These days, companies with an ever-growing IT infrastructure are often inclined to move at least some part of it to the cloud. First of all, this is due to economic efficiency: according to the independent source, Gitnux, 84% of businesses that adopt the cloud have reduced computing costs.
However, since cloud computing technologies are actively developing today, we can get many more benefits than just economic efficiency. That’s why we decided to dedicate this article to an overview of 24 cloud technology trends that will be relevant throughout 2024 and will help you go beyond the benefits already mentioned.
In a nutshell, cloud computing means digital services (for storage, processing, analysis, and other operations with data) that are accessible via the internet, that is, in the cloud. Since the server capacity that ensures their operation is on the supplier’s side, they simplify the implementation of innovations, ensure rapid adaptation to new market conditions, and facilitate the scaling of businesses with minimal investment.
At the same time, there are different models according to which companies can access these services. Let’s consider the most widespread of them.
This type of cloud computing platform means that a company receives any software products it needs through an internet connection. A specific example of a SaaS model is Google Drive within a Google Cloud solution.
This service provides a company with a lease of computing resources in the form of a virtual infrastructure, including servers, storage systems, virtual switches, and routers. Thus, a cloud computing infrastructure becomes a true copy of the physical environment.
PaaS means that a company receives a fully-fledged virtual platform that includes various tools and services that can be customized to suit this company’s needs—for example, for software testing or automating a control system.
Since the IT infrastructure of companies based on cloud services is radically different from the physical one, it has a variety of unique advantages, including:
Along with all the advantages, the introduction of cloud technology trends can also bring a number of problems, including:
So, what are the top cloud technology trends for 2024? Let’s consider each of these cloud computing trends in detail.
Data fabric is a centralized data management structure that allows organizations to access their data from any endpoint in a hybrid cloud environment. Data fabric uses technologies and services to enrich data and increase its usefulness for end users.
This cloud’s latest technology is growing in popularity as organizations move to digital storage methods, which can be complicated enough due to using numerous locations with different access levels.
Data fabric accelerates data and analytics lifecycles and leads to global success in AI, machine learning, and analytics innovation. It also addresses data isolation issues, provides insight into customer needs, optimizes compliance with data security regulations, and increases data availability.
This cloud computing trend doesn’t include all the applications running in the cloud—these are apps that were originally created in the cloud and don’t require compatibility with the software environment where they will operate.
The advantages of such applications, in addition to compatibility, include fault tolerance, scalability, and centralized manageability. On the other hand, there are not so many specialists in the cloud services market yet who are able to build an application according to this model.
Companies that have moved most or all of their IT infrastructure to the cloud may find it difficult to manage their costs over time. In particular, they may be faced with the need to pay for entities that are used rarely, or whose functionality duplicates what is already embodied in actively used ones.
That’s why, regardless of the size of your business, it’s so important to revise an existing cloud business model to properly assess what exactly your money is spent on, how rational it is, and whether it can be optimized in any way.
Specialists will audit the existing infrastructure of your enterprise and select the best options for optimization and advancements, or help choose the optimal service model for building a cloud system if you decide to migrate your local system to the cloud.
Edge computing helps to keep data and computing power closer to the business owner’s devices or data sources. Instead of the traditional way of processing data in remote data centers, you will get the opportunity to place the cloud on your side, on the “edge” of the network. This approach eliminates latency, saves bandwidth, and improves data security.
Edge computing provides the distribution of computing resources and application services over a communication channel through a decentralized computing infrastructure, thus ensuring that computing needs of any level are met. Moreover, with edge computing, all operations to collect data or respond to user actions are performed in real-time. This means that you get high performance on a permanent basis and can significantly reduce operating costs (especially in the context of implementing solutions that must comply with multiple privacy and security policies).
The public cloud is exactly the kind of cloud business model that comes with partnering with popular service providers like AWS or Azure. In this case, you are actually renting a piece of distributed data center infrastructure.Public clouds are cost-effective due to scaling (horizontal and vertical) and elasticity. They are also fully automated, so enterprise data centers are rarely able to compete on price or performance—in the case of the cloud, you don’t need to purchase your own data center hardware. And finally, the public cloud is a reliable business model, primarily due to the distribution of services across multiple data centers.
