GigaOM: Cloud creating 'trickle-down' effect for employees at all levels

Cloud computing is becoming less hype and just part of the norm as more business employees learn to trust it and depend on it for difficult workloads.

As GigaOM Structure 2012 unfolds in San Francisco today, GigaOM Pro has published a new report analyzing several sectors of the current cloud market about which business and IT leaders should know more.

In Cloud computing infrastructure: 2012 and beyond, GigaOM analysts discussed new developments in chip and hardware architectures, more energy efficient data centers, regulatory concerns and simplifying data analytics.

But one focus that stood how was how cloud computing has trickled down the employee food chain in the last year and how that is transforming companies.

GigaOM Network infrastructure curator Derrick Harris explained in the report that's because complex tasks, such as big data analytics, are becoming easier to handle and more "consumable" thanks to the cloud.

As technologies such as Hadoop become mainstream, their core components — sometimes even just concepts — are finding their way into tools that target less-sophisticated users. Equipped with tools that make analytics easy — maybe even fun — everyone from receptionists to high school students can become assets to data-driven companies and societies.

One aspect of this "trickle-down" effect that Harris describes is that Software-as-a-Service apps can essentially mask working with big data at all because it's done automatically for the user thanks to "dashboard-like tools that generate real-time charts from company data and services."

That makes accomplishing workloads and tasks much simpler and faster, offering the potential to make better business decisions faster.

But at a very base level involving business users or even students who don't really use big data often, there are still many time-consuming activities that can be done much simpler thanks to the cloud. Harris points toward grade-school students "jazzing up projects with infographics or charts, backing up ideas with data at a level never before possible" and marketing agents developing "simple-but-effective infographics using their own data."

Harris acknowledged that cloud adoption still has a long way to go. Nevertheless, compared with one year ago when it was argued that most business leaders still didn't understand the cloud, the medium has come a long way. It's more than just a buzzword now as it becomes more secure (and therefore trusted) and just the norm for computing.