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Six Cloud Evolution Predictions For 2024

Managing Partner and Global Head of Wipro FullStride Cloud.

Cloud continues to be the foundational transformation platform for organizations that want to be industry leaders and adopt the most impactful emerging technologies. From GenAI and automated shop floors to software-defined vehicles and smart meters, the technology innovations promising to revolutionize industries require strong cloud capabilities and an understanding of how the cloud is evolving.

The following predictions about the evolution of cloud are based on Wipro client interactions throughout 2023 and insights into the cloud space.

1. Multicloud and hybrid cloud will overtake single-cloud models in popularity.

In 2024, multicloud and hybrid cloud models will become critical for organizations—not only for competitive advantage but also for regulatory compliance. Regulatory measures such as Europe’s Digital Operational Resilience Act and the U.S. Treasury’s risk guidelines require financial institutions to demonstrate robust cloud service failure management and disclose any concentration risks associated with their cloud providers.

To maximize the advantages of a multicloud approach, businesses must establish a comprehensive set of protocols. This includes stringent data management practices, advanced security measures, seamless workload mobility and overarching governance. Strategies will increasingly focus on cross-cloud interoperability and the deployment of cloud-agnostic tools, steering away from rigid IT infrastructures to more responsive systems.

2. Interactive AI will lead a revolution in customer service with zero-touch call centers.

Heading into 2024, “interactive AI” is poised to lead a customer service revolution, leveraging the expansive power of cloud computing to enhance GenAI’s interaction capabilities and more efficiently orchestrate complex interactions between AI systems and humans.

By the end of the year, businesses will likely unveil the world’s first zero-touch call centers, a testament to the strides made in GenAI. These centers will be equipped to perform tasks that surpass the abilities of traditional chatbots, such as handling customer histories, inventory management and sensitive communication tasks, all enhanced by advanced natural language processing.

3. Focus on sustainable cloud and offerings from hyperscalers will multiply.

AWS has committed to powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 and is investing in wind and solar energy projects worldwide to achieve this goal. Google has been carbon-neutral since 2007 and aims to operate on carbon-free energy 24/7 by 2030. By 2030, Microsoft plans to be carbon-negative, and by 2050 seeks to remove all the carbon it has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since its founding in 1975.

Sustainability is becoming a prime focus in every industry, including cloud computing. Businesses now consider a cloud provider’s sustainability initiatives as a critical factor in the decision-making process. In response, hyperscalers are working to optimize compute power and storage and increase the overall sustainability of energy systems throughout data centers through the use of renewable energy sources and more efficient cooling systems.

AI and machine learning are already being used to optimize energy consumption in data centers. Businesses will likely continue to invest in technologies to monitor and manage the environmental impact of their cloud programs, even leveraging cloud technology to power these solutions, such as cloud-based decarbonization and carbon modeling.

4. Cloud will take edge computing to the next level.

With the advent of ultra-low latency computing, particularly through 5G technology, edge computing is undergoing a renaissance. More than a technological trend, this strategic shift leverages the economies of scale inherent in cloud infrastructure, magnified at the edge.

By decentralizing data processing, enterprises can significantly reduce cycle times, enabling real-time analytics and decision-making. The synergy of edge and cloud capabilities means that investments in cloud infrastructure can be leveraged more efficiently and at scale, offering businesses the dual benefits of agility and economic efficiency.

Examples include the ability for automakers to incorporate more computing capabilities into their vehicles and real-time processing on factory floors to help manufacturers streamline operations and improve safety. Retailers can personalize shopping experiences through instant data analysis, while logistics companies can optimize route and supply chain management.

5. Growing interest in cloud economics will lead to more tailored cloud portfolios for enhanced ROI.

In 2024, CFOs and COOs will increasingly steer the cloud consumption narrative, instilling a cost-conscious yet value-driven approach to cloud adoption. As enterprises continue to scale up their cloud infrastructure, the focus will be on optimizing ROI with a keen analysis of spending versus gains to ensure cloud investments translate directly into enhanced operational efficiency and competitive advantage.

Growing interest in GenAI will play a central role in this shift. GenAI’s advanced analytics and automation can help drive down costs while propelling innovation. The embrace of GenAI, facilitated by flexible cloud platforms, will help refine cost models and unlock new revenue streams, empowering businesses to harness the full potential of their cloud endeavors for superior financial outcomes.

With business and technology strategies increasingly relying on each other, businesses can’t afford to overlook their cloud programs and investments. In 2024, the cloud will continue to be a strong value driver for enterprises seeking to increase their speed of innovation, harmonize their data and deliver new forms of value to customers.

6. Accelerated industry cloud adoption will transform healthcare, finance and highly regulated industries.

Industry cloud is expected to revolutionize technology within industries like healthcare and finance, which are often bogged down by regulatory burdens. These specialized cloud solutions enhance data security, ensure compliance and modernize IT effectively, says Kate Leggett from Forrester Research in a Wipro-sponsored HBR report. Dilip Venkatachari of U.S. Bank echoes this in the same report, noting the cloud’s potential to advance technology and enrich customer interactions.

The convergence of industry-specific clouds with broader tech ecosystems marks a shift toward a more agile, targeted approach to digital infrastructure that promises to accelerate innovation and operational efficiency across the board. This targeted approach is rapidly becoming a linchpin for businesses seeking to harness the full potential of digital transformation. By 2027, Gartner’s VP Analyst, Gregor Petri, predicts that over 70% of enterprises will leverage these platforms to propel their business initiatives, underscoring the growing interest in and importance of industry clouds.

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