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SADA 2023 Predictions: The 2023 Cloud Forecast


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

The 2023 Cloud Forecast

By Miles Ward, CTO, SADA

It's no secret that the cloud has been a game-changing technology for organizations across the globe, and there are no signs of innovation slowing down in 2023. In fact, Gartner predicts a 20.7% increase in public cloud spending, totalling $591.8 billion in 2023 (up from $490.3 billion in 2022).

Below, myself and some of my colleagues reflect on 2022, and share our predictions for what the cloud industry will look like next year.

I'll start us off.

Prediction #1: The cloud has clearly succeeded - but it still has a long way to go.

Cloud makes up for roughly 7-8% of total infrastructure consumption worldwide, and it is markedly more efficient than its alternatives - but, its potential vastly outweighs its current status. Cloud has plenty of room to grow, and can reach 10x or greater than where it's sitting now. Look for continued expansion and for that 7-8% number to increase.

Brian Suk, Associate CTO - Data at SADA

Prediction #2: We'll see an increased emphasis from vendors on implementing their architectures on multiple clouds.

There are many reasons why a customer would choose to implement their architecture on multiple clouds whether it's technology, market, or business-driven. When this happens, many times this leads to transactional and operational data being stored on multiple cloud platforms. The challenge this brings is how to gain insight into these without resorting to implementing multiple disparate data platforms. Historically data virtualization tools have been introduced to solve this style of problem, but it gets challenging when working across cloud environments. We are seeing increased emphasis from vendors on this message (Google's BigQuery Omni is one example) and expect customer adoption to pick up in order to quickly unlock value across data platforms without having to perform migrations.

Mike Laramie, Associate CTO - Security at SADA

Prediction#3: Teams are going to look to implement automation across the cloud security portfolio.

 We should see a push in teams adopting Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and Policy as Code (PaC) methodologies in their cloud environments to help prevent misconfigurations from the start. Concourse Labs' overarching "Security as Code" approach is a great example of combining these two practices into a single toolset. I believe we'll also see greater adoption of Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR) as no-code/low-code platforms like Torq and Tines make these capabilities easier for teams to implement.  Google's integration of Siemplify into Chronicle Security Operations also gives customers an incredibly easy on-ramp into this space.

Prediction #4:  We'll see security tools being introduced earlier into CI/CD pipelines as teams look to reduce the number of vulnerabilities being deployed within their cloud environments.

The earlier in the software development life cycle you can catch these vulnerabilities, the lower the cost to remediate them. Tools like Lacework integrate with a broad range of CI/CD tools to automate vulnerability scans during the build process and either notify or break the build if vulnerabilities reach a certain threshold, as well as identifying where vulnerable containers are running within your fleet. Google Cloud is well positioned above its competitors in this particular regard with features like Assured Open Source Software to ensure a secure supply chain for open source software, and Binary Authorization to ensure code provenance. 

Peter-Mark Verwoerd, Associate CTO - Infrastructure at SADA

Prediction #5: Hybrid cloud deployment patterns are still in their infancy, however, 2023 will see more maturity.

I think of hybrid cloud deployments as deployments that have significant production usage in both cloud and data centers. These typically arise where each location (cloud & data center) possess tools or requirements that are uniquely satisfied by something contained therein. Reasons could be, for example, data location requirements or unique hardware for data centers, or using tools like BigQuery or Cloud Dataflow in Google Cloud. While we've made incremental steps towards true hybrid cloud over the years, hybrid cloud deployment patterns are still in their infancy. This is primarily because the tooling is all relatively new to consumers. However, I expect this to change next year. I think this primarily because the tooling, primarily led by the increasing maturity of Anthos, to be at a tipping point where companies will start really investing in hybrid deployments.

Rich Hoyer, Director of FinOps at SADA

Prediction #6: I expect to see continued slow economic growth in 2023 combined with elevated inflation, which will result in higher interest rates.

These higher borrowing costs will make cloud migrations relatively more attractive than refreshing or expanding data center workloads. This dynamic is due to the "operational expense" model of the cloud ("pay as you go"), as compared to the "capital expense" data center cost model (large, infrequent purchases of equipment that must be funded upfront). Offsetting these pro-Cloud-growth dynamics will be an increased focus on optimization of incumbent cloud workloads and potentially even some shrinkage of workloads in stressed sectors of the economy. Netting the two against one another, I still expect healthy growth in overall cloud consumption in 2023.

Prediction #7:  We'll see accelerated growth in consumption of cloud technologies related to AI, ML and data analytics.

So far in 2022, non-farm labor productivity has declined by record amounts in the US, while labor force participation has failed to recover from its pandemic-era plunge, remaining at 45-year lows. In other words, fewer people are working and those that are working are getting less done. Both trends will fuel a drive toward automation by employers wherever possible. As a result, there will be accelerated growth in consumption of cloud technologies related to AI, ML and data analytics. This trend will be reinforced as cloud providers encourage customers to adopt their cloud native technologies and to de-emphasize commodity offerings such as compute instances, object storage, etc. We can expect rapidly expanding demand for professionals with training and experience in these growth technologies with attendant growth in compensation requirements. At the same time, we can expect to encounter declining real (inflation adjusted) wages for workers with less education and training in the non-technical sectors of our economy, which may in turn have a depressing effect on the recovery of workforce participation. These trends may therefore be at risk of becoming self-reinforcing phenomena in coming years.




As Chief Technology Officer at SADA, Miles Ward leads SADA’s cloud strategy and solutions capabilities. His remit includes delivering next-generation solutions to challenges in big data and analytics, application migration, infrastructure automation, and cost optimization; reinforcing our engineering culture; and engaging with customers on their most complex and ambitious plans around Google Cloud.

Previously, Miles served as Director and Global Lead for Solutions at Google Cloud. He founded the Google Cloud’s Solutions Architecture practice, launched hundreds of solutions, built Style-Detection and Hummus AI APIs, built CloudHero, designed the pricing and TCO calculators, and helped thousands of customers like Twitter who migrated the world’s largest Hadoop cluster to public cloud and Audi USA who re-platformed to k8s before it was out of alpha, and helped Banco Itau design the intercloud architecture for the bank of the future.

Before Google, Miles helped build the AWS Solutions Architecture team. He wrote the first AWS Well-Architected framework, proposed Trusted Advisor and the Snowmobile, invented GameDay, worked as a core part of the Obama for America 2012 “tech” team, helped NASA stream the Curiosity Mars Rover landing, and rebooted Skype in a pinch.

Earning his Bachelor of Science in Rhetoric and Media Studies from Willamette University, Miles is a three-time technology startup entrepreneur who also plays a mean electric sousaphone.

Published Monday, November 21, 2022 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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