Should public cloud services be considered?

Businesses and IT leaders no doubt understand the misconceptions surrounding cloud technologies, but there's often confusion when it comes to the individual implementations, and the benefits they offer.

The public cloud, for example, may have developed a reputation as being less flexible to the needs of a company than a private solution, but this isn't actually true. Public cloud services offer excellent scalability and strong security, if businesses are willing to slightly adapt how they approach their IT systems.

This article will take a look at how the public cloud works, the fact that it's set to see significant growth, and the security considerations for such a platform.

Given how the public cloud market is set to change in the near future, it's important to consider the benefits of an implementation.

Understanding how it works

The first step before implementing a public cloud, or even developing an understanding of the features, is defining exactly what it is, and how it works.

Gartner defines public cloud computing as: "A style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are provided as a service to external customers using Internet technologies."

Essentially, they're services that a third party vendor operates, handling security, ongoing maintenance and providing more storage or additional applications as required.

Companies like Microsoft, Amazon and VMware are leaders in the public cloud space, and each offers services suited to the needs of a range of businesses. Microsoft, for example, runs a public cloud solution called Azure, in which a number of companies lease the required cloud services.

While these businesses cannot access the services of other companies, the fact that Microsoft runs the underlying infrastructure makes it 'public'.

Lower costs of operation aren't the only reasons to consider public cloud services, however, as it's also predicted to become a centre for innovation and growth over the next few years. 

Growth and innovation

Public cloud services spending is expected to hit US$56.6 billion this year, and expand rapidly to more than $127 billion by 2018. International Data Corporation (IDC) published the information in a new report.

This is a compound annual growth rate of 22.8 per cent, which the IDC says is around six times the rate of growth for the overall IT market. In fact, by 2018, public cloud services are estimated to account for more than half of worldwide software and storage spending growth.

Such substantial expansion isn't surprising, especially when the low cost of implementation is considered. For inexpensive ongoing costs, companies can access the latest cloud services.

The public cloud is also predicted to become a centre for innovation, as the IDC expects intense competition and consolidation among cloud providers. This should lead to highly capable public cloud offerings that are cost-effective for businesses to operate.

"Over the next four to five years, IDC expects the community of developers to triple and to create a ten-fold increase in the number of new cloud-based solutions," said Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC Frank Gens.

"Many of these solutions will become more strategic than traditional IT has ever been."

Considering an effective framework

To provide an additional layer of oversight, businesses may want to consider a framework such as ITIL. This methodology has been developed to ensure that IT is used effectively within a business to facilitate transformation, change and growth – perfect for moving into the cloud.

ALC Training operate ITIL training courses in Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney and other key locations in Australia and across the globe.


Given that public cloud services are set to be a focal point of cloud developments through to 2018, businesses and IT leaders need to consider how the services could be utilised within the current company structure.

For example, all file storage can be moved to public cloud infrastructure, thus reducing the need to manage onsite storage.

Public cloud innovation and maturation marks the next few years as the perfect time to move into the cloud.