In 2022, the cloud will see new technologies that will change how it works. These technologies will help improve cloud implementations and make it easier for businesses to adopt the cloud. Cloud services will also be more closely tied to business value, meaning companies will get more out of using the cloud. Cloud adoption is increasing quickly as businesses want to be more agile, and flexible, and have an advantage over their competitors. Infrastructure & operation professionals who are focused on the cloud need to design a secure and scalable architecture. Gartner reveals six key technical planning trends for cloud and edge computing in 2022 that I&O leaders must consider.
1. Cloud teams will optimize for business outcomes rather than technical implementation
Technical professionals sometimes do not think about how their work affects the business. However, cloud services can help a business become more agile and more likely to be successful. Cloud technical professionals must work quickly to meet the business’s need for urgency.
In 2022, therefore, cloud technical professionals must:
Develop a strategic cloud operating model
Create a formal organizational structure to facilitate collaboration between IT and business to ultimately lead to greater cloud adoption.
Prioritize the cloud adoption framework
Instead of adopting cloud for some use cases, organizations must permanently shut down some or all of their on-premises infrastructure capacity. For this, start with a well-planned and structured approach for cloud adoption that can avoid potential complexities and common pitfalls.
Mitigate risks created by suboptimal cloud adoption
Technical professionals should identify risks early and develop mitigation strategies to bring them down to an acceptable level. If they want to speed up their adoption of the cloud, it’s important to identify any potential risks and problems early on. This will help them prioritize the development of processes that will make the transition smoother while keeping the data safe.
2. Hybrid and multicloud adoption will increase operational complexity and cost
Many organizations will have a major public cloud provider by 2022. They will add a second cloud provider to their business to get more applications, or to reduce the risk of using one provider. This may include using the secondary provider’s primary public regions, getting an on-premises cloud, or doing both. However, each new platform tends to increase costs and complexity.
In 2022, cloud technical professionals must:
Reduce cost and complexity by prioritizing a primary strategic provider
Sometimes businesses have requirements that can’t be met by one cloud provider. When this happens, they can add more providers. The providers will be added in an organized way, based on specific business needs.
Exploit each provider’s native capabilities to the fullest
Cloud benefits are maximized when organizations fully exploit the provider’s native capabilities. These capabilities deliver differentiated value that attracts customers to the cloud. Technical capabilities, processes and tools, employee skills, and ecosystem dependencies create cloud provider “lock-in”.
Rearchitect networks to integrate across cloud providers
Technical professionals must rearchitect multicloud networks to remove dependencies on individual cloud providers’ tools and legacy mindsets that are driven by data center networks. It is important to establish a network architecture based on workload requirements, instead of the features available in a given cloud provider’s offerings.
3. Business resilience will be built into the application architecture
In 2022, cloud technical professionals must build resilience at the application layer and not the infrastructure layer. The focus of IT resilience must now be on resilient application architectures, rather than infrastructure failure domains. In 2022, cloud technical professionals should:
Focus on IT resilience rather than individual service continuity
In the realm of IT resilience, it is not sufficient to design and plan for recovery or to just protect data. Resilience is a business differentiator. If I&O leaders are able to continue their business when competitors suffer through delays and downtimes, then their IT services have created an opportunity to put forth the superiority of their product.
Build application-level resilience for containers and Kubernetes
The Kubernetes platform is now the foundation for containerized applications both on-premises and in the public cloud. It is possible to protect stateful data in Kubernetes using traditional infrastructure-driven techniques. However, merely backing up and replicating stateful data will not suffice. Therefore, IT organizations need a Kubernetes-centric data protection strategy.
Redesign isolated recovery environments (IREs) for defense-in-depth against new ransomware threats
Most organizations’ backup services cannot recover from ransomware. Perpetrators will often target the backup servers, or backup images/repositories themselves, to prevent restores from backups. An immutable data vault (IDV) and IREs safeguard backups against ransomware and insider attacks.
4. Distributed cloud will displace private and hybrid cloud initiatives
Distributed cloud is a new, growing market. Solutions are evolving quickly. So far, it has been adopted mostly by niche groups who need its specific benefits. In 2022, it will improve and be used more in new ways for different purposes. As an answer to the problems with hybrid and private clouds, distributed clouds will become more common and accepted as the standard way to operate for many organizations.
In 2022, cloud technical professionals should:
Enable hybrid architectures with distributed cloud
With distributed cloud, there is no need to spend time and effort building an infrastructure, instead it can be acquired from a vendor. Any distributed cloud approach will have a common operating model for both on-premises and cloud infrastructure, breaking down a silo that exists in many IT organizations today.
Rethink connectivity between locations and devices
The emerging distributed cloud and edge infrastructure models require a distributed network that consumes less time and bandwidth while being reliable and secure.
Transform the data center into an edge location
The data center must transform into an edge location, which is a peer of both cloud and remote-office infrastructure, rather than the central warehouse of all applications and data.
5. Containers and serverless will become an infrastructure foundation for application platforms
Cloud computing is becoming more common in how we develop and run applications. Therefore, container and serverless technologies are becoming more popular as they enable efficient use of resources. This makes applications faster, easier to manage, and less expensive to operate.
In 2022, cloud technical professionals should:
Optimize applications for cloud-native architecture with containers and serverless
Serverless platforms automatically perform all necessary provisioning to execute the code required to perform a task. When consumed in the public cloud, serverless container platforms enable truly on-demand consumption.
Use container self-service platforms for DevOps and other use cases
The easiest way to use a container orchestration platform in production is to use a managed platform in the public cloud. This means that there is no need to build or support the container orchestration platform.
Leverage provider-native container services to optimize cost and capacity
Public cloud services offer different choices for deploying containers. Some now offer serverless container platforms where the cloud provider builds and operates the Kubernetes control plane, removing that burden from the end user.
6. The crisis-level skills gap will compromise cloud innovation and execution
In IT organizations are new skills to be acquired, new roles to navigate, and new responsibilities to take on. However, technical professionals have not acquired cloud skills fast enough to satisfy the growing demand for cloud services. The lack of cloud skills has reached crisis levels in many organizations. IT organizations will have to grow public cloud skills internally.
In 2022, I&O technical professionals must:
Prioritize Kubernetes and DevOps skills development
Kubernetes and DevOps are the skills in the highest demand for I&O technical professionals. Kubernetes has become the industry standard for moving applications to the cloud, and DevOps techniques have become the gold standard for automating infrastructure and modernizing management.
Build a talent-enablement program
A talent enablement program (TEP) is a new concept to most IT organizations. The program is designed to promote and develop the necessary skills and cultivate the necessary roles within the IT organization.
Find creative ways to bridge the skills gap
There are many ways to close the skills gap without making trade-offs. For example, organizations can look to their existing cloud community of practice (CoP). The cloud CoP can be a valuable place to find internal candidates for cloud roles. Pairing is an effective way of growing cloud skills. Insourcing previously outsourced tasks can also help to build internal cloud skills.
This blog post talked about many planning considerations for I&O leaders. However, they should set priorities based on their own specific needs. We hope the priority-setting framework we discussed in this blog can help them figure out what is most important and implement them.