The Future Of Cloud Computing: Trends To Watch

The Future Of Cloud Computing - Trends To Watch

2023 is about to end, so we thought what better time than now to look at what we should all expect from the cloud this next coming years? As we’ve been working in IT for quite a long time, we’ve seen firsthand the remarkable evolution of cloud computing over the years. And it never ceases to amaze us the way the cloud keeps on growing. 

Just think about this – for the first time, businesses are expected to spend on cloud computing $1 trillion in 2024.

Yes, cloud adoption continues, and new technologies are appearing that promise to transform the landscape even more dramatically in the coming years. What a difference a decade makes – functionalities that seemed science fiction just 10 years ago are now routine.

So, what’s next for this wild industry ride we’re all on?

These are some of the most impactful cloud computing trends in the not-so-distant future that appear to fundamentally change how businesses use this technology. From hybrid multi-cloud to the edge and beyond, these changes will transform the infrastructure that powers our digital world.

Rise of the Hybrid Cloud

More and more businesses are choosing hybrid cloud deployments lately. This is actually not so surprising if we think about what it means, as of course, they would like the chance to utilize both public cloud platforms alongside their own private data centers.

Rather than just picking one or the other, many companies seem to be adopting more of a “hybrid” strategy these days. This means they want to leverage different cloud options depending on their specific workload needs. Maybe certain applications or data sets can stay securely on-premises, while other dynamic functions move to a public cloud provider. This option lets you distribute resources optimally based on changing priorities and costs too.

But to really pull off a truly seamless hybrid experience, you need powerful management software tying everything together behind the scenes. Infrastructure defined as code through templates and automation can maintain consistency regardless of where servers and containers end up physically located across the world. It streamlines deploying and updating resources on either side of the network perimeter.

Looking ahead, we believe we’ll see even more hybrid platforms offer these capabilities out of the box. According to Google’s 2022 State of DevOps Report, hybrid cloud use is expected to increase from 25% to 42.5%. Seamless integration between clouds and private data stores will become the norm, especially as containerization takes off as a default design model as well. Exciting times indeed for those leading the charge!

Computing at the edge

Edge computing will open some exciting new possibilities as high-speed 5G networks start rolling out. Well, being able to crunch data and run apps within 10-100 milliseconds no matter where users are – that sounds amazing, right?!?

Once we reach those ultra-low latency levels, all types of real-time applications become possible, such as augmented reality tools that respond instantly to your movements. Autonomous machines that can seamlessly share data as they operate. Even remote medical procedures could feel just as responsive as being in the same room.

And can you imagine how industries like manufacturing, transportation and healthcare might benefit from having intelligence distributed all the way to the network’s boundaries? If devices housed directly at cell towers or enterprise locations can collaborate autonomously through localized edge clouds, it unlocks so much flexibility and efficiency improvement.

Edge computing is set to redefine how we interact with technology once 5G matures completely. We can’t wait to see how all these new distributed cloud models will take shape!

New distributed cloud models in 2024

Democratization of AI

Well, it’s incredible to see how much AI and machine learning are becoming core parts of cloud platforms these days. It wasn’t that long ago that these technologies seemed like science fiction, but now even smaller companies can build powerful intelligent applications without huge in-house IT teams.

All the major clouds are steadily incorporating AI acceleration hardware and pre-trained models you can easily plug into your software using APIs. So rather than start from scratch, developers get a leg up by applying things like predictive analytics, optimization algorithms and more to solve real problems.

Plus, running AI workloads leverages the cloud’s infinitely scalable infrastructure. So you can train sophisticated neural networks on terabytes of data without worrying about outgrowing your own servers. 

Going forward, we will probably see AI and ML capabilities become increasingly native throughout mainstream cloud offerings, such as auto-scaling policies informed by usage patterns or AI-based cyber security protection and spam filters. 

Read more about the latest trends in cyber security

In the end, democratizing AI lets companies apply rapidly advancing technologies, which is key for thriving in such a disruptive age.

Serverless computing

Serverless computing has really got lots of people intrigued with its promise to drastically simplify deploying code at a massive scale.

With a true serverless model, developers can basically just upload discreet logic functions, without worrying at all about the underlying infrastructure they run on! All the heavy lifting of routing, autoscaling, security, and logging is handled by the cloud provider automatically based on live usage patterns.

And the billing essentially becomes a pay-as-you-go model where you only pay for the actual resources you use – no provisioning servers just to have them sit idle as with traditional hosting. You can see how this is a massive improvement in operational efficiency, especially since deployment cycles also get massively accelerated without hardware bottlenecks.

Now, of course, more complex systems might still benefit from tighter container orchestration too. But for simpler web services, offline batch tasks and even common APIs, serverless seems to be a perfect match. The operational cost savings are huge!

It will be interesting to see the widespread adoption of serverless as more apps are componentized into functions.

Quantum computing emerges

Who doesn’t love the idea that we could someday build computers that harness phenomena like superposition and quantum entanglement? The kinds of problems we might be able to solve, right?!?

Even though full-scale, massively powerful universal quantum machines are probably still a few years out, it’s incredible that prototypes are already tackling problems regular computers aren’t able to. Like optimizing complex systems, creating new materials, and discovering drugs – fields where even an incremental leg up could make huge impacts.

For now, at least some cloud providers are letting researchers access tiny quantum processors experimentally while also offering classical simulations to develop future-proof algorithms. And who knows, maybe this early work could lead to discovering applications we never even imagined!

The fact is that the potential of quantum bits is immense once fully realized. Even after making it through the noise and decoherence challenges, simulations alone could transform science. And that’s not counting what new algorithms or hardware architecture innovations might emerge along the way too. We hope we are still here to witness how everything unfolds!

The future of cloud computing is boundless

Multi-cloud becomes multiverse

The cloud landscape has been evolving from just a handful of big platforms to what some are starting to call a true “multiverse.”

In a market where the biggest providers are constantly acquiring each other, some companies are hesitant to rely on a single provider for all their needs. And that’s understandable as the market can change unexpectedly, and pricing models might shift drastically in a few years.

Luckily there are now third-party platforms that let people and businesses tap any cloud seamlessly through a single management control plane. So whatever the underlying infrastructure, you get consistent interfaces, security policies, etc. across all the popular vendors and pricing tiers.

That kind of flexibility and future-proofing is really appealing, especially for businesses that need resources globally. So, why choose just one universe when there’s an entire multiverse waiting to be explored?

As clouds grow even more indispensable, more independent platforms can become a baseline expectation. And competition thrives regardless of mergers as it’s easy to switch between platforms and costs are kept low. The abundance of options means that whoever is in charge of the servers will have endless possibilities for innovation.

The future of cloud computing seems boundless

Well, it looks like the future of cloud computing is quite exciting. It seems like we’re entering a new age of possibilities as technology transforms the way we distribute infrastructure and harness smarter, more automated solutions. 

From the edge to multi-cloud platforms, providers are doing their best to stay at the forefront – and who can blame them with these kinds of opportunities emerging every day?

Whether it’s incorporating AI throughout their stacks, offering experimental quantum access, or shifting to flexible hybrid deployment models, cloud vendors are clearly rapidly innovating. 

Our advice to both businesses and IT teams would simply be to embrace change and keep on learning. These cloud computing trends aren’t slowing down anytime soon, so positioning yourself at the forefront will be key for succeeding in such a disruptive landscape.