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Hybrid cloud: 4 trends to watch in 2022

  • 8 mths ago

If you’re pressed for time, here’s a one-word executive summary of where hybrid cloud is headed in 2022: Everywhere.

That declaration requires only modest exaggeration. Roughly half (48 percent) of respondents in O’Reilly’s 2021 Cloud Adoption Survey plan to migrate 50 percent or more of their applications to a cloud in the coming year. The same survey found a healthy mix of public cloud (67 percent), private cloud (45 percent), and traditional on-premises infrastructure (55 percent) already in use.

Meanwhile, 38 percent of the organizations included in  Red Hat's 2021 Global Tech Outlook already had a hybrid cloud or multi-cloud strategy in place. The report shows clear growth ahead in 2022, and more organizations plan to use three or more clouds than ever.

There’s a visible relationship between hybrid cloud and digital transformation, and they’re playing in concert with each other. One of the Red Hat report’s six key conclusions speaks to this: “Digital transformation initiatives continue to progress, and many companies accelerated their transformation plans this year,” the report says. “In these plans to innovate, security remains a top challenge and priority, and hybrid cloud environments continue to grow.”

The reward for a CIO’s strategic vision and their team’s hard work to this point is that the rest of the organization is essentially saying: “More, please.” Hybrid cloud – along with other transformative technologies like containers and AI/ML – will fuel the next phases of growth.

“Expect greater demand for faster innovation and digital transformation to deliver business growth across the enterprise,” Kaushik De, VP, GTM lead for custom software development and cloud CoE lead, Capgemini Americas. “Companies should anticipate accelerated business processes and the need to quickly demonstrate the business value of cloud solutions.”

Predicting “everywhere” as the strategic direction for hybrid cloud isn’t much in the way of hyperbole. We can certainly dive into more specifics, however. Here are four hybrid cloud trends to watch in 2022.

1. Hybrid cloud goes to the edge

Hybrid cloud definitions vary but typically refer to some combination of public cloud, private cloud, and/or bare-metal infrastructure.

That’s historically accurate. The gist of NIST’s decade-old definition of the hybrid deployment model is based on the (still relevant) use case of “bursting” from your data center to a public cloud to handle capacity surges. But the basic definitions are now expanding to reflect the emerging realities of hybrid cloud architecture, which is not actually limited to your datacenter and cloud platforms of choice.

"A hybrid cloud extends all the way out to the edge of a computing infrastructure where data is collected and acted upon."

“Hybrid cloud is no longer just about public clouds and clouds hosted by an organization in its own datacenter,” says Gordon Haff, technology evangelist at Red Hat. “A hybrid cloud extends all the way out to the edge of a computing infrastructure where data is collected and acted upon. This is really today’s hybrid cloud story.”

Put another way, the paths of two major enterprise IT trends are merging. Hybrid cloud is fundamentally about running your workloads in the best possible environments; edge computing is about bringing the environment to the workload and its associated data, or at least as close as possible. It’s a match made in IT heaven.

“Hybrid cloud goes beyond a choice of different isolated centralized sets of computing resources, which sometimes go by the multi-cloud moniker – though it’s often hard to distinguish the hybrid cloud and multi-cloud terms these days,” Haff says. “Rather, it envisions architectures where computing happens where it’s appropriate and data flows where it’s best handled.”

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