Virtualization and the Cloud
I have worked in IT for a decade now and I specialize in cybersecurity. I wanted to share my thoughts so that maybe you learn something if you are interested. These are my personal opinions but I believe the outlook provide below is fairly certain.
Being a cloud provider is not necessarily hard to do. You just need servers to hold the data on and then you need an appropriately fast connection between those servers and the customer so that they can use it without lag. The infrastructure for the connection speed is the limiting factor right now. This is why 5G and fiber is so important.
Eventually, our phones and our computers will not store any information locally on the device. They will communicate with your data that is stored on hard drives which will be on servers at a different location. This will be a huge benefit because if we lose our phone/computer, or if it is broken, then we just need to buy a new phone/computer and sync it with the cloud and then it will act just like the old one with all the old files that you need. Further, the device itself will not need all the components necessary to process and store the data. It will simply need a screen to display it and a fast connection to the cloud. This will make the devices much cheaper!
Virtualization is the process in which you connect with a local device (your phone or computer) to a “virtual” computer/phone that is located on a distant server. At this time this technology is pretty much only used for servers in the industry. However, as said before, you will access a “virtual” computer/phone in the future. It will be seamless. The technology functions like it is opening a browser and the whole window looks just like your normal desktop or phone. However, you will not see a browser window or anything. It will just look like your normal phone or computer.
Currently I know of VMWare and Citrix as being major players in the virtualization field. There may be others that will relieve themselves later. Virtualization uses the cloud but it is not actually a cloud service. Those companies are pretty solid providers but I’m not confident enough to say that they will be the major players in the future. I think Amazon or Microsoft will eventually (if they haven’t already) acquire someone or create their own service that allows for this virtualization. Like I said before, the only reason it isn’t a reality right now is because the connection speeds are not fast enough to provide that seamless experience. However, we are very close to having fast enough speeds to make it worth it. I would argue that our speeds are now fast enough to start putting this technology in place if it is for non-critical tasks.
The hard part for cloud providers is the trust and security of the data. Comparatively, your data is much more secure in a cloud. That is if you can protect the “data in transit.” This is a term used to explain data as it moves from computer to computer though wifi or ethernet cables. The reason it is more secure is because if you lose your phone/computer then the data is currently stored on that device’s hard drive. Criminals can get to that data on the device easier if they have the tools to do so. If it is in the cloud, then the data isn't on that device and it is harder to get at that data. Especially if you report the device as being lost and then it severs the connection to that device.
Cloud providers can also employ a huge team of highly skilled persons to protect their warehouse of servers which your data resides on. This allows for better security over that data as opposed to locally managed servers at a company.
The "moat" comes into place with economies of scale. The more customers you have relative to your infrastructure, then the more people you can hire to make sure the servers don't crash (or if they do then they automatically switch over to another; this is called "availability" in the IT field). You can also hire better cyber employees to create a trustworthy secure environment. Businesses especially need to know their data is protected.
Hopefully this discussion was somewhat interesting and informative to read. As I said, this is just my opinion on the future of IT but I think after reading this, you will probably see why I am confident this will be the reality in the not so distant future.