Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part series following up on the July piece ‘How the public cloud can benefit the global economy’, which drills down into two of the four areas outlined – better coordination of efforts between international entities, and increased speed of international transactions. The below is an image created by Chef Software which outlines the four towers. You can read part one, focusing on new business models and data sharing and collaboration, here.
Better coordination of efforts between international entities
In my July article on the cloud and the global economy, I used an example of international security entities scrambling to track threats across borders.
In the past, when these and other governmental entities agreed to coordinate data efforts, multi-billion dollar projects taking many years were commissioned. These projects would try to standardise application development efforts and data access methods.
The overriding attitude was that by standardising everything, the security could be strengthened. Unfortunately, this gave rise to two major problems. The first was the extremely high cost – in both development and time – of developments and changes. The second issue was that once any one of the systems accessing the data was breached, all other systems could be accessed.
Enter the public cloud. Once access and security standards have been agreed upon, a big data, unstructured service can be hosted in the cloud. The participating governments – or for that matter, corporations – can then responsibly access the data through the use of their own methods and data science-based applications, without the need for huge coordination efforts.
Another benefit of this looser style of coordination is the global accessibility of public cloud resources. Wherever in the world the entities (governmental, corporate, NGO, and so on) are located, they can gain access to the data. So for example if an NGO employee needs to get information on a given topic – assuming that he or she has proper credentials to view that data – that access is then available from wherever they find themselves.
Increased speed of international transactions
Volume of financial transactions is critical to the economic growth. The more financial activity generated by a particular country, the more capital is in play with which to grow the economy. If this is relevant to a single country, it should be even more so when speaking of global economic growth. The faster international financial and corporate entities can move money and complete transactions, the greater global economic volume.
So what cloud technologies, or more specifically public cloud technologies, can be used to improve financial performance? The answer: microservices application architectures, rapid scaling, and globalised service and data accessibility.
Microservices architectures and services, such as AWS Lambda, allow for new data to be processed rapidly, through serverless infrastructure models that scale up or down to meet performance needs. Microservices also allow for the secure transfer of information from the public cloud back to an on-premise data service. This allows sensitive data to be securely accessible through cloud-based services while keeping them under secure lock and key.
Other than the scaling available through microservices, the very nature of public cloud infrastructure services is geared towards automated and rapid scaling of cloud infrastructure to meet demand. Data and application services in the cloud are easily globally distributed and globally accessible. When public cloud content distribution services, such as AWS Cloudfront, are utilised, the services and data associated with them can be made accessible globally with predictable performance characteristics.
Advances in technology have always had an impact on economic conditions. With the increase in flexibility, elasticity, scalability and resilience in cloud technologies, the public and hybrid cloud can continually enable a positive impact on the global economy.