One of the most transformative cloud developments is the growth of AI and ML services offered by leading providers like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. A Deloitte survey found that nearly half of CIOs plan to implement AI solutions like predictive analytics and machine learning this year.
Hyperscalers are rapidly releasing AI/ML tools designed to work seamlessly with their infrastructure and platform services. “We’ve seen a 3x increase in utilization of AWS’s SageMaker ML service to improve customer experiences and optimize business processes,” said Rashmi Misra, CIO of The Hartford.
However, enterprises continue to grapple with concerns around biased or unreliable AI. “As an insuretech company, explainability and transparency of models is critical,” Misra noted. Companies especially in regulated sectors are expected to adopt a measured approach and validate AI accuracy rigorously before deploying widely.
Competing With Industry Cloud Platforms
Another fast-rising trend is the adoption of industry-specific cloud solutions tailored for use cases in sectors like financial services, healthcare and manufacturing. IDC forecasts the worldwide industry cloud market to reach $127 billion by 2025, indicating the speed of adoption.
“We selected Salesforce Financial Services Cloud for its wealth management capabilities and embedded compliance tools,” said Prashant Gokhale, CTO, Wealthsimple. The composable nature of industry clouds allows building on top of curated capabilities to accelerate development. Companies like Workday, Veeva and ServiceNow that offer such specialized applications continue to see growth.
Modernizing Core Apps and Data
Most enterprises focused initial cloud modernization on easier lift-and-shift migration of less critical apps. The next wave involves re-architecting core legacy apps and data trapped in data centers or private clouds unable to take advantage of cloud scale and agility.
“We re-platformed our mainframe-based credit card processing system on Azure using microservices and containers to enable quicker customer rollouts of new credit features,” said Linda Rottenberg, CIO, Citi. Forrester estimates that containers, microservices and serverless architectures will become ubiquitous for core modernization efforts by 2025.
Optimizing the Multicloud-Edge Continuum
As cloud maturity rises, enterprises are also rapidly adopting hybrid multicloud and edge computing models, according to 98% of respondents in a Nutanix survey. The mix of private and public clouds across decentralized environments provides flexibility and addresses data sovereignty concerns.
“Our manufacturing plants generate enormous amounts of sensor data at the edge which is processed in real-time using Azure Stack before aggregating in the cloud,” said Mike Hill, Director of IT, Rockwell Automation. While the continuum provides scale and agility, it also introduces management complexity. The key in 2023 will be finding the right balance aligned with business needs.
Boosting Cloud FinOps and Security
Cloud-smart enterprises are also prioritizing FinOps, implementing tracking, monitoring and cost optimization measures to maximize cloud ROI. “We expect to save 27% in cloud costs by eliminating unoptimized workloads and right-sizing instances with our FinOps program,” said Reena Thomas, senior VP, Expedia.
And with growing data on the cloud, security will be top-of-mind. “We partnered with cybersecurity vendors who offer cloud-native tools for data protection, zero-trust access and micro-segmentation,” said Danielle Cortez, CISO, SAP Concur. Choosing providers with expertise in cloud security architectures will be key.
In summary, enterprises are moving thoughtfully yet assertively to adopt cloud innovations in AI/ML, hybrid ecosystems and industry-specific platforms to future-proof operations, boost agility and deliver greater value in 2023.