Cloud services are revolutionizing the way businesses operate. This technology, originating in the foundation of large-scale mainframes in the 1950s, provides flexibility, scalability, and unparalleled cost-effectiveness.

But it’s not just helpful for businesses. A survey of over 500 IT professionals revealed that a third of their budget goes to cloud spending. IT experts know there is great agility and scalability with cloud technology.

It’s no surprise that in recent years, the cloud services Pittsburgh market (and of course, the global market) has experienced remarkable growth. But what are the resulting benefits of this cloud technology, and how has it evolved? Below, we dive into these questions, starting with one of the most recent and major disruptors to businesses: COVID-19.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Cloud Services & Technology

To understand the current state of cloud services, it is crucial to look back at the recent history of cloud computing. From the early days of on-premises servers to the present cloud-based solutions, technology has significantly transformed IT. 
But the COVID-19 pandemic acted as a significant catalyst to accelerate the adoption of cloud technology as businesses were forced to transition to remote work.

According to Gartner, businesses spent more than $1.3 trillion on cloud technology in 2022!

Gartner: Global Sizing Cloud Shift, 2019 – 2025

Gartner: Global Sizing Cloud Shift, 2019 – 2025

So what does this growth mean for your Pittsburgh organization? This expansion and implementation of cloud tech directly impacted many organizations’ cybersecurity. This rapid adoption of new technology redefined what it meant to be secure in a digital world.

Businesses are going all in on new cloud technology – and coming up with new security needs.

Emerging Technology Impacting Cloud Services for Pittsburgh Businesses

It’s no secret that cloud services are transforming the way that businesses work, the way they work with their customers, and the way they collaborate internally. In our experience, we’ve seen three prominent trends in cloud enablement for Pittsburgh businesses in 2023:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

AI and ML technologies are revolutionizing cloud services by enabling advanced data analytics, predictive modeling, and automation. Pittsburgh businesses can leverage AI-powered cloud services to gain insights, enhance decision-making, and streamline operations.

According to a report by Gartner, by 2024, 75% of enterprises will shift from piloting to operationalizing AI. This will drive a 5X increase in streaming data and analytics infrastructures. This demonstrates the increasing adoption of AI and machine learning (ML) into business operations as organizations recognize their inherent value.

For example, an AI can take the more manual work off your plate, freeing you and your employees to focus on high-value initiatives. In Microsoft 365, AI can help organizations better organize their emails, visualize data in Excel, and write or design with ease. For example, in March 2023, Microsoft released Microsoft 365 Copilot. It uses large language models (LLMs) to turn your existing data in your Microsoft apps into an empowering productivity tool.

Enhanced Data Analytics

Cloud technology now offers data analytics capabilities, allowing businesses to extract valuable insights. Advanced analytics tools enable businesses to make data-driven decisions based on clients, employees, and projects to gain a competitive edge.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, companies that make use of customer analytics data are more likely to generate above-average profits than those that do not.

The report also highlights that data-driven companies are more likely to make faster decisions than their peers. This enables them to respond more quickly to changes in the market and customer needs. Plus, businesses that use data analytics to drive decision-making are more likely to achieve a competitive advantage and experience growth than those that rely on traditional methods.

While this technology is fueling rapid growth in business, it will also raise risk levels associated with the rapid adoption of new technologies. The new desire to connect all aspects of a business to the digital world will increase risk exposure across the board.

Improved Cloud Security

There is some good news on the horizon. As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, cloud service providers are investing in proactive security measures. Advanced encryption, threat monitoring, and access controls help ensure the security and integrity of data stored in the cloud. Pittsburgh businesses and organizations around the nation can benefit from such protection against cyber threats.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT refers to the network of interconnected physical devices used to collect, exchange, and process data over the Internet. These devices can be everyday objects, such as printers, wearable technology, or laptops, that are connected online to enhance their functionality. This helps organizations have remote monitoring and control, and facilitate real-time data analysis.

These technologies provide Pittsburgh businesses with new approaches to their IT security, like:

  • Collecting real-time data
  • Continuously monitoring resource consumption
  • Detect issues & send preventative alerts
  • Ability to learn preferences & habits
  • Enforce safety or other compliance needs

While these new capabilities promote growth and innovation, they also increase inherent technology risks. According to a report from the World Economic Forum, adoption of connected devices during the pandemic led to a dramatic increase in cyberattacks. In fact, 47% of individuals fell for a phishing scam while working at home!

Edge Computing

Edge computing brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data, often at the edge of the network. This approach aims to reduce latency (meaning less time to load), minimize bandwidth usage, and improve a system’s performance. It processes data locally or at nearby devices, rather than relying on centralized data centers or cloud-based systems.

While there are benefits to adopting edge computing solutions, there are also equal risks with more surface area. Businesses need to address security concerns like:

  • Unauthorized access
  • Encryption protocols
  • Evolving regulatory needs
  • Limited device-level security features
  • Network traffic

In short, every new platform or technology added can alter existing IT security needs.

4 Benefits of Adopting Cloud Services for Pittsburgh Businesses

Two things can be true at the same time – cloud enablement is powering growth and increasing risk. With the right cloud provider handling the risks, your organization can confidently embrace growth through the benefits of cloud technology like:

  • Flexibility and scalability: Cloud services provide the flexibility to scale resources up or down based on business needs. This helps organizations adapt quickly to changing demands.
  • Cost efficiency: By eliminating the need for on-premises infrastructure and maintenance costs, cloud services offer a cost-effective solution for organizations.
  • Business continuity: Cloud services provide reliable data backup and disaster recovery options. This promises that organizations can quickly recover from disruptions and minimize downtime.
  • Collaboration and remote work: Cloud services facilitate fast and secure collaboration among remote teams, such as on Microsoft 365.

Technology is Transforming Cloud Services, and Pittsburgh Businesses Are Benefiting

As technology continues to advance, cloud services for businesses around the world will change in tandem. Embracing these latest tech trends allows businesses to gain a competitive edge, provide better services, and ensure data security.

While cloud services offer numerous benefits, cybersecurity and compliance remain critical considerations. If you adopt a cloud platform, your cybersecurity threats could increase. It is essential to prioritize data privacy, protection, and compliance with regulations.

That’s why cloud service providers play a vital role for organizations! Explore the possibilities of cloud services for your team and partner with Ceeva.

Learn more about our Pittsburgh cloud services offerings – whether you need a cloud migration or server implementation, we’re here to help.

Free Cybersecurity Essentials Handbook for Small Organizations