In 2023, this and four other cloud- and ESG- linked trends will address the cumulative challenges of a volatile digital environment

Last April, Gartner estimated that cloud providers no longer dictated cloud computing trends and had to be more customer-centric to cater to the needs of more discerning customers.  

In 2023, Oracle is betting that most cloud customers not only want to pick and choose their public clouds, but they also want deployment choice: that means being able to run some workloads on their own cloud infrastructure. This is because organizations of all types may now realize that there is no single “default” cloud provider going forward. Instead, they want the best cloud for each of their key workloads: for example, choose Cloud A if it is better for desktop productivity apps, and Cloud B if it excels in server-based databases.

Here are the five predictions from the firm:

    1. Greater need to use multiple clouds
      Firms will adopt the best public clouds for each of their key workloads, and the adoption will grow throughout the next decade. Regulators have also clued in on the action. In 2021 the Hong Kong Monetary Authority issued the Regtech Adoption Practice Guide series, calling financial institutions to be aware of the risk of vendor lock-in.

      Large financial institutions now use more than one cloud when it comes to applications and infrastructure and that need for multiple clouds will continue to grow. Some cloud providers are facilitating this trend by locating their respective cloud facilities close together to minimize latency across any provider.

    2. More choice to be availed for cloud deployment
      The adoption of what we once called “hybrid” — now termed “distributed” cloud — will also take off.

      In the distributed cloud model, organizations run some workloads on public clouds, and others in company-controlled data centers. This is typically done for compliance, regulatory, performance or other reasons.

      This increasing trend of mix-and-matching cloud deployment is great for firms that must keep some corporate and/or customer data segregated but still retain the control to divert some analytics or resource-intensive workloads to a public cloud as needed. This is tricky since organizations must carefully balance technology deployed across on-premises, private, and public cloud infrastructure.

      In short, the trend is for cloud providers to meet business and government customers where they are — instead of pushing for all data and applications to be forklifted onto a specific provider’s cloud.

    3. Adoption of cloud-based Human Capital Management to mitigate volatility
      Due to a volatile economy accord, firms that accommodated a massive pandemic-sparked move to remote work and skills gaps created by the Great Resignation now face waves of layoffs and workforce reinstatements. These factors as well as demand for faster training in response to market changes, are all challenges that cloud-based HCM help companies navigate.

      Demand for workplace flexibility will not subside with the pandemic. Cloud-based HCM solutions powered by AI can automate common, time-consuming workloads, making staff on-boarding faster and easier. AI can also help employees easily access training content based on their current job, location, background, and career aspirations.

      Smart use of technology for HCM will help businesses boost productivity, lower administrative costs, improve management and talent retention.

    4. More data analytics will be democratized
      AI technologies like machine learning are being embedded into corporate systems to lay the groundwork for “data democratization” and “augmented analytics” to make data understandable to ordinary people so that even they can build and test simple data models on their own for their work.

      Despite data scientists being scarce and expensive, they are often less knowledgeable about an organization’s core business than line-of-business managers. So, if a department head can use human language to ask questions of data sets, that manager will not have to wait for a data scientist or other specialist for answers.

      Ideally, ML-fueled analytics can push relevant reports or alerts to managers based on their job functions and past queries (among other factors), even before they ask for such analyses.

    5. All eyes on corporate ESG
      As awareness about climate change mounts, consumers want to know how products and services are sourced, manufactured, and delivered. An increasing number want to do business only with firms demonstrating strong environmental social and governance values. Forward-looking firms will be taking up the challenge with action, not mere lip service.

      In calculating an organization’s impact on the environment, the entire supply chain must be considered: EY analysts estimate that 90% of a firm’s greenhouse emissions emanate from its supply chain.

      To address this profound challenge, businesses in 2023 will need a complete and always updated view of their inventories and as well as that of their suppliers and distribution partners.

      Importantly, we must realize that no company is an island. Each must work in concert with suppliers and other partners to forge an efficient and ethical supply chain.