Where will cloud computing go from here?

Where will cloud computing go from here?
March 22, 2023  |  BY

At this point in history, nearly every executive understands the benefits of cloud computing. What was once an arcane term that required detailed explanations is now a common part of our lexicon. So much so, in fact, that you’re likely to hear your mechanic, hair stylist, and neighbor casually mention “the cloud” in everyday conversation.

But as is the case with every technology, the cloud is evolving. And much of this transformation has been driven by the equally evolving digital culture, where information is shared among servers and devices spread throughout the world.

With this context, it’s time that we redefine, to a degree, the definition of the cloud. Until recently, the cloud was generally thought of as a data infrastructure managed by a third party; now it’s more about scaling and distributing resources as needed, which is how we’re in the age of hybrid cloud and multi-cloud.

Multi-cloud is gaining favor because, due to latency, governance, and security issues, some applications should be running on-premise. Multi-cloud also helps enterprises avoid being forced into counting on a single vendor and, instead, select vendors with specific expertise for specific types of services.

Many IT leaders have chosen a mix of public and on-premise cloud operations, otherwise know as the “hybrid cloud.” Doing so not only allows enterprises to successfully adjust to new business and user requirements, it provides them with greater control over sensitive company and customer data.

A critical component of this strategy is the implementation of containers, which reduce complexity, and in turn cut down on errors and system failures. Containers also foster the automation of deployment, scaling, security, and monitoring, which deliver massive gains in reliability, productivity, and responsiveness.

Coming soon, look for growth in serverless computing. With serverless computing, you rely less on the infrastructure because the modules only execute when needed. Edge computing is another cloud-related strategy that will become more popular as well. Edge devices will be more connected, injecting them with more functionality around connectivity.

All technical developments, however, come with a potential cost. In this case, the evolution of the cloud brings complexity in managing your cloud environments. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be key to overcoming this challenge. As you plan for the future, consider that AI will assist you with automating routine tasks, analyzing data, and improving the user experience for both employees and customers.

AI will also be a fundamental element of your cloud security strategy. IT leaders know all too well about the lack of qualified and experienced security professionals. And with cyberthieves becoming increasingly savvy, network security is one of a company’s main priorities. Actually, security may now be their number one priority, not only due to today’s connected network environments, but also because increased complexity, by definition, leaves more open doors for cyber attacks.

Even if you could hire the required security workers, it’s now near impossible to keep up with the pace of potential threats. Humans can longer do it all alone. This is where AI will change how you manage your cloud operations – not only to protect the cloud, but also to ensure the security of your business.

Keep in mind that there are two sides to the cloud equation. While you have to adapt to new technical strategies, the vendors you may partner with will have to change as well. Look for vendors with service platforms that allow you to manage resources on-demand, and who offer on-premise support on an as-needed basis. Ideally, they also offer multiple services within one offering, which you give centralized management and deployment tools. You’ll have more resources to scale the organization up or down based on market conditions and unforeseen business challenges.

It’s likely that this overview of the future of the cloud may be old news within two or three years. That’s to be expected, as the business landscape will inevitably shift one way or the other over time, and smart leaders will always keep up with emerging trends. But no matter what changes may occur, one rule remains the same: Always be prepared.