It’s always difficult to predict what the future holds. But one thing seems fairly certain for the IT industry: the cloud services market will continue growing. According to Gartner, global cloud revenue is expected to increase from the $408 billion we saw in 2020 to over $474 billion in 2022.
The fact is that the cloud has become integral to the way many, if not most, organizations operate. It’s also a key enabler of digital transformation – an essential requirement for any organization that hopes to compete in an increasingly technology-driven world.
That’s why many analysts and industry pundits believe 2022 will be an optimal time for cloud services providers (CSPs), value-added resellers (VARs), and managed services providers (MSPs) to take advantage of key cloud trends to expand their services and better serve their customers. It will also be a great year for organizations that haven’t embraced the cloud yet to do so, and for those who are in the cloud to further leverage its benefits.
The following are a few trends we think will influence some of the decision-making regarding cloud adoption and service expansion.
If Gartner analysts are correct, by 2025, over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms compared to 30% in 2021. Given the timeline, 2022 will likely be a pivotal point for companies to go cloud native – something that’s been fully endorsed and supported by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).
While many apps can be modernized to run in the cloud, they won’t necessarily perform that well. Cloud apps, on the other hand, are architected to specifically leverage the cloud’s inherent qualities to increase speed, flexibility, and quality and to reduce deployment risks. They can scale horizontally on demand, support multiple environments and offer application portability.
Previously, most apps were developed as large monoliths. A single monolith would contain all the code for the business activities the app was to perform. Monolithic apps usually have complex coding and data integration requirements and are heavily coupled to existing systems and infrastructure. Making changes, as well as migrating and scaling them across new infrastructure, can be complex, time-consuming, and risky.
Cloud-native apps, on the other hand, are created as collections of independent, loosely coupled services. Functions are broken into microservices, which are independent components that run each app process as a service and communicate via application programming interfaces (APIs) or messaging.
Each microservice is independent of the rest and performs a single function. The individual services can be designed, tested, deployed, or replaced with no effects on the others. Work can be done by different teams without affecting each other’s work, so there’s less chance of delays.
For all the benefits of going cloud native, there are still some implications for organizations. For example, they’ll need to work with or employ developers well versed in using microservices and things like containers, container orchestration, agile development, and DevOps to optimize, accelerate and accommodate the processes involved. Not all organizations – or even third-party development companies – have that expertise.
Nonetheless, companies will continue adopting cloud-native technologies in public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. In 2022, we’ll likely also see more taking cloud-native apps to the edge. That will further facilitate the enhanced portability, more agility, faster development cycles and less vendor lock-in that cloud-native adoption delivers. It will require the industry to implement greater edge software standardization, so expect to see greater progress on that front as well in 2022.
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)
Another topic we expect to see trending in 2022 is secure access service edge (SASE). SASE is a network architecture that combines VPN and SD-WAN capabilities with cloud-native security functions such as firewalls, secure web gateways, and zero-trust network access.
The functions are provided in a single, integrated cloud service to deliver seamless, secure anytime, anywhere access. The idea is to bring security to the sessions, instead of bringing the sessions to the security.
Gartner estimates that end-user SASE spending in 2022 will reach $6.8 billion, up from $4.8 billion in 2021. By 2025, over 50% of organizations are expected to have solid SASE adoption strategies in place, up from less than 5% in 2020.
Moving to a SASE model won’t be an overnight process. IT departments will need to rethink how to connect a remote workforce to the distributed information resources they need. But because most traffic from branches and edge computing locations won’t go to an enterprise data center, IT professionals may opt for SASE to provide secure anytime access to wherever remote workforces are.
The Impact of 5G Technology
On the subject of networks, we’ve been hearing about 5G for some time. Although coverage is still limited, 2022 but may be the year it finally takes off. With speeds up to 1,000 times faster than those of 4G and with much lower latency, 5G technology is posed to have a broad impact.
The combination of high speed and reduced latency works well with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) apps. This should boost their development throughout 2022 as connectivity improvements make it less likely that apps will disconnect, and facilitate more seamless, immersive experiences.
IoT development should benefit as well. Enabling hundreds or thousands of devices to seamlessly communicate, 5G technologies should spur the creation of many more new apps and use cases in 2022 for industrial as well as home use.
The combination of increased speed and network capacity on 5G networks will enable larger amounts of data to be transmitted than was possible with 4G LTE networks. That will support greater use of big data analytics, so companies can more easily turn large volumes of data into actionable insights.
But what about the cloud? The potential is huge, beginning with the increase in the amount and speed of data that 5G can handle. The cloud provides scalable, on-demand resources to act on and store that data and the results it generates. Together, 5G and the cloud also can facilitate edge computing -- the practice of storing and processing data as close to the end-user as feasible. It’s estimated that by 2025 75% of enterprise data was processed on the edge, so 2022 is a good time to start getting the infrastructure and services in place.
What’s on Your 2022 Calendar
There are many more trends to watch for in 2022, but what really matters is what’s on your IT to-do list for the upcoming year. Is it a cloud migration? Implementing a data-in-defense strategy? Reviewing and updating your disaster recovery plan? Maybe some of the trends we mentioned will be relevant to your plans. Bottom line, whatever your IT needs and plans are and whether you’re a current or prospective customer, a partner or a company interested in partnering with us, US Signal may be able to help. Contact us to find out what we can do for you.