Cloud Computing will keep growing in 2023 as companies continue to leverage the economies and services cloud vendors offer. Below is our take on the significant Cloud Computing trends we expect to see in 2023. 

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a framework that provides computing resources (such as servers, storage, databases, and software applications) over the internet alternative to local hardware and infrastructure. This means that users can access these resources from anywhere, at any time on any device with an internet connection.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a type of cloud computing service in which the provider hosts software applications and makes them available to customers over the internet. SaaS applications are usually accessed through a web browser and users have to pay a subscription charge. A few examples of SaaS applications are email services, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and project management tools.

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Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a type of cloud computing service in which the provider offers virtualized computing resources (such as servers, storage, and networking) over the internet. These resources can be used to build, deploy, and manage their applications and services. With IaaS, customers are capable of managing and maintaining the software applications they run on the virtual infrastructure.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a type of cloud computing service in which the user gets access to a platform for developing, deploying, and managing applications. PaaS providers typically offer tools and services that help developers build, test, and deploy applications and also can manage the underlying infrastructure. PaaS can be seen as a middle ground between IaaS and SaaS as it provides more control and flexibility than SaaS but with less management overhead than IaaS. 

There are many emerging trends in Cloud computing as mentioned below:

1. Introduction of the Citizen Developer

The first under the Cloud Computing trends is the introduction of the citizen developer. The Citizen Developer concept opens up the power of connected systems to people who can not code. Tools such as If This Then That introduced ways in which ordinary folks (i.e., those of us that have not spent four years getting a Computer Science degree) can connect popular APIs and create customized automation.

Moving through 2023, expect to see Microsoft, AWS, Google, and many other companies release tools that make it easy for developers to create complex apps with a drag and drop interface. Microsoft's Power Platform is arguably the leader in this space with Power Apps, Power Flow, Power AI, and Power Builder. The four tools combined can create complex mobile and web apps that can interact with business tools. AWS is not resting, either, with the introduction of HoneyCode.

We will now look into the next cloud computing trend.

2. Better AI/ML

As a company, AWS has been building machine learning technology. They have many new integrations in the works with the latest AWS DeepLens camera. 

Google is also heavily invested in machine learning, and they have all kinds of machine learning-based products. We recently saw the rollout of Google Lens, which allows you to point your camera at things in the world to find out more information. I expect we'll see that deployed in other parts of their Google product line this year. They know the importance of machine learning and its significance to their AI roadmap.

IBM is an enterprise leader in this space and is one of the driving forces behind a significant shift in how computing is conducted. Most of their investments have been in AI and machine learning-related initiatives. 

The next under the cloud computing trends is automation.

3. Automation 

The secret sauce for Cloud is the potential for automation. When done right, automation can increase your delivery team's efficiency, improve the quality of systems and networks, and reduce the risk associated with slow systems or downtime. The challenge is that automation is not easy. As the investment in citizen developer tools and AI expands, expect to see more devices released to make automation much more comfortable with cloud vendors.

4. Continued Investment in Data

The Cloud has already extended to helping organizations analyze, store, collate and analyze data. That trend will continue, but data will be stored in much larger databases in a distributed computing environment in the future. 

A big step forward will be to process large volumes of data by storing it not in databases but in graphics processing units (GPUs), which can massively parallelize computing. This trend is already well underway and is likely to continue to grow over the coming years. This change has many ramifications, from how we compute, store, and use data to the type of business systems we will develop in the future.

It is also going to increase the need for new computer architectures. As data continues to grow, it will be distributed across many different machines across the data center, and many of these machines will be running traditional and new computing models. The conventional CPU is an example of a system architecture that will be made less relevant in the future, as it cannot perform processing across many nodes.

On the other hand, GPUs can be configured to perform this processing on clusters of machines and, while they don't have a general-purpose processor like a CPU, they can be programmed to run many types of operations.

Ultimately, all this will result in organizations needing to run a vast number of algorithms parallel to clusters of machines to perform real-time analyses. In this way, the Cloud will enable organizations to acquire computing resources in a flexible, agile manner.

Let's look at the next under the cloud computing trends.

5. Competition

The #1 Cloud computing trend for 2023 is increased competition between AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. The competition will come in three distinct ways:

  • Pricing and Financial Incentives
  • Reliability
  • Other vendors

The fastest way to break down investment barriers is to lower costs. The model that AWS introduces (you pay for what you use) will expand through all services and replace subscription models. Expect to see all cloud companies deliver tools that clearly show resource usage and the service's per-byte cost.

6. Kubernetes and Docker to Manage Cloud Deployment

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform which can automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Docker is a popular containerization platform which empowers developers to package their applications developed to run on any platform into containers. Kubernetes and Docker can transform the way developers manage cloud deployments. Moreover, it enables developers to easily and more efficiently deploy and scale applications.

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7. Cloud Security and Resilience

In this digitalized world, more businesses are moving their operations to the cloud, and also security and resilience have become top priorities. Hence, Cloud providers are enthusiastically investing highly in security and resilience features to ensure the protection of customers' data. The features which cloud providers invest in include data encryption, access controls, and disaster recovery. to ensure that their customers' data is protected.

8. Multi and Hybrid Cloud Solutions

Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud solutions are becoming increasingly popular since businesses want to spread their workloads across multiple cloud providers and on-premises infrastructure. It enables businesses to take advantage of the strengths of different cloud providers whilst maintaining control over their data and applications.

