The COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the continuing shift toward cloud computing in virtually every industry and around the world, as cloud computing has become fundamental to working remotely. (Also read: How Digital Transformation Can Bring Resilience During Disruptions.)
Moreover, cloud computing is poised to become increasingly relevant in the coming years; organizations that can deploy it successfully are bound to have a competitive edge.
So, here are five top trends in cloud computing in 2022:
1. All-Time-High Public Cloud Spending
Worldwide end user spending on public cloud services will grow 20.4% to $494.7 billion in 2022, up from $410.9 billion in 2021 — and that figure is expected to reach nearly $600 billion in 2023, according to Gartner Inc.
"Cloud is the powerhouse that drives today’s digital organizations," says Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner, in the report. "CIOs are beyond the era of the irrational exuberance of procuring cloud services and are being thoughtful in their choice of public cloud providers to drive specific, desired business and technology outcomes in their digital transformation journey."
Software as a service (SaaS) will remain the largest public cloud services market segment, expected to hit $176.6 billion in end-user spending in 2022, according to Gartner.
This market segment will continue to grow as "enterprises take multiple routes to market with SaaS, for example via cloud marketplaces, and continue to break up larger, monolithic applications into composable parts for more efficient DevOps processes," according to Nag.
2. Increased Use of Serverless Computing
As businesses continue to move their processes online, serverless cloud computing will become even more popular. More companies will adopt serverless platforms because this approach enables them to increase team agility and lower expenses as they only have to pay for their actual usage.
In fact, the demand for serverless technologies is forecast to grow 22.6% between 2021 and 2026, according to research from Mordor Intelligence.
With serverless cloud computing, users don't have to manage infrastructure or provision servers. Rather, the cloud provider manages the infrastructure and distributes compute resources to meet consumers' current needs. Additionally, serverless cloud platforms can be adapted to meet organizations' changing business needs.
One of the main reasons for this uptick in serverless cloud usage is that startups view serverless computing as way to use the cloud without having to manage infrastructure. To survive and compete in today's market, startups have to grow quickly and offer advanced products and features. Serverless computing helps startups grow by eliminating initial set-up costs and the need to manage servers and data, as well as scaling automatically. (Also read: What’s Great, and Not So Great, About Serverless Computing.)
3. More Multi-Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, And Distributed Cloud Use
In the past, large enterprises have opted for the private cloud because it offered enhanced security and could be customized. But there are scalability, flexibility, and latency issues with this model.
By contrast, multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, and distributed cloud offer organizations everything they need to succeed — and that's why we'll start to see more and more organizations making the switch.
A multi-cloud strategy lets companies use public and private clouds to customize solutions that meet their requirements. Currently, multi-cloud is the most popular option for enterprises.
A hybrid cloud approach enables organizations to keep sensitive corporate data on their on-premises servers and keep less sensitive data on public clouds.
The newest option is the distributed cloud, which enables a cloud vendor to distribute hybrid clouds to wider geographic areas. In turn, this enables customers to use servers housed closer to them, resulting in less latency and faster service. (Also read: Born in the Cloud: The Next Generation of Cloud Services: New Approaches.)
4. Enhanced Cloud Security
In 2022, enterprises will spend a total of $6.8 billion on secure access service edge (SASE), up from $4.8 billion in 2021, according to Gartner. And by 2025, more than 50% of businesses will have developed strategies to adopt SASE, up from less than 5% in 2020.
SASE is a cloud security architecture that combines security-as-a-service and network functions and offers them as one cloud service. SASE lets companies reliably manage and control access between cloud apps, on-premises IT, and end-user devices. It also offers users a single sign-on experience across a variety of enterprise cloud apps while maintaining the most rigorous levels of security. SASE is increasingly relevant as organizations become more and more concerned about the security of their cloud implementations.
"Instead of shipping all traffic to central security appliances, CIOs and IT leaders must bring security to the sessions, instead of bringing sessions to the security," says Milind Govekar, distinguished vice president at Gartner. (Also read: How Cloud Computing is Changing Cybersecurity.)
5. Artificial Intelligence in the Cloud
Cloud computing has always been involved with delivering artificial intelligence (AI) services. But as AI continues to evolve and enable new products and services, cloud computing will play an even more major role in delivering these services.
AI's total market value will hit $850.61 billion by 2028, according to Verified Market Research. However, to support this growth, AI platforms need data bandwidth and processing power, which are more accessible and affordable via the cloud.
And the cloud AI market alone, which was valued at $5.2 billion in 2020, is expected to reach $13.1 billion by 2026, according to Mordor Intelligence.
"The rapid adoption of AI in industries, such as retail, automotive, and manufacturing, is projected to increase at a fast pace," Mordor Intelligence noted. North America is expected to dominate the global cloud AI market because companies in this region were early adopters of artificial intelligence.
In addition, cloud technology makes AI more democratic and accessible, opening it up to organizations with smaller budgets. Emerging AI trends, such as creative algorithms, and language modeling, will also depend heavily on cloud computing.
The broad-scale shift to the cloud will only continue, as organizations need the scalability and flexibility of cloud services providers to respond in real-time to ever-changing and unpredictable economic conditions.
In other words, companies that can exploit the cloud successfully will have a competitive advantage in the coming years. And staying on top of the trends might be just the edge you need.