Last year, FinOps — a strategy for achieving cloud cost optimization — garnered a lot of attention, and for good reason. It was, after all, according to ITPro Today's cloud expert Chris Tozzi, "arguably, the most important cloud computing trend of 2023," even more important to cloud strategies than multi-cloud and hybrid cloud. Between the state of the post-pandemic economy, the complexity of cloud billing, and the realization that cloud migrations aren't bringing organizations the savings they had expected, the growing interest in FinOps was not surprising.
According to Tozzi, organizations will continue to embrace FinOps in 2024 (check out all of his 2024 cloud predictions here, including his thoughts on AI's impact on the cloud market).
Now it's the industry's turn to share their cloud predictions.
They have already made their predictions about security, AI, cybersecurity, open source, software development, data analytics and management, and more in 2024:
- Top Tech Predictions 2024
- Cybersecurity Predictions 2024
- AI Predictions 2024
- Open Source Predictions 2024
- Software Development Predictions 2024
- IT Career Predictions 2024
- Data Analytics & Management 2024
Below are their cloud computing predictions for 2024. From FinOps and AI to hybrid, multi-cloud, and edge computing, find out what IT leaders and industry insiders see happening in the cloud computing arena in 2024.
What the Tech Industry Expects From Cloud Computing in 2024
Hybrid Cloud and On-Premises Adoption Will Become the Norm
In 2024, companies will be more discerning about what workloads they place where. Not everything benefits from being in a public cloud, and not everything should stay on-prem. Decisions will be more outcome-focused, weighing factors like cost, performance, data sovereignty, and regulatory requirements. The hybrid model, which leverages both on-prem and cloud resources based on workload requirements, will become an industry-standard approach. The hybrid and multi-cloud integration allows enterprises the opportunity to strategically place workloads where they fit best, be it on-premises or on different public clouds. It offers flexibility in terms of cost, performance, and security. This approach helps in avoiding vendor lock-in, optimizing costs, ensuring business continuity, and providing the flexibility to choose services based on their merits. — Tony Liau, VP of Product, Object First
Industry Cloud Platforms Will Revolutionize the Enterprise? Not So Fast
Some experts are estimating to see industry cloud platforms (ICPs) as the next big thing to help businesses expedite their business processes. However, ICPs are merely verticalized clouds for a specific industry as opposed to revolutionary new tools. What's actually happening is a shift from generalized global system integrators to more specialized partners with expertise in a specific vertical. Rather than an industry cloud specialization, expect to see more service specialization in 2024. — Danny Allan, CTO, Veeam
Cloud Data Costs to Escalate
The pace at which companies are leveraging AI is not slowing down and as a result, cloud data costs are going to continue to escalate because the skills of those who are creating the AI code varies dramatically. While almost every organization has their most skilled people who know how to write efficient code, more often than not, the people who are writing AI code are not doing it in the most cost-efficient way. When data platforms were on-premises, it did not matter as much, but now that companies are on the cloud, the volume of inefficient code can make innovation cost-prohibitive. — Kunal Agarwal, CEO and co-founder, Unravel Data
Cloud Solutions Are Helping Drive Recruiting Efforts
It's harder to attract young talent into the energy industry, and many industry veterans are leaving the workforce and taking their knowledge with them. That's where cloud solutions make a real differentiator, playing a key role in sustaining operations to continue to grow and thrive in this very competitive marketplace. — Duncan McDonald, SVP of Upstream and Renewables, Quorum Software
Businesses Will Hire FinOps Experts to Improve Cloud Optimization
FinOps has emerged in the last few years as an important framework for gaining visibility into and managing cloud spend. With the economic slowdown continuing to affect businesses, we're seeing a significant uptick in FinOps adoption. Expect to see the integration of FinOps experts across finance and IT/cloud teams, whether hired internally or outsourced to a third-party provider, to help organizations develop and support their cost optimization strategy. — Tom Monk, Senior Director of Product Management, Navisite
What's Driving Cloud Investments
Organizations have had to rethink their cost structures in the current economic climate, which has shifted their approach to modernization. We're seeing investments in cloud and digital technologies driven less by long-scale, multi-year transformation roadmaps and more by near-term, measurable outcomes these technologies can deliver in terms of cost management, automation of business decisions, and efficient operations. These investments can help companies continue to create business value and maintain growth in 2024. — Mark Clayman, CEO, Navisite
Approaching the Next Generation of Edge Computing
