Cloud Trends to Watch in 2024
January 12, 2024

Grant Duxbury

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There has been no shortage of change in the technology landscape throughout the past several years. As we enter another new year, we'll continue seeing advancements in how enterprises apply the cloud to their operations. Businesses are taking more advantage of the opportunities offered by the cloud, aside from time and cost savings.

This next year is poised to be one of growth and innovation in how companies apply the cloud to their infrastructure. Here are a few key trends we predict will shape the cloud in 2024.

1. Cloud Diversity + The Role of Managed Service Providers

Cloud scale and usage based on economy will actively grow as more services try to centralize their control and lifecycle management. Rather than managing multiple deployments for multiple customers, service providers will look to centralize product delivery into as-a-service models.

As-a-service models can offer more flexibility in many cases, but there are some complexities in navigating how to choose if as-a-service is right for your business and infrastructure. As-a-service models can have more lock-in with fewer options to exfiltrate data. It may be less cost-effective for some organizations, as depending on the services they require. Consumers no longer control the ability to "not" use a service, which can in turn increase costs. Ultimately, organizations need to evaluate an as-a-service model to determine if the costs and level of flexibility are right for their needs.

In this increasingly as-a-service market, we'll see the role of managed service providers (MSPs) evolve. MPS will need to "up their game," so to speak, in this increasingly competitive market. Rather than taking shortcuts, it's imperative to remain stable within the ever-changing landscape.

2. The AI Evolution

AI has caused quite a stir in nearly every industry, including cloud providers. Companies will continue exploring how AI can benefit their business in the new year, but need to be cautious and strategic in their approach as AI becomes more accessible.

Reducing the barrier of entry will allow companies to explore the use of AI, but it may come with negative impacts. If organizations do not have a solid grasp on the technology and requirements, they could become too dependent on AI without having a proper exit strategy in the event the technology fails.

Where AI can most benefit organizations in its early stages is automating repetitive tasks, such as auditing and reviewing costs associated with a service. Utilizing AI in instances where issues can be solved through both human and AI is key. Deploying newer technologies in areas where the effort could not be reproduced by a team could negatively impact operations.

3. Cloud Efficiency: Using FinOps

FinOps is going to be a key area for organizations in 2024. The rampant cloud and as-a-service adoption period in the name of progress is coming to an end. As companies shifted to the cloud throughout the past three years, many did not take account of the financial implications of their approach when shifting to the cloud.

Organizations in 2024 are going to aim for more efficiency – both financially and operationally. We'll see more businesses assessing their fundamental needs, then driving cost and operational efficiencies within those areas. The sort of "all-you-can-eat buffet" services are going to be less palatable for most organizations, with more focus on efficiently adopting cloud and as-a-service where they are most needed. Overall, businesses will want more accountability for how investments are being made – making FinOps an ideal strategy.

4. Enhancing Sustainability in Cloud Computing

While not necessarily driven by the cloud specifically, sustainability will be a priority for organizations next year. Minimizing their impact on the environment has already become fundamental to many businesses and industries, and this will only increase as they look to conserve energy and resources – whether from internal or external directives. Cloud services will evolve to meet customer demands when it comes to sustainability, as organizations look to better manage their scope of services and operational dependencies.

As organizations strive to increase sustainability, it's also important to view it from a holistic perspective – taking into account people, planet and profit. Internally, an organization's employees are an integral part of their sustainability approach, ensuring there is a good environment and open communication. From a typical sustainability approach, organizations must consider their impact on the planet, such as energy consumption. And while it's profitable to be sustainable, it's important to develop the right approach. Adopting the right patterns allows companies to compute effectively and become more sustainable.

Grant Duxbury is Global Director, Advisory & Consulting Services, at Aptum
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