Globally, the cloud computing market is expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2028. Although this may sound like a big number, this figure is not shocking for those in the know. If leveraged in the right way, the cloud can offer companies a flexible, cost-effective and scalable solution against alternatives such as on-premise infrastructure – so this growth trend comes as no surprise. It has been suggested that the cloud can reduce a company’s total cost of ownership by as much as 40% which helps to explain why 90% of organisations have already adopted some form of the cloud into their infrastructure in 2022.
When we reflect on the progress made in 2022, we can see that 39% companies were already running at least half their digital workloads in the cloud and we can expect this number to increase in 2023 to at least 50%.
In an age of hybrid working, the cloud is quickly redefining the way businesses operate and how employees work. So, besides a forecasted uptick in adoption, what other cloud trends can we expect to see next year?
Greater demand from SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are diversifying their cloud approach by investing in managed cloud services. A managed cloud can offer benefits such as disaster recovery, centralised control, and reliable infrastructure. With a managed cloud, the software runs on a server that serves a single client organisation. The third-party manages the server, ensuring that the client receives optimal performance and uptime.
For SMEs looking ahead at how they can further optimise their digital transformation this year, the use of outsourced managed cloud services is envisioned to become an increasingly routine practice. Indeed, in 2023, SMEs are expected to spend half of their technology budgets on cloud services. For these smaller companies, the appeal of a managed cloud lies in the security, customer support and disaster recovery that can be offered by third-party cloud partners. By entrusting their cloud applications and infrastructure to experts, they can focus more time and energy on achieving their core business goals and operations.
2. Data Sovereignty
Data sovereignty refers to the rules and regulations of data which are subject to change depending on the country in which the data resides. It therefore becomes more complicated to keep control over data if it’s stored in more than one country as you must adhere to differing data regulations. So while cloud computing might have become a commonplace technology, there is no common global regulation, making it difficult to retain control over all of a company’s data globally. This also means a traditional "one-size-fits-all" approach to data storage is no longer suitable - if it ever was in the first place.
What does this mean? More businesses move towards agile data storage solutions that might leverage a combination of different types of cloud storage, and opt for the blend that makes it easiest to manage changing requirements while retaining control over data. They might even opt for a managed hosting provider which can take care of data regulations on their behalf and relieve that burden.
3. Hyper Converged Infrastructure
Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) combines commodity data centre server hardware with locally attached storage devices and essentially eliminates the difficulties associated with legacy infrastructure. Many HCI vendors are beginning to offer capabilities in the cloud. HCI supports the cloud by providing a simple and productive environment to set up databases on the cloud, and does so in a structured, scalable and cost-effective way. This way, customers can take advantage of cloud resources and services while still maintaining a high level of control of their IT infrastructure.
4. Cloud Repatriation
Cloud repatriation and the rise of hybrid cloud is a surprising one given the known benefits of cloud migration. Cloud repatriation is the opposite of cloud migration, it is the shift away from the public cloud and back to on-premises infrastructure or to a private or hybrid cloud. It was reported that 80% of organisations shifted some public cloud data to local infrastructure (be it private cloud, hybrid cloud or an onsite data centre). Organisations are increasingly utilising a hybrid cloud approach in order to reap maximum benefits, including better security, and placing workloads in the right location.
2023 and beyond
These four individual trends highlight what we already know: that the cloud is still paving the way forward for managing data, workloads and applications due to the many business benefits that can be derived, such as scalability, cost efficiency and remote access. What is interesting about these specific trends is that they dive deeper into the types of cloud that will flourish in the years to come. Gone are the days where the standard public cloud and big cloud providers are the go-to solution – companies are becoming more educated of the many other options available to them, particularly options that manage complex data challenges such as data sovereignty while still offering total control over data, such as managed cloud providers. This is especially helpful for SMEs which lack the resources and experience to manage such complex infrastructure.
Right now, only 8% of companies rely on a single cloud provider; we can certainly expect businesses to further diversify and leverage the range of public cloud, on-premises and private cloud solutions that work best for their individual business needs, both in 2023 and beyond.