As generative AI models are trained and use cases expand, in 2024 we will enter the next generation of edge and scaled computing through the demands of inference (putting the generative AI models to work locally). AI-driven supercomputing environments and databases will not stop or get smaller as they require 24/7 runtime, but they may seek to be closer to the end user in contrast to the large model training locations that can be asynchronously located. While this evolution is certainly something to watch, the next-generation computing at the edge is still underway and likely another one to two years from materializing and understanding what it will actually look like, but we believe modern, state-of-the-art power-dense data centers will be required to support. — Tom Traugott, SVP of Strategy, EdgeCore Digital Infrastructure
Companies Will Embrace Multi-Cloud Strategies, Steering Clear of Hyperscaler Lock-In
Pursuing multi-cloud and hybrid cloud setups have already become the norm, but there will be substantially more companies embracing multi-cloud over the next three years. This shift will stimulate a growing abstraction layer to manage multi-cloud environments and will require enterprises to steer clear of technologies from hyperscalers, which would ultimately lead to lock-in, inhibit cloud portability, and become a roadblock to managing multi-cloud. — Spencer Kimball, co-founder and CEO, Cockroach Labs
Business-Critical Apps Need to Be Multi-Cloud
Regulatory pressures and the recognition of cloud concentration risk mean more business-critical applications will need to be truly multi-cloud, able to operate across — and failover between — multiple clouds. Organizations with applications that must be "always on" increasingly recognize they need to be able to protect against cloud provider outages by resuming operations in another cloud with a reasonable Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Distributed databases built on asynchronous replication make this possible — with the added benefit of providing bidirectional data replication between clouds. — Phillip Merrick, co-founder and CEO, pgEdge
AI Apps Add More Value to the Edge
As organizations deploy newly developed AI applications, they will see in many cases the need for inference to happen at or closer to the edge, avoiding network latency. The compute resources required by AI applications are significant, and response times are significantly worse for users who are geographically remote from where the application stack is running. Placing vector databases (such as Postgres with pgvector) and the actual models (if possible) at or near to the edge where the end users are connecting can dramatically reduce response times. — Phillip Merrick, co-founder and CEO, pgEdge
Migration From Private to Public Clouds
Due to high performance, enhanced reliability, business agility and cost efficiency, companies and organizations of all sizes will continue to migrate from private clouds to public clouds, eliminating the need to invest in hardware and software to maintain the infrastructure and enabling allocation of resources to business development. — Agur Jõgi, CTO, Pipedrive
AI and Machine Learning Will Go Full Cloud-Native
CPU-based Kubernetes clusters will be extended for containerized services and models to run on GPU-based clusters. Principles of cloud engineering and architecture will be transferred to the GPU world so that developers who are already using Kubernetes and container registries for app development on CPUs will be empowered to shift their development efforts to GPUs. — Kevin Cochrane, CMO, Vultr
Cloud Cost Optimization Will Be More Strategic in 2024
In 2024, cloud cost optimization will become more strategic. Beyond tactical cost management, such as rightsizing and adopting spot instances, organizations will undertake more strategic evaluations and optimizations. These will modernize and optimize cloud-deployed systems for cost-efficiency, with some workloads potentially reverting to on-premises. Cloud ROI depends on holistic optimization spanning architecture designs, cost monitoring, negotiations with cloud vendors, and continuous re-evaluation. — Haoyuan Li, Founder and CEO, Alluxio
Evolution of Cloud Security in 2024
- Zero trust: The adoption of zero trust security principles is likely to continue, emphasizing the need for continuous verification and authentication of all users and devices, regardless of their location.
- Edge security: As edge computing becomes more widespread, safeguarding data and applications at the edge will become paramount. This necessitates implementing security measures to protect data that's generated and accessed from anywhere at any time.
- Power of AI and machine learning: Continuing the explosion of AI-powered services and capabilities, cloud security will see an increased reliance on AI and machine learning, empowering automated detection, response, and remediation of threats. Solutions powered by AI can analyze extensive datasets, recognizing patterns and anomalies that signal potential security risks.
- Hybrid architecture: Numerous organizations, especially those operating within heavily regulated industries, will find greater advantages in maintaining an on-premises setup or adopting a hybrid architecture. This approach retains fully functional on-premises components, catering to regulatory needs, cost considerations, and risk preferences. This trend is anticipated to persist due to these factors. — Rodman Ramezanian, Global Cloud Threat Lead, Skyhigh Security
Shift Toward On-Premises Infrastructure
- Concerns about cloud costs: The cost of cloud computing can be significant, and many organizations are finding that it is more cost-effective to bring their workloads back on-premises. This will continue in 2024.
- Data security and privacy concerns: Organizations are increasingly concerned about the security and privacy of their data in the cloud. On-premises infrastructures tend to give organizations more control over their data.
