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SoftIron 2023 Predictions: Hard Truths Drive New Cloud Priorities


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

Hard Truths Drive New Cloud Priorities

By Phil Straw, CEO, SoftIron

Geopolitical instability. Energy volatility. Inflationary pressures. A persistent IT skills crisis. We haven't just hit a patch of turbulence in the business outlook for 2023, it looks like we're in for a wild ride. And IT leaders have a lot to think about when it comes to everything from protecting data from nation-state threat actors to getting the most from IT budgets. We believe cloud priorities will shift accordingly.

Sovereign cloud adoption takes off

Just a few short years ago in May 2019, The White House declared a national emergency with respect to "securing the information and communications technology and services supply chain." In May 2022 it issued a continuation of the emergency. Today, both governments and industries with high-security requirements are rightly thinking more critically about protecting and controlling data in cloud environments.

The problem is that the international supply chain that produces commodity hardware is so vast and opaque that it's nearly impossible to verify the security of individual components, circuitry, and even firmware, giving state-sponsored antagonists abundant opportunities to corrupt IT infrastructure. That's why we believe organizations will increasingly look toward sovereign cloud deployments to achieve the needed control over their data and systems and processes that underpin their operations. And given the nature of the threats, it's also time to reexamine the very idea of what constitutes a sovereign cloud. After all, it's impossible to build something that can be assured as truly sovereign-regardless of who is operating it or where-without a window into every single hardware and software component, including design and build details.

Data repatriation accelerates

A perfect storm will accelerate data repatriation, leading to an increasing reliance on hybrid cloud models. It's not just businesses and governments prioritizing sovereign control over their data. A looming global recession is raising concerns about uncontrolled and in particular egress costs in public clouds. And performance requirements continue to push AI, IoT, and other computationally intensive workloads to the edge. Fortunately, it's now possible to deliver hyperscaler-like utility in a private cloud with the ability to easily burst to and descale from public clouds to accommodate demand spikes or maintain service quality without the traditional complexity that would normally be associated with such infrastructure.

Energy efficiency takes on new urgency

A host of factors, including the war in Ukraine, have roiled energy supply chains, leading to soaring energy costs. In some European countries, news organizations note that households and businesses are paying nearly double what they did just a year ago. And across the U.S. and throughout the world, recessionary pressures are also forcing IT leaders to think more carefully about power consumption. And through it all, businesses and governments alike are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint in support of green initiatives and post-COP27 renewed Net Zero targets. Today, the case for pursuing more efficient IT infrastructure has never been stronger, and we believe it will be a tipping point for IT leadership to seek out new innovations.

CIOs seek faster, more efficient ways to build infrastructure

Despite global economic volatility, virtually every region is still experiencing an IT skills shortage. And that's a huge problem when you consider the challenges that go along with building hybrid cloud solutions; organizations either need a deep bench of experienced engineers or they must give up control to vendors or hyperscalers in some way or another. We believe that the frustrating circumstances will push CIOs to look beyond legacy approaches and consider more innovative solutions for accelerating progress in building cloud consumption models in their organizations.

Buckle up

In recent years, organizations of all kinds have learned hard lessons about the downsides of lock-in to public clouds despite many of the conveniences they offer. Today, select private cloud solutions can deliver the same level of easy consumability as hyperscalers with the control over data that's been missing in public cloud solutions. And that built-in agility will pay huge dividends in navigating the bumpy market conditions ahead.




The technical visionary co-founder behind SoftIron, Phil Straw initially served as the company’s CTO before stepping into the role as CEO.

Previously Phil served as CEO of Heliox Technologies, co-founder and CTO of dotFX, VP of Engineering at Securify and worked in both technical and product roles at both Cisco and 3Com.

Phil holds a degree in Computer Science from UMIST. 

Published Friday, December 09, 2022 7:37 AM by David Marshall
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