Groundbreaking cloud projects and the hyperscalers challenge: Key trends to watch out for in 2023

By Chris Royles, EMEA Field CTO at Cloudera.

  • 1 year ago Posted in

Over the past year we’ve continued to see organisations leverage data-insights and analytics, to shape operations and drive innovation.  As we enter 2023, here are four trends that we see shaping future technology investments: 

Focus on Federated secure and Sovereign data platforms

Next year we’re likely to see a greater emphasis and focus on federated secure data platforms. For example, Gaia-X is a project being worked on by several European countries that is striving for innovation through data sovereignty and federation. Rather than operating as a single cloud, a federated system links many cloud service providers and users together in a transparent environment. The idea here is to lessen the current reliance on cloud hyperscalers.  It also means data stays in place, helping retain the privacy of citizens.

We’re already seeing organisations, such as the NHS, seek to procure a federated data platform as they look to manage vast amounts of data across multiple platforms. A unified data fabric approach to delivering disparate data sources intelligently and securely in a self-service manner across multiple clouds and on-premises is in essence a federated data management system at scale, helping  those organisations navigate the data challenges they face. 

Disillusionment for hyperscalers?

For companies looking to enhance their customer experience, operational agility and innovation capabilities, digital transformation is a necessity. Here, organisations have traditionally looked to hyperscalers to help them on this path but soon realise the journey is fast becoming along and expensive one.

Data and workload repatriation as well as hybrid-cloud approaches are becoming simpler and organisations are trending toward a more balanced view.  In simple terms, how can an organisation develop flexibility for events outside of their control.  Such as geo-political changes or implementing new privacy and data exchange policies.

Several companies across  industries have signed billion-pound contracts with hyperscalers in a short period of time, with deals typically lasting three to five years. Often the natural drive for these decisions comes from the top down but when talking to company leaders on the ground many are behind schedule and struggling to get a return on their investment.

We’ll start to see customers look for alternatives to hyperscalers. To use a Gartner pattern as an example, we’re on the top of a curve of a hype cycle where everyone is competing for a limited pool of funds in the business domain and are going to go over the top in the next two years. Come the following year, we'll enter a trough, and it will be painful for some, leading to the hyperscalers being placed under increasing time to value pressure.

Tech will become more consolidated, customers will look for more holistic services

In 2023, we’re likely to see more consolidation in the tech sector and more acquisitions being made as customers look to simplify operations and partner with organisations that can provide a range of services, rather than having to work with multiple vendors. In the current economic market, the valuation of many businesses is dropping quickly. Some tech giants have already imposed a hiring freeze and we’re likely to see others following suit due to market conditions. Working the way down the chain, many smaller businesses and start-ups will be ripe for acquisition because they are likely to be undervalued or below their original IPO value. For those organisations that can find synergies with those smaller businesses and start-ups to add another dimension to their product portfolio, there will be real wins to be found out there.

Upskilling for digital transformation success and business survival

The global tech industry remains in the midst of a severe talent and skills shortage, impacting the ability of businesses to see through their digital transformation projects and jeopardising their survival.

With a limited supply of graduates with specialist data skills, having individuals with the right skillset is crucial. Here, artificial Intelligence (AI) can help. And with more mundane and time consuming tasks increasingly being handled by AI and machine learning (ML), employees are freed up to address more complex tasks where a human touch is needed.

As such, in year ahead business investment in upskilling and reskilling programmes will be key to unlocking future growth and development. Complementary to this are prospects who are increasingly receptive to these types of programmes. Our Limitless: The Positive Power of AI report  found the majority (80%) of knowledge workers were comfortable taking on new roles thanks to advances in AI/ML and data analytics making their job easier.  

Conclusion

Every organisation is different, but it’s clear that technology and data will play an important role in helping them navigate brewing macroeconomic headwinds. The question most organisations must ask is whether they have the necessary skills and platforms to ensure success.

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