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Deft 2022 Predictions: Honestly evaluating cloud's strengths

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

Honestly evaluating cloud's strengths

By Executives from Deft

For 14 years, VMblog has been publishing the industry's predictions, highlighting where infrastructure will go in the year to come. For most of those years, the biggest trend felt so obvious it didn't even need to be stated. To. The. Cloud. We could debate the specific paths virtualization - and the cloud - might take, but we didn't doubt its inevitability.

The cloud was the way forward.

It still is, for many things. That unquestioning embrace of the cloud is starting to come to a close though. Many eager adopters are now getting bills that wildly outstrip their expectations. In 2022, we'll see something of a reckoning. Businesses will look to control costs by bringing cloud assets back in house. Security and compliance will continue to evolve - and be redefined - in a cloud-first world. And everyone will scramble for the dwindling talent pushing the industry forward.

Cloud repatriation reconsiders data centers

It's not a retreat from the cloud, but a reevaluation of how best to deploy it.

The most sophisticated companies will start to see the cloud for what it is - a powerful solution, not a cure-all. Repatriation won't make sense for most. For some, though, crushingly big cloud bills and a need for increased environment control will make it a conversation worth having.

It's so easy to click yes and keep clicking with the cloud, but the costs will add up. For backups and compute, bigger companies are starting to reconsider data centers and reverse course on cloud migrations. Stability was always the hallmark of data centers. In the race to get greater adaptability, we forgot some of what data centers had to offer.

-- Jordan Lowe, Co-Founder and CEO, Deft

The cloud does what it does best - automatically

When you need that elasticity, the cloud can't be beat. While some workloads will come back to data centers, it won't be all of them. In 2022, companies will embrace hybrid cloud in a more concrete way than ever before, using the cloud to handle scalable workloads like AI and machine learning that data centers just can't effectively support.

Edge cases will continue to thwart most dreams of 100% automation, but we'll see companies embrace it wherever they can. It's possible now to take off-the-shelf automations and string them together, integrating them so cross-checks can happen with a minimum of custom code.

Monitoring and diagnostics is a prime example. Instead of manually filtering through 1,000 alerts to find one root problem, AI can identify commonalities and send one message suggesting where to look first. Tech teams will be able to address underlying issues far faster.

-- Eric Dynowski, Co-Founder and Chief Solutions Officer, Deft

Compliance makes the most of cloud benefits, while regulators struggle to keep up

We've been seeing - and helping - companies meet big compliance challenges using virtualization, the cloud, and containerization. One of our clients was able to reduce their PCI compliance burden down to next-to-nothing using a managed AWS environment. It's a perfect example of what cloud can do that other infrastructure cannot, and an ideal use case. Even the most risk-averse industries are beginning to accept that cloud is more than just not evil. It's potentially a better, safer solution for sensitive data.

Regulators are only just starting to wrap their heads around this. We've worked with some who see and appreciate the elegance of the solution and get a thrill from seeing their job made almost perfunctory. Others refuse to accept the Schrödinger's Cat nature of containerization and virtualization. The data is both there and not there, in compliance and non-existent.

At some point, this shift will force a complete rethink of compliance requirements. In our opinion, the sooner regulation catches up to the current reality, the better. That may not be 2022, but we should see progress on this path.

-- Thomas Johnson, CISO, Deft

Cloud brings a new standard of security - but nothing is 100% safe

Two things that are true now will continue to be true in 2022.

  1. Security won't be a nice-to-have. It will be a minimum viable requirement for every organization.
  2. A completely secure environment is not possible. All the planning in the world can be undone by a bored employee trying to watch YouTube.

This is not to say there's reason to despair. Cloud continues to bring a higher standard of security to organizations of all sizes and levels of sophistication. The first step to protection will continue to be simplification and automation.

This is another area where AI and machine learning will continue to come into their own. The complexity of environments today can only be handled through automation. Containerization and Infrastructure as Code both help to reign in sprawl. Together, they deliver management and observability in previously unimagined ways, mitigating risks associated with modern environments.

AI and machine learning will also help organizations move from reactive response to proactive identification, finding threats in time to stop or reduce them. The tools available to an organization with a perfectly average AWS or Azure setup are miles beyond what they could afford to build in-house, and all available pay-as-you-go.

-- Eric Dynowski, Co-Founder and Chief Solutions Officer, and Thomas Johnson, CISO, Deft

An infrastructure talent shortage squeezes everyone

Hiring the absolute best-of-the-best cloud talent isn't easy. But it's a breeze compared to finding an experienced network engineer.

More than a decade of everyone chasing cloud as the latest and greatest has emptied out the talent pool for data centers. We're lucky enough to have a deep bench, but as organizations look to repatriate cloud, they're going to struggle. The brain drain is making it hard to find the talent to keep workloads in-house - organizations who do will risk a single exit wiping out institutional knowledge.

The amount of new blood going into learning Cisco, core networking, and all of these skills is a droplet compared to the cloud. You see traditional firms acqui-hiring talent to round out their skills as much as their solution portfolio. All the focus on the cloud has obscured a reality: The biggest apps aren't there. Dropbox, Reddit, Apple, and - perhaps a less strong example recently - Facebook. A traditional cloud platform just does not work for applications of this scale. Look in the right places, and there's real opportunity to do cutting edge work in data centers, no matter the size of your organization.

-- Jordan Lowe, Co-Founder and CEO, and Daniel Brosk, Co-Founder and COO, Deft

The distributed workers who remain increase demands

The bad news: Distributed workforces put you in competition with literally everyone for the best talent. The good news: People have opportunities to level up their skills like never before. The access to broadband, to resources, to research, to education - it's just exploding. Anyone who takes advantage can essentially chart their own career.

As employers, we need to embrace equating success with personal and professional learning and growth. It's on us to give our team members the agency to pursue the knowledge that interests them and support this development. You're not selling a job anymore. You're selling a story of purpose and personal growth. Sell a good one, and you can attract talent capable of innovating faster than ever before.

-- Daniel Brosk, Co-Founder and COO, Deft


Published Friday, November 19, 2021 7:38 AM by David Marshall
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