What’s Coming Up For Cloud Services In 2023?

January 16, 2023  |  Mark Hillary

I’ve been looking forward to 2023 in some of my most recent blogs here, but we haven’t really talked about cloud computing.

I think that the use of computing power and storage in the cloud is one of the biggest developments of the past decade. I can personally remember when I was an IT director in a bank, leading the development of their trading systems and connections to various global stock exchanges. When we needed more power, or wanted to launch a new app, it required new servers. My team had to budget for the upfront expense of all the infrastructure required to launch a new service.

Now the cloud principles have created a culture of ‘as a service’ payment. This started out with software as a service – where you only pay for software as it is used rather than paying for copies of a licensed product up front. Now there are many other complex services that can be paid for as they are used.

I write a lot about how technology changes the experience that customers have with the companies they buy from. The cloud has now enabled the idea of customer experience as a service, where brands can tap into all the infrastructure they need to manage customer relationships and pay for only what they use. This has been transformational. Companies previously needed to invest in real-estate for contact centres and then hire thousands of people to answer the phones.

The pandemic was a good time for cloud providers. It forced companies to start operating distributed teams so it was naturally easier to operate applications on a cloud that could be accessed from anywhere. Many companies that created “virtual offices” were only able to do so because of cloud applications.

But what’s happening now? Are major changes ahead for cloud providers in 2023?

One of the big problems at present is cloud management – especially in a multicloud environment. There is a need for more simplicity. Tools like AI can be used to track and manage cloud services, but if the cloud design is so complex that it needs a review every couple of months then it probably needs a complete revision – rather than constant change.

Writing in InfoWorld, cloud expert David Linthicum recently said: “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.”

That is the bottom line. The real issues for cloud systems in 2023 will be justifying a return on investment and simplifying the management of the system – connected issues. Start revising your cloud and simplifying the system and you can more easily find the ROI.

I expect we will start seeing a large number of cloud reviews in 2023. Not because executives believe that the cloud model is a mistake, but because there were many rushed implementations in the past couple of years. It’s time to rationalise and start demonstrating the real value to the business.

Read also what companies should look for in data centers and about the IBA cloud platform built on open source.

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