9. Cloud Cost Optimization

Cloud users are growing rapidly and hence managing costs has become a major concern for businesses. As a result, Cloud providers are investing in developing new tools and services to help customers manage costs. With cost management tools, users can optimize spending which includes cost monitoring and budgeting tools, instance sizing recommendations, and reserved instance options.

10. Edge Computing

It is an emerging trend in cloud computing which enables moving computation and data storage closer to the devices and sensors that generate it. This approach in turn minimizes latency and bandwidth requirements by enabling faster and more efficient data processing.

11. Disaster Recovery

It is becoming a vital aspect for businesses since they prefer moving their operations to the cloud. Cloud providers are developing disaster recovery solutions that enable businesses to quickly recover from disruptions such as natural disasters or cyberattacks.

12. Innovation and Consolidation in Cloud Gaming

is a growing market and hence, cloud providers are largely investing in this space. There is also consolidation happening with major players acquiring smaller companies to expand their offerings and reach.

13. Serverless Computing

is an emerging trend in cloud computing that allows developers to run code without managing servers. This approach can reduce infrastructure costs and increase scalability.

14. Blockchain

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that is being integrated with cloud computing to create new applications and services. Cloud providers are offering blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) solutions that enable businesses to build and deploy blockchain applications in the cloud.

15. IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a rapidly growing market in which cloud providers are investing. It develops solutions to help businesses manage and process a plethora of data generated by IoT devices.

16. Open Source Cloud

Open-source cloud solutions are becoming increasingly popular as businesses prefer more flexibility and control over their cloud infrastructure. Open-source cloud providers offer more customization options and lower costs than traditional cloud providers.

17. Low-Code and No-Code Cloud Services

Low-code and no-code cloud services are enabling businesses to develop applications and services without requiring deep technical expertise. These solutions can speed up development times and reduce costs.

18. Cloud-Native Applications

Cloud-native applications are designed to run on cloud infrastructure and take advantage of cloud services. Cloud providers are offering tools and services to help businesses build and deploy cloud-native applications.

19. DevSecOps

DevSecOps is an approach to software development that integrates security into the development process. Cloud providers are offering tools and services to help businesses implement DevSecOps practices.

20. Service Mesh

Service mesh is a technology that provides a network of microservices with features like load balancing, traffic management, and security. Cloud providers are offering service mesh solutions to help organizations manage their microservices.

21. Increased Focus on Green Computing Initiatives

Cloud providers are investing in green computing initiatives, such as renewable energy and energy-efficient infrastructure, to reduce their carbon footprint and meet sustainability goals.

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Cloud Computing Challenges

  1. Security: Security is a major concern for businesses that are considering moving their operations to the cloud. The cloud is vulnerable to cyberattacks and businesses need to ensure that their data is encrypted through strong security measures.
  2. Data Privacy: Data privacy is another major challenge in cloud computing. Businesses need to ensure that their data is stored and processed in compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.
  3. Cost Management: Cloud computing can be expensive and businesses need to manage their costs effectively to avoid unexpected bills. This requires careful planning and budgeting, monitoring and optimizing usage.
  4. Integration: Integrating cloud services with existing IT infrastructure is another major challenge. Businesses need to ensure that their cloud solutions can work seamlessly with their existing systems and applications.
  5. Vendor Lock-In: Businesses need to be aware of the risk of vendor lock-in when choosing a cloud provider. This can limit their flexibility and make it difficult to switch providers in the future.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

  1. Cost Savings: Cloud computing can be more cost-effective than on-premises infrastructure since users pay only for the resources they use. 
  2. Scalability: Cloud computing enables users to scale their operations up or down quickly and easily based on their needs. This enables us to easily respond to changing market conditions and customer demands.
  3. Flexibility: Cloud computing offers businesses more flexibility in terms of where and how they work. Employees can access applications and data from anywhere with an internet connection enabling remote work and collaboration.
  4. Disaster Recovery: Cloud computing can help businesses recover quickly from disruptions such as natural disasters or cyberattacks. Cloud providers offer disaster recovery solutions that can ensure business continuity in the event of a disruption.
  5. Innovation: Cloud computing enables businesses to innovate more quickly by providing access to new technologies and services. Cloud providers are constantly adding new features and capabilities to empower businesses to stay competitive and move with industry trends.

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In addition to greater transparency for services, also expect Cloud companies to offer deals for large commitments. The cloud companies want your business and are willing to pay for it. If you are making any investment into the Cloud, you should be asking the service provider to be clear on what investment they are making into you as a customer.

Reliability is another key differentiator. Early in 2023, Google Cloud Platform suffered a significant service interruption. The interruption impacted many companies and was a black eye for GCP. The reality, however, is that cloud hosting reliability has never been better. With that said, expect all vendors to continue to double down on reliability. 

In many ways, it is early days for the Cloud, and many other companies, such as Alibaba, IBM, and TCS, want you to use their cloud services. More competition equals better choices for customers. There is big money going into Cloud, and you should ask all of your vendors what their Cloud strategy is and where they can provide you the financial incentive to use their Cloud services.

To position your enterprise to take full advantage of the emerging Cloud trends in 2023, you need to ensure your team has the skills to create and implement a winning cloud strategy.  You’ll want to look into upskilling in cloud computing courses such as the Post Graduate Program in Cloud Computing for your key staff members.

About the Author

Matthew DavidMatthew David

Matt is a Digital Leader at Accenture. His passion is a combination of solving today's problems to run more efficiently, adjusting focus to take advantage of digital tools to improve tomorrow and move organizations to new ways of working that impact the future.

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