As for hybrid cloud, this is a model for sharing private and public cloud platforms. It’s suitable for forming a combination of any cloud solutions running in local and remote environments. The main advantage of a hybrid cloud is its flexibility. In particular, to gain flexibility as a competitive advantage, your business may need a combination of public clouds, private clouds, and enterprise-owned resources. Also, hybrid cloud will be the best solution in cases of dynamic workloads. In this case, you can use the easily-scalable public cloud for dynamic workloads, leaving more sensitive workloads in the private cloud or your own data center. In addition, you can store sensitive financial or customer information in a private cloud and use the public cloud to run other enterprise applications. As for business benefits, hybrid cloud can help streamline big data operations by leveraging Big Data analytics with highly scalable public cloud resources, and private cloud to secure and protect sensitive big data with a firewall.
The last trending solution is multi-cloud. This is an organizational strategy for the IT infrastructure of companies that involves the use of multiple clouds, cloud services, and other computing resources from different providers. This is done to avoid possible dependence on a single cloud service provider. For example, with this cloud trend, a company can rent VPS/VDS servers from one provider, use colocation from another, and host data for collaboration—for example, in a public cloud from their competitor. Unlike hybrid cloud, which we discussed above, multi-cloud doesn’t require the use of a private cloud or coordinated operations between different clouds. As for the benefits, multi-cloud allows you to use the best of existing cloud providers and guarantee maximum fault tolerance.
Cloud automation is the process of using orchestration to align workloads and distribute workloads across cloud computing resources automatically. Cloud automation helps organizations quickly deploy new projects without the time-consuming process of purchasing their own hardware.
This trend allows the implementation of cloud resources, including servers and network storage resources, without human intervention. As a rule, specialists use software tools that interact with hardware resources. At the same time, the software layer implements policies for distributing and balancing workloads, maintaining activity, and selecting computing nodes depending on the availability of hardware. System administrators can use cloud automation tools to receive alerts for any errors that may occur, as well as telemetry and system-level information to make informed decisions about workload distribution and performance optimization.
In essence, this is a decoupling of the cloud from a specific user or consumer scenario. So instead of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, you can choose from a variety of user scenarios exactly those that best meet your business needs.
From a technological point of view, cloud agnosticism implies the introduction of virtualization technologies that help to abstract physical resources from the tasks being performed. Thus, the tasks of different levels—from backup to the creation of platforms—are solved simply in the context of this concept, leaving the tasks related to the management of computing power outside the field of user thinking. Cloud agnosticism is typically based on software-defined technologies, hybrid deployment models, and end-to-end automation.
In a nutshell, this is a method of providing server resources when enterprises remotely receive a simplified environment for programming. It allows them to deploy new apps without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. The peculiarity of serverless computing is that computing cloud resources (not only servers, but also storage systems, networks, software, and platform services) are provided automatically, in the amount that is needed to complete a specific task.
The cloud automatically distributes these resources between enterprises, providing each of them with the required amount of computing power or services. This enables IT departments to focus on the development or improvement of the business logic, speed up time-to-market, and increase profitability. As for business owners, they can optimize their resources and get more time to innovate current workflows.
The human cloud is a new way to achieve high productivity. The duties of one employee according to this model are distributed among people throughout the world. Thus, the traditional format of interaction between the employer and the employee is being transformed into separate projects or tasks performed outside the office and on request by independent workers.
Such clouds eliminate talent shortages, reduce unemployment, and create a global employment network where workers are rewarded solely on merit, regardless of their gender, race, education, or location. At the same time, companies receive labor resources at minimal associated costs.
Note that human clouds require recruiter management to ensure quality compliance with labor standards.
Even in the era of advanced network security tools, companies still feel the need to implement additional powerful security solutions, even when it comes to security on the side of a trusted cloud provider. And this is where a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) software, as one of the most promising cloud computing trends, can come to the rescue.
Specifically, being an intermediate link between cloud service users and cloud applications, it controls activities and ensures compliance with security policies and rules in the cloud infrastructure. Initially, CASB systems were developed to provide access control and meet cloud computing security standards for applications under the SaaS model. Now, the capabilities of this cloud computing trend are also available for PaaS and IaaS platforms.
Learn more about the most advanced digital security practices here.
The vertical cloud is another trending concept that is tailored to the needs of a specific business model or niche. It meets the requirements of security, fault tolerance, performance, data storage, and data transfer standards that are specific to a particular industry.
Speaking of existing vendors, Azure and AWS have been practicing this cloud model with government agencies for several years now. In particular, it’s their cloud services that are used by large representatives of such niches as healthcare, banking, the Internet of Things, self-driving cars, etc.
As one of the most significant trends in cloud computing, cloud services can bring a powerful competitive advantage for companies that must constantly maneuver between frequently changing trends in their niche and the associated fluctuations in their target audiences.
Indeed, cloud vendors’ services allow businesses to instantly adapt to changes in consumer demand and provide many additional highly intelligent tools for real time analytics. This can give them the flexibility they need and, as a result, increase their competitiveness.
