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Forecasts for cloud, software, edge, and Kubernetes in 2023

High-profile data breaches, proliferation of edge devices with hybrid working, and widespread cloud adoption have made their presence felt in 2022. As we bid farewell to the previous year and 2023 gets busy, here are my top predictions on the key developments and challenges that will impact organisations in the next 12 months.

There will be more scrutiny on cloud budgets in 2023

According to Veritas research, 94% of organisations globally are overspending on cloud and are going over their allocated cloud budgets by an average of 43%. As the amount of data continues to grow year over year, so does the cost of storing it in the cloud.

While the impulse given to cloud transformation initiatives is here to stay as businesses plan for post-pandemic recovery, it is becoming harder to justify the ballooning costs. Though most companies have realised advanced business strategies through cloud adoption, CEOs and boards will increasingly demand transparency surrounding the ROI of cloud spend.

With many economists predicting a continued downturn, scrutiny on IT spending is expected to intensify further in 2023, putting pressure on IT leaders to justify their cloud budgets while identifying new ways to reduce data volumes. This could lead to more effective data storage and management strategies, such as deduplication techniques to ensure reduced storage consumption.

Supply chain shortages to put pressure on software vendors

Software has been at the forefront of innovation, with software-only vendors delivering new solutions quickly to the market. However, a lack of hardware availability will make that a challenge in 2023.

Geopolitical restrictions and chip shortages have severely impacted the supply chain, especially when it comes to delivering hardware. As a result of these delays and an inability to source hardware on time, customers have struggled to implement software and hardware together to create functional solutions.

To counteract these supply chain woes, in 2023, we expect customers to embrace cloud-based solutions and appliances – with hardware and software already bundled together – rather than having to manage multiple relationships and wait for the hardware to arrive.

The ongoing geopolitical challenges and economic uncertainty have accentuated the growing demand for a reliable and accessible supply chain ecosystem across the APAC region. Organisations looking to rethink their supply chain model — such as deploying autonomous, cloud-first optimised solutions with flexibility to manage the entire data protection estate, on-prem and in the cloud, from a single pane of glass — will be better able to ensure business continuity by responding more accurately to the needs of their customers with greater agility and flexibility.

Cross-cloud data mobility will become mainstream

The deployment of multi-cloud is on the rise. Across the APAC region, 93% of companies are embracing a multi-cloud strategy. While there are countless benefits to a multi-cloud strategy, such as flexibility and agility, interoperability continues to be a challenge for data managers.

Not only is it expensive to move data from cloud to cloud, but when clouds don’t work together seamlessly, this creates silos within an organisation and can introduce major security vulnerabilities without a unified view and control of the entire data estate.

To keep up with the pace of cloud offerings and achieve business-driven cloud goals, businesses will start leveraging AI/ML and autonomous solutions to help mitigate the challenges of siloed workloads and enhance cloud interoperability through data portability. As organisations work to address interoperability challenges and gain more control in the cloud, cross-cloud data mobility will become more mainstream in 2023.

More edge devices mean more vulnerabilities

Gartner predicts that by 2025, more than 50% of enterprise-managed data will be created and processed outside the data centre or cloud. In Asia Pacific, edge computing is gaining speed as an important frontier for enterprise innovation and competitive differentiation.

Adoption is rising across the region and usage will only grow moving forward, with more people connected by multiple devices across different locations for working, learning or entertaining from home. According to IDC , worldwide enterprise and service provider spending on edge hardware, software, and services is projected to reach US$274 billion by 2025.

As more data processing moves to the edge, it complicates IT architecture and increases the attack surface. What’s more, enterprises often don’t apply the same level of protection to the edge as they do in the data centre or the cloud, often due to skills and staffing shortages.

To fully protect the enterprise, each of these edge devices needs to be protected and backed up. On top of that, organisations need to determine what data coming from edge devices is critical versus non-critical to maintain storage and protection costs, understanding the added scrutiny on IT budgets.

Kubernetes goes mission-critical 

Over the last 24 months, Kubernetes has become mainstream. The rise of the hybrid working world has created the demand for multi-cloud flexibility, with an increased deployment of Kubernetes.

Containers are now being adopted in mission critical environments, meaning that the application environment and the underlying data in these environments now needs protection. Now, ownership and protection of these containers have become more complex, creating silos and confusion over if it’s the backup admin or the DevOps admin that’s responsible.

At the same time, organisations are struggling to identify which containers to back up and how to do so. This will likely lead to more investment in training to help close the Kubernetes skills gap.

Kubernetes has emerged as a convenient solution, as it is easy for enterprises to deploy. Furthermore, it quickly improves affordability, flexibility and scalability. However, the data protection strategies in Kubernetes environments have not evolved in parallel with deployment. In 2023, IT departments will continue to navigate how to adequately protect and backup their Kubernetes environments.

As we conclude the first month of 2023, there is nothing short of grim reminders of how global economic conditions are heading south. Headwinds from geopolitical tensions and surging inflation will continue to put pressure on businesses across the APAC region. The propensity to adopt a mindset of continuous innovation, coupled with transformational IT strategies, will help businesses to stay ahead of the digital curve by strengthening business and data resilience.