Breaking new ground with cloud

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Executive Summary

We’ve come a long way since the birth of cloud computing. In the 1990s, the internet was often portrayed as cloud on diagrams, and some used this to describe distributed computing. However, it was an internal Compaq document that first coined the term “cloud computing” back in 1996.

Since then, the technology – and pay-as-you-go model – has become a fixture in many organisations, with the core advantages now very clear to the overwhelming majority of businesses using it. It’s also clear from our research that we now live in a hybrid cloud/multicloud environment.

Identifying ways to further fine-tune and optimise current cloud capabilities will always be a key objective for IT and business leaders. However, given how far we have come in terms of cloud adoption and maturity, now is the ideal time to start thinking even bigger.

The rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning and generative AI – with tools such as ChatGPT occupying aprominent place in technology discourse – seems inexorable, and cloud has a significant role to play in helping drive this technology forward. At the same time, organisations are engaging in ESG and sustainability pursuits with morerigour than ever before. Again, cloud can be instrumental in helping businesses achieve these goals.

This year’s edition of the Cloud Industry Forum research report will delve deeper into cloud’s enduring promise, and its continued presence as a vital cog in the technology ecosystem. To do this, we will also need to examine once again where organisations are on their cloud journeys, and frame these within current global economic challenges affecting how IT and business leaders are approaching technology projects.

We believe 2023 is the start of an exciting time of evolution for the cloud, and a new wave of technologies coming to prominence. Generative AI, mixed and virtual reality experiences, IoT, edge computing, blockchain, NFTs, and a more decentralised, distributed web will all combine to transform business and our user experience. Cloud computing is the enabler for all of these, showing its ability to evolve and move with the times, while at the same time staying true to what made it so successful in the first place.

It’s time to explore how to break new ground with cloud.

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