Cloud computing accelerated in 2020 and 2021 as work turned virtual and businesses adapted to the global pandemic by focusing on digital service delivery. So, what trends can we expect to continue to grow in 2022?
Here are our top five cloud computing trends and predictions for next year you should keep an eye on.
1. Hybrid cloud environments
Businesses have typically had two options when it comes to cloud migration. They can choose public cloud solutions that are readily available and pay-as-you-go, where data is offloaded to third-party server providers, lowering infrastructure costs. Or private cloud options that are more customisable and adaptable where businesses store their data on-site and benefit from low latency and high data transfer speeds.
Hybrid cloud solutions are the sweet spot in-between, combining on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services and a public cloud such as Microsoft Azure. It provides businesses with greater flexibility by moving workloads between cloud solutions as needs and costs change. Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud Report highlights that 82% of enterprises* now have a hybrid strategy, which will only become more so in 2022 and beyond.
*Enterprises are public or private-sector organisations with 1,000 or more employees.
2. AI and Cloud Computing
AI cloud computing combines machine learning capabilities with cloud-based computing environments, making intuitive, connected experiences possible. We see this seamless flow of artificial intelligence technology and cloud-based computing all around us, from digital assistants such as Google Home and Siri to Instagram filters.
Though, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Significant advances in AI, combined with a well-established cloud computing environment, are paving the way for unprecedented levels of efficiency, flexibility, and strategic insight. AI tools are being utilised to enhance existing cloud platforms such as SaaS (software-as-a-service), with providers adding AI tools into larger software suites, providing greater functionality to end-users.
The combination of AI with cloud computing has the potential to help us make sense of vast volumes of data, streamline complex processes, and provide products and services to our customers more seamlessly and fluidly than ever before.
3. Transition to Multi-Cloud
Multi-cloud is when two or more cloud services from two or more vendors operate simultaneously, offering enhanced data redundancy. When the pandemic hit, many businesses became multi-cloud almost accidentally. Still, multi-cloud has become far more of an intentional strategy, with companies completely rethinking their technology stacks. Today, according to Flexera, 92% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy in place or underway.
A multi-cloud approach enables businesses to choose cloud services best suited to their specific application environments, availability requirements, and business needs, despite the increased complexity of operating different workloads in separate clouds.
In 2022, we can expect businesses to expand their digital footprint by embracing hybrid and multi-cloud models to benefit from the elasticity and agility in the cloud whilst maintaining tight control over their data. In addition, cloud vendors will continue to innovate and compete with differentiated capabilities in network connectivity and physical infrastructure improvements, striving to keep up with the exponential growth in cloud demands.
4. The rise of serverless
Serverless cloud (also referred to as ‘functions-as-a-service’) is a relatively new concept that’s gaining traction in the market thanks to providers such as Microsoft (Azure Functions) and IBM Cloud Functions, among others. It means businesses aren’t obligated to lease servers or pay for fixed amounts of storage or bandwidth. Instead, it offers a true pay-as-you-go service in which infrastructure scales invisibly as an application’s needs change.
Naturally, it’s not truly serverless – the servers remain, but it does create another degree of abstraction between the user and platform, removing the need for the user to deal with configurations and technicalities.
As we enter the new year, the rise of serverless in cloud computing will play a significant role in the broader trend of generating new user experiences that make innovation more accessible throughout the cloud landscape.
5. Sustainability is a driver of cloud innovation
Every responsible business recognises it has its part to play in tackling the challenges of climate change. In the tech world, this usually means lowering the energy costs of providing 24/7 ‘always-on’ infrastructure services to customers and reducing the power usage associated with powerful computing engines.
Cloud providers are constantly striving for increased efficiencies in their hardware and software, where even minor improvements can add up to significant long-term reductions in power consumptions. This will be no different in 2022 and beyond, as many tech giants will spend the next few years putting measures in place to help them achieve their net-zero carbon goals.
Tip of the Iceberg
With cloud technologies ever-evolving and cloud services becoming more prevalent in existing business operations, it is clearer than ever that cloud is the way of the future. It’s more than just a storage solution; it’s a competitive must – enabling MSPs to improve their customer’s cyber security, data management, and accessibility.