Cloud storage is now viewed as a commodity and the result is a bidding war between the major consumer and enterprise solutions offered by tech companies such as Google Drive, IBM SoftLayer, Dropbox, Box, Apple iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive and Web Services (AWS/S3).
The mantra of the day is, "it's in the cloud," a phrase that, several short years ago, would have held a completely different meaning to consumers. But because of the exponential shift in the worldwide information economy, the "consumerization of IT" has taken hold and placed a premium on value in terms of flexibility, scalability, reliability, cost and mobility.
Although many in the tech community have been familiar with this coined term, or at least the computing concept that lay beneath the terminology, the general consumer caught on to the concept rather quickly and adopted the technology forthright. This has led to a major shift in computing habits and especially the need for storage. It has also led to cloud commoditization.
Consider the fact that, according to sources, a mere 7 percent of all data was stored in the cloud a year ago, but its predicted to skyrocket to 36 percent within the next couple of years.
The growth in cloud computing is a major upward trend. It should be noted, however, that with the competition comes the complication in flexibility and mobility desired by consumers. For example, Apple, Google and Amazon are competitors in various other facets of technology and services, which means there isn't neccesarily common flexibility on all platforms. Case in point, mobile platforms are not all supported alike. Drive only works on Android and iOS. Beta News also pointed out that both Box and Dropbox are supported for the BlackBerry, but Box is the only one of the two that supports Windows Phone. Dropbox, alternatively, is the only one to provide a Kindle Fire version.
Scalability and reliability, conversely, are more than satisfactory for consumers and enterprise users these days. Dropbox offers the least amount of free storage but there are ways to earn more. All platforms mentioned provide for encrypted files, so security is becoming less of a mentionable issue. That brings the conversation about the cloud to cost.
Cloud storage prices have continued to decrease in recent times, both to stay competitive in the marketplace as well as to provide for the massive demand by consumers and enterprises alike. The Another report pointed out that even the newcomer to the cloud game, Microsoft, has cut prices on paid storage and even increased its amount of free storage in its OneDrive platform (formerly SkyDrive), which led to the Motley Fool declaring that Microsoft may have "killed" Dropbox.
The growth of the cloud computing era will continue to grow, but how will providers continue to innovate to meet heavy demands? It is likely that analysts will continue to measure those areas of interest among the public and the business community.