Cloud technology in its many forms (public, private, hybrid) has established a winning position in the technology industry. There’s nothing new about moving services online, but online infrastructures have improved significantly over the years. Billions of websites, email services, and applications are now cloud-based. Governments, corporations, and individuals are taking advantage of the many benefits the cloud presents.

The pace of the cloud continues to accelerate year-over-year. The shift of both enterprise and consumer applications to the cloud, and connectivity via mobile devices has fundamentally changed how we consume, store, and share information.

Cloud adoption is growing quickly around the world

The global cloud services market is projected to grow 18 percent in 2017 to total $246.8 billion, up from $209.2 billion in 2016, according to Gartner. These numbers represent the impact of cloud apps on businesses worldwide. Gartner predicts that through 2020, cloud adoption strategies will influence more than 50 percent of IT outsourcing deals.

“Midmarket and small enterprises are even further along the adoption curve. By 2019, more than 30 percent of the 100 largest vendors’ new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only,” says Sid Nag, research director at Gartner.

International Data Corporation (IDC) expects the cloud to evolve in important new capabilities. “As cloud adoption expands over the next four years, what clouds are and what they can do will evolve dramatically – in several important ways. The cloud will become more distributed (through Internet of Things edge services and multi-cloud services), more trusted, more intelligent, more industry and workload specialized, and more channel-mediated.” says Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC.

But barriers like security continue to be a top cloud adoption concern for many. Cloud providers have better safeguards than you have. Cloud service providers like Microsoft has spent billions of dollars to ensure that highly knowledgeable security professionals use a massive infrastructure to retain control over ever-changing security risks. Despite the concern, when faced with a hardware or software refresh, many companies will turn to the cloud rather than invest in on-premise hardware or software.

The cloud is evolving in exciting new ways

More customers are recognizing that the cloud is more secure than initially thought. Its ease, speed, and performance make it a smart choice for business owners. Businesses of all sizes have the opportunity to access high-performance infrastructure on any device from anywhere. It’s not a question of if businesses should move to the cloud anymore, but when do to it and which applications to use.

Cloud technology has become an indispensable tool for both small and large enterprises looking to work better and faster on any device and from any location. The cloud is rapidly replacing the traditional way of hosting business and enterprise apps. Businesses are moving to the cloud at a rapid pace to differentiate, compete and grow. As cloud technologies grow in sophistication and power, usage will keep rising, and cloud technology will continue to play a key role in reshaping business processes and workflow.

For years, small businesses had the added overhead of implementing and managing their own computing resources. The cloud is changing that. The value of cloud apps including scalability, cost benefits, agility, innovation and business growth makes it a better and smarter choice for business owners. If you’re a small business owner looking to adopt the cloud but not sure where to start, Microsoft’s Cloud may be your best option.

Microsoft’s Cloud is helping businesses around the world scale, connect, transform and reinvent

The rapid growth of Microsoft’s cloud business is a significant indicator of enterprise adoption. Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-computing service, is a growing collection of integrated cloud services that developers and IT professionals use to build, deploy and manage applications. Whether your business needs virtual machines, storage, backups, or more, Azure can take care of your valuable business assets.

Microsoft is popular among businesses due to the substantial adoption of its suite of productivity and cloud offerings, such as Office 365, a simple and cost-effective way to get a powerful range of cloud services. Office 365 customers are also seeing increased productivity and less overhead thanks to tools like the chat-based Microsoft Teams and Planner, which increase collaboration without increasing overhead.

Cloud-based reporting applications – like Microsoft Power BI – are also exploding with popularity. Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools that analyze your company’s data and share insights that allow you to monitor your business and get answers quickly on dashboards available on all your devices.

The cloud is constantly changing as new demands arise every day and innovation continues to change what is possible. Tomorrow’s cloud-based resources – from Office 365 to Microsoft SharePoint – will connect people and data more effectively and automatically perform tasks to make our lives easier. Cloud technology adoption and workflow change can be scary, but in the long-term, it is truly an important investment for every business. The tangible value is too enormous to ignore.