If you look to where cloud computing is likely heading in the year ahead, three key trends emerge, trends that span both technology and social concerns.
Though it’s hard to predict something as fast-moving as how companies use cloud providers, below are my educated guesses for 2022.
More Teams Will Consider Migrating Their Workloads
There is a growing understanding that you don’t have to be stuck on one cloud; each cloud—GCP, Azure, and AWS—has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. But there is no “easy” button when it comes to migrating workloads. It’s a lot of work, and engineers need tools to help them determine if it’s worth the effort.
Depending on the skillset of the team you have to work with, migrating to multiple clouds can be an excellent strategy to avoid vendor lock in and cherry pick the best tools for each use case. Or it can be a drain on the engineering team as it creates more complexity and prevents teams from going “deep” enough on each cloud to get the most bang for the buck. Yet companies can be expected to invest deeply in cloud migration the year ahead.
The key question to consider is: are you producing enough value by migrating your workload from one platform to another? Plenty of companies have launched plenty of migrations without thinking this issue through long term.
The Value of Multicloud Will Be Challenged
Gartner predicts that by 2025, greater than 90% of enterprises will pursue a multi-cloud infrastructure and platform strategy. While almost all enterprises are now embracing some form of multi-cloud, it remains a challenge for teams to intimately know AWS, GCP, and Azure.
The skills gap makes doing multicloud well unrealistic. It’s easier to have a team that knows one cloud platform extremely well than to have a team that knows two or three platforms at the same level of intimacy. To get the most benefit from a cloud and to get more cost savings, businesses need to go deeper and embed core services rather than building tools generically.
While there are pros and cons to every platform, including containerized and non-containerized workloads, businesses will need to evaluate whether the economics of investing in more than one cloud is critical to their long-term survival.
Whatever may come to be, one thing is for sure—cloud computing is not going away. Given its exponential growth during the COVID-19 pandemic—Forrester Research claimed that “cloud took center stage in the pandemic recovery” and estimated that the global public cloud infrastructure market to be $120 billion—I expect its trajectory to only go up. And multicloud will benefit greatly from big increases in adoption of cloud overall.
Sustainability Will Hit an Inflection Point as Businesses Prioritize ESG
As digital transformation and digital infrastructure increasingly becomes a key part of the modern economy, how businesses reduce their carbon footprint, treat their employees, and adhere to regulations in the industry are becoming bigger priorities in many organizations. As this concern grows, ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) is gaining momentum as a concern in the cloud market.
According to a recent survey commissioned by Google Cloud, sustainability is a priority for 90% of IT decision-makers, and 75% believed sustainability is a “must-have” or “major consideration” when choosing cloud providers. That’s why companies that utilize the cloud are starting to put ESG initiatives in place.
Beyond moral reasoning, the topic is popping up in boardrooms and VC conversations as a good investment. More businesses are realizing digital infrastructure also puts a strain on the environment and will begin setting goals in the new year to reduce their carbon footprint. Mission-driven companies will go a step further to get to carbon neutrality, while others will experience increased pressure from shareholders to prioritize ESG to ensure ethical growth. Given how central cloud has become to business, this ESG focus will significantly impact the cloud sector in 2022.
About the Author:
Asim Razzaq is CEO Yotascale