How increased cloud adoption, a looming global recession, and the great reshuffle will influence business trends and practices.
Cyber security was a major concern for companies adopting cloud technologies amid the changes demanded by the pandemic, and will continue to be one as they continue on this path. Without the proper security infrastructure, the shift to the cloud could expose businesses to a new range of threats.
A 2022 Kroll survey found that 59% of businesses in Asia-Pacific (APAC) have experienced a cyber incident. In response, more organisations are taking advantage of hardware and software security tools; monitoring the endpoints, network, systems, and applications; and conducting regular cyber security training. About 64% of the organisations surveyed also said they would increase their budgets to address cyber security concerns.
A good percentage of respondents moved to the cloud in response to security threats, but transitioning to cloud environments comes with its own risks. The transition process itself exposes companies to potential threats, and thus requires trained specialists to manage the complexities of cloud infrastructures without incident.
All these measures reflect a shift in perspective toward cyber security. When it comes to the threat of cyber attacks, it's not a matter of if, but when.
Where hybrid cloud combines public and private (e.g., on-premise) cloud infrastructures, a multi-cloud approach involves several public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. While multi-cloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures aren’t necessarily the same, a hybrid cloud approach can be multi-cloud when an organisation utilises more than one public cloud service.
Companies adopt a multi-cloud strategy to diversify their services across providers, taking advantage of specific features and gaining flexibility. Companies also select service providers based on geographic or regulatory governance demands. It also keeps organisations from getting trapped in one ecosystem and creates redundancy in case one system fails.
A 2022 State of Cloud Strategy Survey conducted by HashiCorp, Inc. found that 93% of surveyed businesses in APAC said multi-cloud is helping their organisation advance or achieve its business goals. The factors driving adoption include reliability, digital transformation, scalability, security and governance, and cost reduction.
In the same vein, more business workloads will transfer to the cloud in the year ahead. According to a 2021 Spiceworks Ziff Davis report, 40% of business workloads are currently running on public clouds, with that figure expected to increase to 50% over the next two years.
This increased adoption of the cloud is both driven by and driving the shift to remote work. The same Ziff Davis report found that the pivot from on-site to long-term work-from-home resulted in significant growth in cloud adoption, with 80% of decision-makers saying that cloud technology is a critical enabler of remote work.
Simultaneously, the rise of hybrid or remote work structures is prompting organisations to move away from traditional, on-premise computing solutions, such as desktops and other physical in-office tools, and more toward DaaS.
While many businesses and management teams across APAC prefer having staff work in the office now, viewpoints towards workplace arrangements still vary across the region. For example, employees in Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand embrace flexible work and want to retain their remote work benefits even beyond the pandemic. As such, more companies in the region will likely implement hybrid or remote work as a permanent fixture in the workplace.
A talent deficit is looming across APAC, with employees rethinking their work priorities and organisations demanding more tech talent. This creates a talent gap, one that artificial intelligence (AI), or even low-code and no-code cloud services that offer specialised solutions, can fill.
As a stopgap measure, we see more organisations embedding AI functionalities into their applications and systems. This includes predictive text suggestions embedded into emails and Word documents, as well as apps that visualise existing data.
There are also more low-code and no-code services that create AI-powered solutions using simple drag-and-drop or wizard-based interfaces. Extra functionalities can be embedded into tools like Airtable, Figma, or Zoho, for example, using simple or basic coding. This can drastically lower the barriers to entry for companies wanting to leverage AI and machine learning (ML).
With low-code and no-code services, companies can build websites, develop web applications, and design digital solutions without coding experience.
Last but not least is the growing importance of cost savings. The price of multiple cloud service providers, cloud-based as-a-service tools, and improved cyber security can cost a pretty penny. But a big reason companies adopt cloud technology is for the promised cost-efficiency.
Amid predictions of a global recession in 2023, cost savings will be integral alongside innovation in any digital transformation journey. As the cloud becomes the norm, companies will want more “bang for their buck” from cloud-based services and operational efficiencies.