With pundits predicting massive economic hurdles ahead, will digital abundance turn into digital frugality, circumspection and shortages?

High profile data breaches; proliferation of edge devices with hybrid working; and widespread cloud adoption made their presence felt in 2022.

As we usher in 2023, there are nothing short of grim reminders of how global economic conditions are heading south. Headwinds from geopolitical tensions and surging inflation will continue to put pressure on businesses across the APAC region. The propensity to adopt a mindset of continuous innovation, coupled with transformational IT strategies, will help businesses to stay ahead of the digital curve by strengthening business and data resilience.

Andy Ng, Vice President and Managing Director (Asia South and Pacific Region), Veritas Technologies

Here then, are our five predictions on the key business developments and challenges that will impact organizations.

    1. There will be more scrutiny on cloud budgets in 2023
      According to our own data, 94% of organizations surveyed around the world were overspending on cloud technology by an average of 43%. As the amount of data continues to grow year over year, so does the cost of storing it in the cloud. While the impulse given to cloud transformation initiatives is here to stay, it is becoming harder to justify the ballooning costs.

      Although most firms have realized advanced business strategies through cloud adoption, CEOs and boards will increasingly demand transparency surrounding the ROI of cloud spend.

      With many economists predicting a continued downturn next year, scrutiny on IT spending is expected to intensify further in 2023, putting pressure on IT leaders to justify their cloud budgets while identifying new ways to reduce data volumes. This could lead to more effective data storage and management strategies, such as deduplication techniques to ensure reduced storage consumption.

    2. Supply chain shortages to put pressure on software vendors
      Software has been at the forefront of innovation, with software-only vendors delivering new solutions quickly to the market; but a lack of hardware availability will make that a challenge in 2023.

      Geopolitical restrictions and chip shortages have severely impacted the supply chain, especially when it comes to delivering hardware. As a result, customers have struggled to implement software and hardware together to create functional solutions.

      To counteract these supply chain woes, in 2023, we expect customers to embrace cloud-based solutions and appliances — with hardware and software already bundled together — rather than having to manage multiple relationships and wait for the hardware to arrive.

      Organizations looking to rethink their supply chain model, such as deploying autonomous cloud-first optimized solutions with the flexibility to manage the entire data protection estate, on-premises and in the cloud — all from a single pane of glass — will be better able to ensure business continuity.

    3. Cross-cloud data mobility will become mainstream
      The deployment of multi-cloud is on the rise. However, interoperability continues to be a challenge for data managers: not only is it expensive to move data from cloud to cloud, but when cloud platforms do not work together seamlessly, this creates silos within an organization and can introduce major security vulnerabilities due to the lack of a unified view and control of the entire data estate.

      To keep up with the pace of cloud offerings and achieve business-driven cloud goals, businesses will start leveraging AI/ML and autonomous solutions to help mitigate the challenges of siloed workloads and enhance cloud interoperability through data portability: cross-cloud data mobility will become more mainstream in 2023.

    4. More edge devices mean more vulnerabilities
      In the Asia Pacific region, edge computing is gaining speed as an important frontier for enterprise innovation and competitive differentiation. According to IDC, worldwide enterprise and service provider spending on edge hardware, software and services is projected to reach US$274bn by 2025.

      As more data processing moves to the edge, the process can complicate IT architecture and increase the attack surface. Also, enterprises often do not apply the same level of protection at the edge as they do in the data center or the cloud, often due to skills and staffing shortages.

      For a fully protected enterprise, each edge device needs to be protected and backed up. On top of that, organizations need to determine what data coming from edge devices is critical versus non-critical — to maintain storage and protection costs, given the added scrutiny on IT budgets.

    5. Kubernetes goes mission-critical
      Over the last 24 months, the rise of hybrid working world has created the demand for multi-cloud flexibility, with an increased deployment of Kubernetes.

      Containers are now being adopted in mission critical environments, meaning that the application environment and the underlying data in these environments now needs protection. The ownership of these containers (and the protection of them) has become more complex and creating confusion and silos and confusion. At the same time, organizations are struggling to identify which containers to back up and how to do so, which will likely lead to more investments in training to help close the Kubernetes skills gap.

      Kubernetes has emerged as a convenient solution. However, data protection strategies in Kubernetes environments have not evolved in parallel with growths in deployment.

      In 2023, IT departments will continue to tackle this issue.