During 2020 and 2021, cloud computing exploded as work went virtual and businesses adapted to the global pandemic by focusing on digital service delivery. In 2022, we will certainly see a continuation of rapid growth and adoption.
We are likely to see the focus move away from implementing cloud tools and platforms to enhance a specific function (such as moving to Zoom meetings) towards more holistic strategies focused on cloud migration across the enterprise.
Increasing the capabilities of remote and hybrid workforces will continue to be a key trend, but we will also see continued innovation in cloud and data center infrastructure. Here’s my overview of some of the key ways this will play out in 2022.
The cloud continues to grow and evolve with new and exciting use cases.
According to Gartner predictions, global spending on cloud services is expected to exceed $482 billion in 2022, up from $313 billion in 2020. Cloud computing infrastructure is the backbone of cloud computing. the delivery pipeline of nearly all digital services, from social media to streaming. entertainment to connected cars and autonomous internet of things (IoT) infrastructure. New or upcoming ultra-fast networks like 5G and Wi-Fi 6E don’t just mean more data will stream from the cloud; they mean that new types of data can be transmitted. We see this with the explosion in the availability of cloud gaming platforms like Google’s Stadia and Amazon Luna, which will see increasing levels of investment over the course of 2022. We’ll also see the arrival of virtual and augmented reality in the cloud (VR/AR) which should lead to smaller and cheaper headsets. Cloud technology essentially makes all other technologies lighter, faster and more accessible from a customer point of view, and this will be a key factor in migrating more services to cloud platforms.
Sustainability is increasingly a driver of innovation in the cloud
Every responsible company understands that it has a role to play in meeting the challenges of climate change. In technology, this often focuses on reducing the energy usage associated with ever more powerful computing engines, larger digital storage requirements, and the energy costs of providing 24/7 “always on” infrastructure services. of the week to customers. Most of the tech giants will spend 2022 implementing measures and innovations aimed at helping them achieve their net-zero carbon aspirations. Amazon, the world’s largest cloud company, is also the world’s largest purchaser of renewable energy and also has 206 of its own sustainable energy projects running around the world, generating around 8.5 GW per year. Now it’s also focusing on reducing the “downstream” energy use created by its products like the Echo and Fire TV once they’re in customers’ homes. Of course, it’s great that sustainability is high on the agenda these days, but for companies like Amazon, the reasons go beyond the purely altruistic: it is prognosis that the effects of climate change will cost businesses up to $1.6 trillion a year by 2025.
Hybrid cloud blurs the distinction between public and private clouds
Ever since companies began migrating to the cloud, they have traditionally had two options. They can use easily accessible pay-as-you-go public cloud solutions or more customized and flexible private cloud solutions. The private cloud (where an organization effectively has its own cloud and data never has to leave its premises) is also sometimes needed for security and regulatory reasons. Today, companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM (the largest providers of cloud services) are expanding their deployment of “hybrid” models that take a best-of-both-worlds approach. Data that needs to be accessed quickly and frequently, perhaps by customers, can be kept on public AWS or Azure servers and accessed through tools, applications, and dashboards. The most sensitive or mission-critical data can be kept on private servers where access can be monitored and processed using proprietary applications. Another driving force behind the growth in popularity of hybrid cloud is that many companies are outgrowing their first forays into cloud computing and, once the benefits are established, are looking for additional use cases. This has resulted in many businesses being in a “multi-cloud” environment, using a number of services, sometimes from several different providers. A hybrid cloud approach can reduce the complexity of this with an emphasis on optimizing the user experience and keeping the back-end stack invisible when it doesn’t need to be seen.
AI in cloud computing
Cloud computing plays a key role in providing artificial intelligence (AI) services, described by Google CEO Sundar Pichai as “deeper than electricity or fire” in terms of the effect it will have on the society. machine learning Platforms require massive processing power and data bandwidth to train and process data, and cloud data centers make it available to everyone. Most of the “everyday” AI we see around us, from Google Search to Instagram filters, lives in the cloud, and the technology that routes traffic from data centers to our devices and manages infrastructure storage is based on machine learning. The development and evolution of cloud and AI are inextricably intertwined, and this will only be truer through 2022 and beyond. Strong trends in AI will be “creative” algorithms (generative machine learning that can create anything from art to synthetic data to train more AI) as well as language modeling, increasing precision with machines that can understand data. human languages. Cloud computing will certainly play a key role in delivering these services to users, as well as building the infrastructure to deliver them.
The rise of serverless technology
Serverless cloud is a relatively new concept that is gaining traction in the market thanks to providers such as Amazon (AWS Lambda), Microsoft (Azure Functions), and IBM Cloud Functions. Sometimes referred to as “features as a service,” it means that organizations are not tied to leasing servers or paying for fixed amounts of storage or bandwidth. It promises a true pay-as-you-go service where the infrastructure scales invisibly as the application requires it. Of course, it’s not really serverless (the servers are still there), but it adds another layer of abstraction between the user and the platform, meaning the user doesn’t have to mess with configurations and technicalities. Serverless within cloud computing will have a significant role to play in the broader trend in the cloud and across the technology landscape of creating new user experiences that make innovation more accessible.