- The rise of hybrid cloud solutions: Many organizations will continue to adopt hybrid cloud solutions, which combine on-premises infrastructure with cloud-based services. This gives organizations the best of both worlds: the cost-effectiveness and scalability of the cloud, with the security and control of on-premises infrastructure. — Rodman Ramezanian, Global Cloud Threat Lead, Skyhigh Security
Cloud Infrastructure + Cost Benefits Will Persuade Previous Holdouts on Cloud Migration
In 2024, organizations that haven't yet migrated workloads to the cloud out of fear or budget consciousness will do it from an infrastructure-first approach — not a SaaS-based one. The path of least resistance (and most ROI) for budget-conscious, risk-averse organizations that have been procrastinating on cloud migration will be choosing an IaaS service that helps them reduce infrastructure and maintenance costs. Not every cloud solution can be solved by a SaaS model — and even the early adopters will recalibrate their cloud strategies to ensure their approach is helping them meet their specific needs around streamlining infrastructure (IaaS), optimizing application development (PaaS), or accessing ready-made software (SaaS). As more organizations question and refit their cloud data management strategies, IaaS will probably provide them with the most bang for their buck in 2024. — Heath Thompson, President & GM, Quest Software
Making a Case for Multi-Cloud
For years we have talked about multi-cloud, whether it was for redundancy, global coverage, or risk mitigation. Historically, customers either picked a single cloud to standardize or made a workload-based decision on what cloud was best. We are starting to see multi-cloud take the best parts of each cloud to serve a single workload. In the past this was an ineffective way to deploy multi-cloud infrastructure, but competition amongst cloud providers is making this a reality. Each cloud has its advantages and disadvantages, and we see customers unwilling to sacrifice and leveraging the strengths of each cloud provider. — Scott White, Chief Operating & Revenue Officer, DoiT international
Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management in 2024
The complexity of managing access entitlements to cloud infrastructures has grown exponentially as organizations migrate to and expand their multi-cloud portfolios. Through cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM), this complexity is addressed by providing granular visibility into identities and their entitlements. Intricacies of cloud permissions might be beyond the scope of traditional Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) solutions, which were originally designed for on-premises infrastructures. By focusing on cloud-specific entitlements, CIEM allows organizations to minimize potential attack vectors and ensure the security posture in the cloud. Through CIEM, IGA's capabilities are amplified, enabling it to adapt to and be robust in the cloud-centric era. — Debanjali Ghosh, Technical Evangelist, ManageEngine
The As-a-Service Model Will Take Off in Enterprise Networking
2023 has been a turning point for cloud-based as-a-service delivery models, which enterprises are realizing is just as easy to consume as all the other SaaS applications they have come to rely on. We've seen firsthand how much interest has soared over the last 12 months, and it is clear that this is the future of the networking space. Customers have been raving about the ease of use, cost savings, and increased agility and performance that this model delivers, compared to traditional networking where organizations had to purchase, install, and manage their own network infrastructure. With shrinking staffs and IT leaders being asked to do more with less (yet again!), the as-a-service model for networking is going to continue to be a vital component for the next generation of enterprise success. — Amir Khan, co-founder and CEO, and Atif Khan, co-founder and CTO, Alkira
Cloud Traffic Will Increase and Data Center Traffic Will Remain Flat
Today, the majority of enterprise traffic is going toward IaaS and SaaS applications, with no signs of this trend slowing down. According to Gartner, "There is sufficient spending within data center markets to maintain existing on-premises data centers, but new spending has shifted to cloud options." In other words, physical data centers will continue to exist, but they will stop growing. The cloud, on the other hand, will continue to grow, as will the need for data to stay in private networks. With so much traffic now going to the cloud, it will be imperative for cloud providers to extend their footprints as close to end users as possible. Even for organizations that are relying on one cloud provider, they require a private network for each region they're in. If cloud providers are not properly set up for the way traffic patterns are shifting, they'll quickly need to course-correct to maintain market share with modern enterprises. This is why cloud services providers that sit on top of the hyperscalers are in a favorable position to help enterprises optimize performance and security. — Amir Khan, co-founder and CEO, and Atif Khan, co-founder and CTO, Alkira
The Convergence of Network, Cloud, and Security Teams Will Accelerate
In today's day and age, networking is no longer just about connecting point A to point B. It's become a lot more complex, where cloud is involved and security is expected to be integrated inside of the network. We are moving away from the days where network, cloud, and security teams function in their own silos. These teams now have to be fully connected, working in unison to solve today's toughest challenges, and enterprises are beginning to realize this on a larger scale. While it may be tempting for some organizations to try to consolidate these functions under a single person or group as another way to reduce costs, we don't anticipate this happening en masse. Network, cloud, and security professionals each possess unique skills that would be difficult for a single person or group to acquire and maintain at the highest level. Combining the skills of the best network, cloud, and security professionals is going to be a lot more beneficial for an organization's bottom line than having someone in a broader position that tries to balance the responsibilities of all three. — Amir Khan, co-founder and CEO, and Atif Khan, co-founder and CTO, Alkira
For more 2024 trends stories, check out the list below:
- 5 Software Development Trends to Watch in 2024
- 6 Key Predictions Shaping the Future of IT Operations in 2024
- Cloud Computing Predictions 2024: What to Expect From FinOps, AI
- IT Industry Anti-Predictions: Tech Trends We Won't See in 2024
- 5 Tech Trends That *WON'T* Happen in 2024
About the authorRick Dagley is senior editor at ITPro Today, covering IT operations and management, cloud computing, edge computing, software development and IT careers. Previously, he was a longtime editor at PCWeek/eWEEK, with stints at Computer Design and Telecommunications magazines before that.