August 23, 2022
This article was originally published in January of 2022, and has been updated to reflect actual spend from 2022, as well as updated predictions.
Cloud computing is expanding more rapidly than ever. At the beginning of the year, experts at Gartner predicted that spend would exceed $480 million in 2022. But now that we are more than halfway through 2022, this prediction has increased to $498 billion, a whopping 21% year over year increase. This is all being driven in no small part by new cloud environments and advancements in wireless technology.
“The economic, organizational and societal impact of the pandemic will continue to serve as a catalyst for digital innovation and adoption of cloud services,” said Henrique Cecci, a Gartner senior research director. “This is especially true for use cases such as collaboration, remote work and new digital services to support a hybrid workforce.”
With that in mind, here are some major cloud trends to watch:
iPaas (Integrated Platform as a Service)
The term “iPaaS” was coined by Gartner in referring to a cloud-based integration platform that makes connecting applications and business processes much easier. Integration Platform as a Service solutions holistically standardize how applications are added to an organization, making it easier to move static or transactional data across applications while providing critical integration functionality out-of-the-box.
Gartner attributes these shifting spend numbers to the increase in iPaaS. Like its other “aaS” siblings, iPaaS will climb the “Plateau of Productivity” in 2022. What is the “Plateau of Productivity”? According to Gartner “The Plateau of Productivity highlights technologies where the real-world benefits of the technologies are demonstrated and accepted. Growing numbers of organizations feel comfortable with the reduced levels of risk, and the rapid growth phase of adoption begin.”
Simply, it’s when a solution has proven itself in the marketplace, and a wider audience begins adoption.
IPaas adoption isn’t limited to enterprise-level organizations. “Organizations choose iPaaS to support rapid integration and automation of SaaS applications with other SaaS and on-premise applications and data sources. More recently organizations are increasingly replacing classic integration platforms, that are now considered too expensive and complex for modern integration delivery practices,” said Yefim Natis, an analyst at Gartner.
Increased Use of AI
“The development and evolution of cloud and AI are inextricably interwoven, and this will only become more true during 2022 and beyond,” tech and business writer Bernard Marr declared in Forbes. And he’s right. As ubiquitous as AI already is, it will only become more so in 2022 and beyond, with the cloud playing a major role in infrastructure development and end-user delivery. According to Gartner’s Cecci, “Infrastructure is becoming programmable, and its operation is subsequently becoming automated. Modern IT infrastructure, whether deployed in the data center or consumed in the public cloud, requires less manual intervention and routine administration than its legacy equivalents.”
More Focus on Sustainability
We hear a lot about “reducing our carbon footprint.” By further negating the need for energy-hogging and CO2-spewing data centers, the cloud will play an increasingly important role in preventing global warming and slowing climate change. In Gartner’s 2021 CEO Survey, half of the respondents believed that mitigating climate change would positively impact their businesses. “Cloud providers are responding to this growing focus on sustainability by instituting more aggressive carbon-neutral corporate goals,” the company revealed, “which creates new challenges for infrastructure and operations leaders.”
Hybrid Cloud Computing
Hybrid is all about adaptability by allowing users to switch between private and public clouds. It’s becoming so popular that by 2023 the global market is expected to reach $98 billion, with major cloud players like Amazon and Microsoft leading the way. As Virtana president and CEO Kash Shaikh told Enterprisetalk.com, “More cloud providers are driven by economics. This upcoming year will be hallmarked by flexibility and transparency for costs. The secondary market will grow and rise because there is a strong need to create a niche to compete against the industry giants.” That’s not easy, however, as those giants offer more hybrid models. The rapid expansion of hybrid also has to do with the fact that companies are seeking additional use cases such as virtual and augmented reality. “A hybrid cloud approach,” Marr wrote, “can reduce the complexity of this thanks to the emphasis on streamlining the user experience and keeping the backend stack invisible when it doesn’t need to be seen.”
Microsoft Azure. AWS Lambda. IBM Cloud. Google Cloud. Those are all examples of serverless, defined here as a way to offload “all management responsibility for backend cloud infrastructure and operations tasks — provisioning, scheduling, scaling, patching and more — to the cloud provider.” Consequently, “developers have more time to develop and optimize their front-end application code and business logic…and customers never pay for idle capacity.” Besides lower cost, benefits include streamlined configuration and greater speeds. However, Gartner warns, “The benefits of serverless computing must be balanced against its drawbacks, including vendor-lock in, inevitable skills gaps and other architectural limitations.”
The edge computing market began expanding at a rapid rate several years ago and hasn’t stopped. Its continued growth in 2022, then, is no surprise. A Forrester survey conducted in 2019 revealed that companies were attracted to edge computing for its “flexibility to handle present and future artificial intelligence demands and the fact that computing at the edge avoids network latency and allows faster responses. Following this are use cases generated due to a need for edge computing to conduct complex processing that cloud can’t support, fueled by the proliferation of connected devices.” Eventually, experts have said, the ultimate cloud — the one developed at the edge — will be more than sufficient to support everything.
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About the Author
Kim Morgan is part of the Marketing Department at Mindsight. Since 2007, she has devoted her career to using digital media to educate and effectively communicate a variety of topics at all levels of expertise. Kim’s favorite part about Mindsight is how team members are encouraged to always be curious, and continue developing not only professionally, but also personally. When not working, she can be found coaching youth lacrosse or shuttling her 4 kids around to their various activities in her sweet minivan while rocking out to hits from the late 90’s and early 2000’s.