systems. Vendors typically implement multilayered, high-grade defences, including encryption of data in transit, multi-factor authentication, and automated, frequent security updates.
According to Gartner, IaaS workloads are bound to experience 60% fewer security incidents than those of traditional data centres; saving your business the unnecessary downtime and financial damage.
Through the ability to access cloud services anytime, anywhere, and on any device, users have the advantage of greater mobility and collaboration. Deloitte statistics report productivity improvements among a whopping 78% of current Australian cloud users, with 38% claiming improvements in customer service.
Some cloud platforms even offer additional social tools for greater collaborative engagement and communication, boosting the overall efficiency of your business.
Compared to installing brand-new, physical infrastructure; cloud computing platforms are readily accessible and easy to set up.
Once you partner with a trusted vendor, all the back-end management, administration, and general technicalities are typically taken care of. Most companies also assist with the migration process, helping you make the shift as quickly and seamlessly as possible. As mentioned, providers also offer flexible, scalable options that allow you to upgrade or downgrade your cloud-based resources – depending on your current business requirements.
By migrating their resources to the cloud, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint by downsizing their on-premise servers or data centres (or getting rid of them altogether). Online resources also reduce the need for paper-based materials, helping your business save money while cutting down on unnecessary waste.
The ability for cloud users to access their data anytime, anywhere also effectively reduces commuter-related emissions, while allowing your employees to save on travel costs.
Through the greater flexibility, collaboration, and productivity cloud computing provides, your business can stay innovative, competitive, and responsive to company or industry developments. With plenty of companies now making the shift, such services can help keep you and your employees ahead of the curve.
According to Deloitte, the ability to “keep up with competitors” have been a driving factor in cloud adoption, resulting in improved operations and customer engagement.
Improved backup and disaster recovery
Finally, having your files backed up and stored in the cloud allows for easy data recovery in the case of stolen devices, hardware problems, or security breaches. Localising your business data may result in a permanent loss of information, but having copies available online makes these backups readily accessible on any device with an internet connection.
Additionally, cloud users can also offer users with quick, advanced data recovery solutions that effectively reduce business downtime and financial loss during emergencies or disasters.
What jobs can I pursue in cloud computing?
As a popular career path in the cloud computing industry, data science focuses on the process of gathering, analysing, and interpreting data stored in the cloud. Those in the field are typically skilled in statistics, data modelling, and machine learning-related tools or methods.
Average salary: $92,316 AUD per year
DevOps, a portmanteau of the words “development” and “operations”, combines the processes of both IT teams to build, test, and release software services at faster, more reliable rate. Such professionals are in the high-demand in the cloud computing field; both required to write the code for a cloud-based environment, as well as manage the security, maintenance, and operational aspects of the development process.
Average salary: $105,808 AUD per year
Cloud engineers are responsible for assisting with a business’ cloud migration needs, assessing their current infrastructure and moving the necessary resources, processes, and applications to a public, hybrid, or private cloud. Once the required functions are shifted to a cloud-based environment, these professionals are also typically responsible for maintaining them.
Average salary: $122,000 AUD per year
Cloud architects are tasked with assessing the technical requirements of developing a cloud-based environment (these including the front-end/back-end platforms, the network, and cloud-based delivery), converting these needs into the final design and architecture of the service. They may work in tandem with cloud engineers and DevOps to ensure the right technologies and processes are implemented.
Average salary: $160,000 AUD per year
Cloud computing courses
The garnered widespread use of cloud computing among businesses worldwide has demand for necessary professional skills. Hays’ previous job report cites cloud-based expertise as one of Australia’s top skills shortages, specifically in commercial platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
Those interested in pursuing the plethora of job opportunities currently available in cloud computing can build the skills they need through online courses. These including:
Students keen to explore and equip themselves with the latest, most in-demand IT skills can undertake an IT diploma course with a focus on cloud engineering. This 24-month program dives into practices, development, management, and configuration of cloud-based platforms, on top of other relevant areas such as cybersecurity and networking.
The course also provides “simulated workplace training” to help develop one’s skills in a real-life ICT environment.
In partnership with La Trobe University, Upskilled students can now pursue a Bachelor’s in cloud technology – a three-year course (or six-year part-time) that delves into cloud fundamentals; application and web development; cybersecurity; network engineering; and big data, among other relevant industry knowledge.
Students will also have the opportunity to undertake industry projects, helping them apply their skills in a real-world, workplace context. The program also offers flexible choices in elective and core choice subjects.
Join the growing world of cloud computing today!
With cloud services more in-demand than ever, there’s never been a better time to enter the industry.
Build your cloud computing expertise with Upskilled’s cloud engineering course today, which is delivered online, helping you tailor your training around personal needs and schedule. As the global economy continues to heal post COVID-19, cloud migration is bound to rise as business owners seek greater stability and data accessibility. Demand for cloud computing skills is thus set to see a spike in the near future – and in years to come.