Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) or Cloud Managed Services – all of the most important cloud services are mature and are used across all industries. According to Gartner, global spending on public cloud services is expected to reach almost $600 billion in 2023. In addition to the public and hybrid cloud, new trends are emerging that need to be on your agenda. They have the potential to visibly change products and markets.
More and more companies are getting serious about climate change and their own ecological footprint and want to become greener. The Gartner Sustainability Survey found that nine out of ten companies had increased their investment in sustainable projects between 2017 and 2020, and plan to further increase spending in the area by 2023. The cloud plays a key role in the quest for technologies that help use energy more efficiently and reduce CO2 emissions. According to Gartner's analysis ("Cloud Computing - what's ahead"), there is a general trend towards increased use of cloud services in the coming years. Not only do companies enjoy cost savings by moving to the public cloud, but they also benefit from greater sustainability. The more efficient use of electricity, heat and resources eases their financial burden and improves their carbon footprint. And, importantly, cloud providers who draw electricity from renewable energy sources significantly increase the sustainability potential of their services.
Companies typically source cloud services from on-premises, high-performance data centers. The cloud boom and the associated explosion in data volumes, however, are increasingly posing challenges for cloud providers in terms of latency and performance. These can be easily overcome with what is known as the distributed cloud. This model aims to bring the source of provision and users of services spatially closer together. The concept therefore includes many distributed edge clouds in addition to a central cloud. The advantage: The close proximity to the user means that data can be captured and processed in real time – thereby significantly improving latency and performance. However, according to Gartner, demand for distributed cloud services is still modest. Market researchers, however, expect cloud solutions like these to become established across all sectors in the next five years.
The advantages of the public cloud are undisputed. Hardly any company will be able to do without the almost unlimited IT and innovation possibilities if they want to stay competitive in the long term. Many European companies are faced with a dilemma as a result of this: On the one hand, there is no getting around cloud services, while on the other, they have to reconcile their use of these services with the strict legal requirements of the GDPR regarding the protection of sensitive data. In particular, this presents industries such as banking, insurance, and health-care – but also the public sector – with considerable organizational challenges. The result: So far, most industry players have played it safe and avoided an expanded public cloud approach for the time being – despite the risk of passing up competitive opportunities.
One hot trend promises a way out of this situation: the sovereign cloud. In this context, sovereignty means that cloud-service users have complete control over stored and processed data and can decide for themselves who is allowed to access it. Sovereign public cloud service providers must also ensure the full performance of their platforms and protect against unauthorized access. It is also important that applications and services can be easily migrated to any other IT infrastructure at any time. The sovereign cloud therefore reconciles the advantages of the public cloud with data security and compliance requirements. It’s already the topic on everyone's lips. The analysts at Gartner expect the sovereign cloud to have a significant impact on the market in 2025.
Germany and France have made the first push for a sovereign cloud with the GAIA-X project. The intention, however, is not to create a product to compete with existing offerings. Rather, GAIA-X aims to connect different elements via open interfaces and standards. The goal is to create a digital ecosystem that guarantees security, sovereignty, and trustworthiness.
A sovereign cloud of this kind has also been available on the German market since spring 2022 – the Sovereign Cloud powered by Google Cloud. As a joint product from T-Systems and Google Cloud, it offers full compliance with the requirements of German regulators – while retaining the public cloud functionality of a hyperscaler. The offer can be tested out at a new training center in Munich. Here, companies are given the opportunity to work on their specific technological challenges with the engineers from Google Cloud and T-Systems.