The Future of Software Development is in the Cloud — and Here is Why
The digital shift that has taken place in economics has affected every facet of business. Technology rules the world from their operations to the products and services they offer.
The technology field is the sector that will inevitably experience the most significant impact of digitalization. Because of the new COVID variants, social distancing and bringing operations online have become regular practices in most organizations.
Today, we are already witnessing that remote work and related restrictions affect industries, not necessarily positively. For instance, some believe that Stanford, the core innovation and networking hub for the technologically minded worldwide, has lost its dominance with the active penetration of online practices.
How companies respond to these changes, what new implications we’re likely to face soon, and how to adapt to such a rapidly changing environment―find answers to each of these in this short read.
Cloud Computing as a Trend
Since 2010, the cloud industry has grown tremendously, reaching $304.9 billion in valuation by 2021. This marketing growth of over 380% can be partially attributed to the increase in data and the recent boost in telecommuting.
When put into context, it is evident that most global data was generated between 2011 and 2013. The more data we produce, the more storage capacity we require to secure it. According to recent stats, the virtual weight of all the information has been roughly estimated at a trillion gigabytes.
With the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, keeping one’s business operations on the cloud has become a vital business practice. Cisco states that cloud computing will host up to 95% of the global workforce. And that is only the tip of the iceberg!
The growing trend for cloud computing has led to the evolution of various technologies and approaches to software development. For instance, cloud-based development, which allows for launching apps with components stored online and with some processes executed on the cloud, is one of the core outcomes of this evolving cloud revolution.
The total size of the cloud software-as-a-service market (SaaS) has increased from $5.5 billion to $157 billion in just 12 years. These figures continue to grow as more and more companies opt for cloud solutions in their operations.
Stanford University Moves to the Cloud
Stanford University, which has long been the core technology hub in California, is known for encouraging and nourishing the entrepreneurial spirit among its students. As a result, its faculty and alumni have founded the majority of the leading tech behemoths, including Google, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, and PayPal.
Companies founded by Stanford alumni currently generate $3 trillion. If Stanford were a country, its economy would be equivalent to the 10th largest in the world. Forbes magazine has once justly argued:
“It is almost impossible to find a company or a startup in Silicon Valley that would have no relation to Stanford University.”
Given Stanford’s focus on leadership and its unique culture that has given rise to renowned politicians and public figures, it is evident that this place has remained one of the core tech and social hubs in the whole world.
Top Two Reasons Why Stanford Will Survive in the Cloud
When Stanford was about to move online, many knew they would miss the atmosphere and networking opportunities provided by the institution. This shift was inevitable due to the rise of cloud computing and remote work. The coronavirus and related restrictions only accelerated this shift, leading to global changes in the fields of business relations, investing, and startup culture.
But this is not something we should be afraid of. On the contrary, communication becomes much more important than the atmosphere of Stanford itself due to the following two reasons:
- Geographical proximity to Stanford creates more illusions than opportunities. It could be compared to standing close to your star idols at the Oscars. You can see them, follow the same path, and breathe the same air, which is undeniably inspiring.
- In the case of Hollywood, you realize that this creates no exceptional opportunities for you except for unique experiences. In the case of Silicon Valley, this delusion can defocus you and lead to wrong decisions.
- Startup spending cannot be compared to that of the tech giants. A startup has to spend the same amount of money to compete with Facebook and other tech corporations, which is hardly possible in the modern business environment.
Demonstrate High-Quality Services
In such circumstances, a startup is forced to demonstrate the highest quality of services or products at the lowest cost. And this is where outsourcing comes into play. The only way to do it is to find a trusted outsourcing partner based far from Stanford.
We are actually witnessing now that communication in the Bay Area has become limited to Zoom and other cloud solutions. Before the pandemic, most entrepreneurs willing to save their time and resources opted for cloud-based and online tools rather than face-to-face meetings. Social distancing and related restrictions have only accelerated this process.
New Business Environment
And in such a new business environment, communication is king. Communications are not limited to video and audio effects. It is more than that. It is about the right balance of soft and hard skills; it is about psychological, political, and geographical factors that combine to create a communication framework that is suited for all parties involved.
Humanity is about to develop such a framework as we are only at the beginning of this shift. And the one who invents in this sphere will become the market leader, bringing relevant transformations to the industry.
The New Rules of the Labor Market
In the world where companies have shifted to the cloud, the recruiting and hiring processes are no longer restricted to a defined geographical area. Companies, especially startups, consider cross-cultural teams to be beneficial for their environment. Thus, recruiting people from different parts of the world has become common, widespread among up-and-coming and well-developed businesses alike.
In such conditions, introducing cloud-based tools in the organization becomes a vital practice to ensure all stakeholders have access to corporate data and can freely cooperate daily regardless of their locations.
Raising Investment in Times of Pandemic
Previously, pitch day was the main event for all startup founders. They practiced pitching to investors, making their speeches more alluring and promising. However, it was essential to bring more facts and arguments to the table to raise more funds and quickly bring your product to the market.
When everything has moved to the cloud, pitching is no longer the core factor influencing investors’ decisions.
Previously, without a face-to-face meeting with your potential investor, you could hardly count on any deal; today, you have an excellent chance to seal a deal via Zoom. Currently, it is a widespread practice.
The very doctrine of presentation will change as well. Instead of focusing on pitching, startuppers will soon pay more attention to the product itself and its value to the end-user. The more value you bring, the more investment you’ll raise. For instance, the following trends are currently on the rise among investors:
- ML and AI Products. With the launch of GitHub Copilot ― an artificial intelligence tool that provides code suggestions right in the editor― the interest in AI and ML software solutions have been rising. Experts predict it might become a real game-changer that would affect the world of software development, bringing numerous opportunities to the industry.
Thus, it is predicted AI and ML startups will attract more attention from investors and the public in the upcoming years.
- AR&VR Solutions. AR and VR can provide users with personalized and well-designed experiences. With the outbreak of the pandemic, it has become vital for companies and the public to keep in touch with the “real world.”
And this is where these technologies can come in handy in building impressive realistic worlds filled with bright experiences.
- Metaverse. Metaverse refers to the range of 3D virtual environments where users can freely interact with each other like in the real world. This technology is predicted to rise in the next decade due to its potential to bring people from different parts of the world together and foster collaboration in diversified teams.
All in all, moving to the cloud should be seen as the best-case scenario for tech companies. This is because it strengthens trust and allows tracking of all online operations as well as launching apps that do not consume lots of resources.
In such an environment, communication becomes the core component of successful teamwork. Moreover, when the team is distributed worldwide, having a practical and easy-to-follow framework is essential to ensuring high performance and decent quality products and services.
Apart from that, new technologies and solutions, such as OpenAI, virtual environments, and VR worlds, will emerge to support global teams.
We are just at the beginning of this cloud revolution, and adjusting to a new work format will require more patience, effort, and perseverance.
Image Credit: ThisIsEngineering; Pexels; Thank you!
The Future of Software Development is in the Cloud — and Here is Why was originally published at ReadWrite on January 26, 2022 by Anton Trubnikov.