The technological digitization push that will be enforced from 2020 will still be a major challenge for many companies in 2021. Cloud services have experienced a boom – however, many of the changes were sometimes quick fixes that often only relocated existing infrastructures to the cloud.
In 2022, five interesting cloud trends are emerging that will challenge companies again to remain competitive.
In the past two years, companies have had to deal with the productive use of cloud solutions in leaps and bounds much earlier than hoped. For the resilience of business operations, it was sometimes necessary to go into the technical conversion at short notice and with a suboptimal strategy. This has also resulted in some 1-to-1 migrations that are generally known to offer little added value, but often seemed necessary in these cases. This applies both to SaaS offers and to the increased use of cloud infrastructures and platforms. However, many companies have meanwhile taken the opportunity and started to use cloud architectures to harmonize their IT landscape.
For 2022, this means that the knowledge gained will flow into long-term investments and projects. Companies will reassess which cloud structures (infrastructure, containers, serverless services, platforms) are still relevant and economical. At the same time, they will reap the first fruits of new business models and will be able to provide their customers with new services and apps based on the new architecture.
The five most important cloud trends for 2022
1. Cloud Native Platforms: Cloud Native 2.0
Pure rehosting of old applications in the cloud is being replaced by cloud-native platforms that individually combine infrastructure, containers, services and APIs. Companies will try to keep the threatening vendor lock in the services as low as possible – not every cloud platform offers the same services – by using open source tools. This also includes a validation of the numerous different platform services for relevance to your own business. A lock-in can rarely be avoided in terms of economics and complexity. Companies are therefore increasingly aware, but not overzealous, of taking on major lock-in risks.
2. Composable Enterprise via API architectures
Even today, many new products and business models depend on long-established processes, applications and business logic. Before companies mirror their backend logic and replace it completely in the cloud, APIs and abstraction levels help to make them accessible for services and microservices. They form a central hub that connects enterprise applications and cloud solutions. In this way, integration and digitization can be advanced without having to intervene in the core processes of traditional IT.
3. Dedicated industry cloud services
Many companies are looking for specially tailored cloud offerings that take into account the specifics of the respective industry. To date, the large providers have only sold bundles of existing standard services as “industry offers”. This year, however, the demand for Industry Clouds and standardized solutions for specific areas of application will grow again. There are also some approaches in the GAIA-X environment, such as Catena-X, that go in exactly this direction. Hyperscalers, industrial software providers, but also user communities will drive this development forward.
4. Cloud services replace hardware investments
Setting up your own IT infrastructures and systems in hardware is often cost-intensive, complex and currently made more difficult by the shortage of chips and semiconductors. Therefore, companies will mainly use services from cloud hosters to achieve economies of scale. Specialized and regional service providers also benefit from this. This shift also applies to cybersecurity applications, where zero trust and similar concepts that rely more on software and governance than hardware are becoming significantly more relevant. IT security in 2022 will be less technical and reactive, but more culturally anchored and proactive (increasingly also through AI).
5. Anywhere Computing
Processing data in one central location is a thing of the past. Connected vehicles and machines in the IoT network, for example, generate large amounts of data every second that have to be processed in real time. Applications and services must therefore be able to offer high processing power anywhere and anytime. This is only possible with cloud infrastructures and edge computing, which provide the necessary performance regardless of location.
Businesses are forced to act now
In 2022, after overcoming the short-term crisis, companies must find a long-term, sustainable and implementation-oriented cloud strategy and develop the necessary skills and abilities. In order to set up a mature cloud technology landscape, it is important to focus on one’s own strengths – and, if necessary, to involve external service providers. In this way, companies can react promptly to changes in the cloud market.
Companies should not wait and see, but invest proactively and make sure not only to further develop parts of the organization. This requires a high degree of personal responsibility and speed in the cloud and service context.
In the cloud strategy, CIOs and other digital decision-makers should pay particular attention to not carrying out pure migrations. Rather, it is important to take a close look at the use cases and goals and to rely on specific cloud solutions in different forms (private, public, hyperscaler, open source).
The right cloud strategy for the near future
In order to continuously develop and be technically state-of-the-art, companies should take a close look at their IT architecture. How flexibly the organization can react to changes will be decisive in the future. At the same time, it should focus on its differentiators. This requires courage and the will to consciously leave the comfort zone in order to use cloud services. Decision-makers who also factor in the budget for experience and setbacks act skilfully. Cloudflight provides companies with holistic support in defining an implementation-oriented cloud strategy and implementing new services for process and business optimization.