What’s coming for cloud computing in 2023

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What's coming for cloud computing in 2023

The days before Thanksgiving I get pitches from PR firms wanting to tell me their clients’ predictions for next year. I’m always taken aback by some of the naivete I still see out there, even after 15 years of cloud computing being a true force in IT. By now, most technology executives should know better. 

From my perspective, I don’t think next year will bring tactical shifts in technology, such as more artificial intelligence in the cloud or a focus on zero-trust security. It’s going to be more like a strategic trend or a bigger fix. Perhaps something that’s been a long time in coming rather than just tossing technology and money at problems.

If you think back a few years, some of the writing was on the wall in terms of this emerging pattern, but something shifted our thinking. That something was a global pandemic which meant most enterprises ran to the newfound safety of public cloud providers as quickly as they could. Just look at the explosive growth of cloud computing since 2019.

This rapid lifting and shifting to public cloud providers has led to some of the business issues we’re seeing today. This includes a lack of ROI from cloud deployments, mostly caused by inadequate planning, too much complexity, and not enough discipline when it comes to strategic cloud cost management, meaning no finops oversight.

These issues seem to be the focus as we go into 2023. It’s going to launch a new strategic trend that perhaps should have begun several years ago.

The problem most enterprises are having with cloud computing right now is related to too many cloud services that must be managed and tracked. Again, this leads to too much complexity, mostly through the rise of multicloud.

Enterprises often move to multicloud on purpose, but way more often multicloud just happens as enterprises strive to find and leverage best-of-breed cloud services with no plan for what to do with those services after deployment. This leads to too much cost and not enough return of value to the business. Old story. 

This cloud complexity problem can be solved through the strategic use of technology and better approaches to manage the complexity. Most important is reducing redundancy by using a common layer of technology above the public cloud providers as well as above any legacy or edge-based systems. 

This layer includes common services, such as a single security system, a single data management system, finops, a single cloud operations system, etc. We’re not attempting to solve every problem within the “walled garden” of each public cloud provider; this technology should exist within a common layer, aka supercloud or metacloud.

This strategic cloud trend not only solves the complexity problems by leveraging common services and a common control plane, it also helps get cloud costs under control through a common finops layer that handles cost monitoring, cost governance, and cloud cost optimization.

If we’re able to solve both the complexity problems and the cloud cost management problems, then the ROI should fix itself. The cloud services and new cloud-based applications that we’ve been working on for the past three years will become much more optimized and thus can return much more value to the business. 

I’ve been talking about aspects of this in this blog for some time. What’s new?

The change in 2023 will be actual planning and execution, not just arguing the concepts. Most businesses will have to go slower to go faster. Putting the strategies, funding, and plans in place to finally get their cloud acts together means better and more strategic use of cloud computing technology. 

If this does not happen, you can count on boards of directors and executive types losing their patience when it comes to the cloud spending that has occurred for the past seven to ten years without much to show for it. It’s time to fix that and set a new strategic path for your enterprise. I suspect it will be a new trend that most did not see coming.

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