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IT analysts’ technology adoption forecasts are fundamentally interpretive, no matter how reliable their sources. Their opinions are based on received data, and this is particularly relevant when they are predicting deployment trends in the cloud market.

Predictive viewpoints from cloud service providers like us, meanwhile, are informed by direct interactions with our clients’ IT teams, who are experienced in projecting their technology needs.

Because we manage strategy, technology and platforms for our clients, we have deep insight into cloud trends for 2023. And the top four we think will have the most impact are in the areas of cloud verticalization, hyperscale edge computing, software-as-a-service (SaaS) management and cloud sustainability.

1. Preconfigured clouds benefit industries

The first of these trends is the rise of cloud platforms that are preengineered for an industry or sector. This reflects the continued adoption of multicloud in high-value organizations.

When organizations want to tailor “horizontal” clouds for their specific industry, the reengineering of foundational services and compliance is needed. This leads to duplicated effort.

What we’re seeing across industries is that organizations increasingly want preconfigured clouds.

Clouds that come with sector-specific features don’t have to be set up from scratch every time, thus streamlining onboarding, saving time and money, and providing inbuilt continuity aligned with an industry’s standards.

2. Hyperscale edge computing is gaining traction

Cloud trends are rarely attributable to a single driving force. Take the demand for managed hyperscale edge-computing services, which is set to grow.

Across sectors, organizations increasingly look to distribute their workloads. This has resulted in a need for distributed computing and storage that deliver instantaneous response times at the edge.

The associated benefits include less data processed in centralized clouds, and sidestepping network latency challenges and other operational overheads. Hyperscale edge computing also improves data security by limiting its exposure across networks.

Edge-as-a-service options make it possible to implement networks, operations and edge computing that deliver real-time automation and processing. Unified operating models simplify operations and allow IT chiefs to focus on business imperatives.

3. Rising demand for SaaS management

The number of organizations that outsource the management of their applications will rise rapidly in 2023.

Moving workloads to SaaS applications creates new complexities, however. With this delivery model, are charged for in a precise manner, and cost leakage due to ineffectively managed solutions can come as a shock – hence the need for SaaS management.

We also expect to see more outsourcing of top-level application monitoring and management so IT teams have more capacity to focus on technology-enabled business initiatives.

4. Measurable cloud sustainability

A desire for improved sustainability will be another trend affecting cloud-related decisions in 2023.

While moving to the cloud might not automatically make an organization’s IT greener, it can create conditions to make that transformation possible: making IT more environmentally high-performing and driving positive change in the organization.

At NTT, we work toward a “sustainability budget” that quantifies sustainability in the form of values rather than direct costs.

When we propose operational rightsizing for processor usage or projected requirements for storage and other parameters, we scale the budgetary expenditure of a potential change to a sustainability impact.

IT decision-makers may not always recognize sustainability metrics presented as quantitative methodology benchmarks, but they will respond to financial indicators. They can say, “Well, this isn’t the least costly option, but it delivers the best sustainability outcome.”

They can then apply a return-on-investment value. For example, if it’s 10% more expensive, that 10% will be an investment in improving their organization’s sustainability posture.

How multicloud as a service can help

Even the best-run cloud environments can prove complicated at times. Multiple clouds bring multiple complexities. According to 451 Research's Multicloud Business Impact Brief, this complexity is driving organizations to service providers to implement effective multicloud management.

No service provider is better qualified to meet this requirement than NTT. Our multicloud solutions address those complexities from infrastructure to the edge. It’s still cloud as you know it, but simplified, more connected and delivered as a managed service.

Discover how to get more from your cloud strategy with NTT’s Multicloud as a Service.

Oscar Garcia is Senior Vice President of Strategy, Technology and Platforms at NTT