'Tis the season for analysts, bloggers, and everyone else with an opinion to predict what's going to happen in the coming year in the world of tech. So far, many of the predictions I've seen for cloud computing in particular center on trends — such as increased demand for AI-friendly cloud infrastructure and growth of hybrid cloud — that seem obvious, if a bit unimaginative.
In this post, I'd like to offer some alternative fare in the form of cloud predictions for 2024 that you're less likely to encounter elsewhere. Read on for a look at upcoming cloud computing you might have missed.
- FinOps Will Continue to Impact the Cloud Market
- Demand for AI Infrastructure Peaks, Then Declines
- Custom Silicon Heats Up
- Disruption in the Private Cloud Market
1. FinOps Will Continue to Impact the Cloud Market
They'll accomplish this by embracing FinOps, a practice that aims to reduce cloud spending without compromising on cloud performance. FinOps has been a thing for several years, but ongoing economic turbulence, combined with a widespread realization that the cloud doesn't automatically translate to lower total infrastructure costs, is likely to make FinOps an increasingly important trend in the new year and beyond.
2. Demand for AI Infrastructure Peaks, Then Declines
AI is on everyone's mind, and as I mentioned above, plenty of folks think that AI will exert a major impact on the cloud market in 2024 as more businesses seek infrastructure that can handle AI workloads.
I don't fully disagree, but I think that demand for AI-friendly cloud platforms is nearing its peak and it could actually start to decline within the coming year. The reason why is that I don't believe most organizations are going to deploy their own AI workloads; they will purchase AI-as-a-service solutions because they will realize that building and training their own AI models is not worth the effort. And most of the companies that are in the business of offering AI services already have the infrastructure they need.
I'm not saying that AI will have no impact on the cloud market; resources such as GPU-enabled cloud infrastructure will be important to some businesses. But I am saying that AI is unlikely to turn out to be a game-changer for cloud computing, and 2024 may be the year when the hype on this front dies down.
3. Custom Silicon Heats Up
For years, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has offered virtual machine instances that use custom silicon, meaning special computer chips designed just for AWS. Recently, Microsoft Azure also got into this game by introducing custom chips for AI workloads. And there is reason to believe Google Cloud is not far behind.
So far, custom silicon offerings from cloud vendors haven't drawn too much attention, but there's a good chance this will change in 2024. This year could be the one where cloud vendors' custom silicon solutions become key differentiators for their respective platforms. Custom silicon has the potential to save money, improve sustainability outcomes, and optimize the performance of particular types of workloads — all of which are things that businesses care deeply about at present.
4. Disruption in the Private Cloud Market
Private clouds are not as hip as they once were, but they're critical for businesses that can't or don't want to commit workloads to the public cloud.
Going into 2024, I think the private cloud market is in store for some disruption. Broadcom's recent acquisition of VMware, which is arguably the most important vendor in the private cloud realm, has the potential (whether rightly or wrongly) to create some anxiety among long-time VMware customers. More generally, a broad shift toward cloud-native architectures could entice more organizations to migrate from platforms like OpenStack to more modern alternatives like Kubernetes for managing private clouds.
To sum up, I expect a growing focus on cloud cost optimization, less-than-anticipated interest in AI cloud platforms, increasing demand for custom silicon, and changes to the private cloud world to define cloud computing trends for 2024.
The caveat, of course, is that I have no special information about cloud computing, and my predictions could be totally off-base. But sometimes I get things right — I predicted in 2016 that Red Hat would buy CoreOS, and I have the Slack message to prove it! — and I'm hoping this is one of those years.
How will these cloud predictions impact IT pros this year? Sound off below.
About the authorChristopher Tozzi is a technology analyst with subject matter expertise in cloud computing, application development, open source software, virtualization, containers and more. He also lectures at a major university in the Albany, New York, area. His book, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” was published by MIT Press.