Megatrends: Don't be afraid of the cloud, the way to the future of computing can lead to to unimaginable heights, Xero leads the way

Don’t be afraid of the heights of cloud technology. Frazer Scott, Microsoft, chief marketing and operations officer shifts our attention to how computing using cloud technology can help small companies achieve incredibly BIG things.

Globally, the trend is clear – the move to cloud computing and its rapid growth is indicated by huge growth registered in cloud-based data traffic. According data compiled by Cisco’s Global Annual Cloud index, by 2018 the cloud will account for 76% of total data centre traffic, an increase from 54% seen last year.

Scott says the days of huge rooms housing rows and rows of data servers are over. Outsourcing of the hosting of these servers has taken all the computing thinking away, then redelivered to businesses.

Kiwi companies have had tremendous business efficiency by moving to the cloud. One example is Xero which has achieved phenomenal global success building a cloud-based based business.

New Zealand has its own success story leading cloud technology. Kiwi company Green Button which has its origins in the Lord of the Ring’s trilogy was acquired by Microsoft early 2014 for an undisclosed sum, to complete what Microsoft described as adding to its big muscle of computing.

Greenbutton was founded by Scott Houston, who used to be chief technology officer for Sir Peter Jackson’s LORT movie. He left to start a “super computer” centre to rent out processing capacity to other companies.

It became highly successful and had among its clients high profile companies including  NASA, Boeing and animated movie producer Pixar. Greenbutton's technology has since been integrated into Microsoft’s Azure platform.

Scotts highlights the importance for businesses to continue having conversations about security of their data. His view is that there is more maturity in how people are viewing their fear of hosting their data outside the business location.

For businesses, the parting reminder is: No matter how secure you think your server is, it pays to constantly review the integrity of your in-house computing system.

For more on cloud services, check out our other Megatrend story