Docker and Kubernetes are some of the most popular solutions for containerization and orchestration of applications across multiple runtimes.
The use of these two trends in cloud computing is a fairly common DevOps practice, which, in turn, is typical to cloud-native environments. Overall, these tools help businesses that continually produce software solutions streamline this process and make it seamless and fast.
Many well-known cloud providers such as Google Cloud, IBM Watson, AWS, and Azure, along with cloud services, have a wide range of ready-made, customizable models based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Thus, companies can implement these trends in cloud computing in their business operations without putting significant effort into developing and training them from scratch.
The next point in our list of cloud computing trends is a citizen developer concept. Specifically, due to the rapid popularization of cloud services, many software suppliers have transferred their solutions to the web. At the same time, the cloud nature of these solutions has allowed suppliers to transform them in such a way that their configuration was accessible to people with no programming experience. Actually, these people are called citizen developers—one of the greatest trends in cloud computing.
To be more precise, to make cloud services more accessible to a wider range of companies, in 2024, cloud providers are expected to make their solutions less reliant on programming languages for customization. This approach will allow even small businesses that are just starting their path to succeed in introducing innovations.
So, in 2024, this approach will make digital transformation even more democratic for small and medium-sized businesses.
A service mesh, one of the coolest cloud computing trends, is a configurable, low-latency infrastructure layer that is needed to handle large volumes of network-based inter-process communications between APIs. It provides fast, reliable, and secure interaction between containerized services along with a number of additional features, such as service discovery, load balancing, encryption, transparency, authentication, and circuit breaker support.
Due to the availability of cloud services, many companies often abuse their use, not realizing that it can be more rational in terms of energy consumption. However, because of worsening greenhouse gas concerns, in 2024, they may become more focused on optimizing their energy costs, even if the bulk of them falls onto the shoulders of their cloud computing providers. In particular, calculating idle hours and periods with reduced performance requirements, as well as identifying services that are only needed occasionally can lay a strong foundation for them going green.
To overcome the privacy and security issues typical of cloud-based solutions, they can be effectively integrated with the blockchain. In particular, when a cloud is integrated with a blockchain, the different clouds are considered as nodes, which is a typical structure for a blockchain. In this case, all nodes located in the same network exchange data with each other so that each node contains a copy of transactions.
When transferring IT infrastructure to a cloud computing platform, companies receive the opportunity to set up complex scenarios for backup and auto-recovery of their digital operations in emergency situations. At the same time, they do not need to invest in local software and equipment that would protect them against costly downtime.
Because Internet of Things solutions often involve collecting raw data from disparate sources in real time, there is hardly a more cost-effective solution than the cloud platform for storing and processing this data. Thus, in 2024, we can expect these two technologies to increasingly appear together.
This type of cloud platform is based exclusively on open source software and technologies. At the same time, such clouds can be public, private, or hybrid, and based on SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and other models. Companies that choose an open source cloud for their business needs get more flexible customization than is allowed in proprietary solutions. We also note that open source cloud solutions are compatible with any server platforms and can be transferred to new IT infrastructures and environments without any problems.
As some businesses increasingly rely on real-time data, they need powerful tools to store, organize, and process it. This is an area where cloud computing can provide invaluable assistance, given that there is no need to implement these tools from scratch and deploy them on-premises.
The main point of cloud gaming is that players no longer need to buy discs or install games on their personal devices. Instead, they can play through a remote server. In fact, running cloud games in a browser is not much different from running games downloaded to a physical device. However, this is more convenient since now, players are not tied to a location or a specific device. Overall, this trend is believed to give users an enriched gaming experience.
Being one of the most unobvious cloud computing trends, DevSecOps is a technique for integrating security principles into the continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment pipeline. Implementing DevOps values while ensuring software security means that this process becomes an integral part of the development process. In the context of use in cloud infrastructures, DevSecOps brings a number of benefits, from reducing business costs to faster software development.
Of course, in this article, we have not described all the existing predictions about the future of cloud trends—in fact, there are many more ways to integrate cloud services into your business. However, we are confident that these 24 top cloud computing trends are the ones that can best meet today’s business needs and ensure the most rapid growth and economic efficiency in the current market conditions. If you are looking for a team to implement best cloud practices in your business, contact us right now, and we will use our expertise to modernize your workflows in the most cost-efficient way.
Artur is passionate about shaping the future of cloud architecture and driving innovation in enterprise solutions. He adeptly empowers businesses to thrive in fast-paced environments, skillfully leveraging the power of serverless technologies to optimize cloud economics.
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