clouds hovering above a hand

Cloud-native goes mainstream as CFOs seek to monitor costs

Cloud technology developments and adoption will be influenced by growing economic uncertainty, the shift to cloud-native architectures, and the demand for hyperscalers for greater vendor efficiency and security.

These were among the findings of Forrester Research’s 2023 cloud forecast report, which predicted that organizations would accelerate their investments in Kubernetes as the distributed computing backbone for today’s applications and workloads that can run more effectively in K8s environments.

This applies to a range of technology areas, including AI/ML and data management (especially distributed databases, data lakes and data structure), as well as edge computing and blockchain.

“Kubernetes will power application modernization with DevOps automation, low-code capabilities, and site reliability engineering (SRE),” the report notes. “Cloud leaders should accelerate the shift to containers and Kubernetes.”

In fact, each of the “big three” public cloud providers offers a managed Kubernetes service: AWS offers EKS, Microsoft Azure offers AKS, and Google Cloud provides GKE.

While each of them basically does the same thing – enabling customers to run containerized workloads on managed infrastructure – there are significant price variations that enterprises need to consider.

Cloud Cost Review

The report also noted that inflation is causing the CFO to watch the cloud — a move that will likely benefit third-party cloud cost management and optimization (CCMO) vendors.

These specialists will be able to offer organizations a “lucid, vendor-neutral approach” to cloud services and vendor offerings.

“Executive pressure for multicloud visibility and optimization will drive Apptio’s Cloudability and Flexera One as concerns over Broadcom’s VMware acquisition slow CloudHealth’s momentum,” the report noted.

He added that CloudHealth customers will move to Apptio and Flexera as cloud financial operations (FinOps) take center stage.

According to Forrester analyst Lee Sustar, the CFO organization is interested in third-party cloud cost management and optimization tools that can give them a vendor-neutral tool, especially in multicloud environments.

“Cloud vendor cost management tools are generally good for tactical spending decisions, but don’t always provide the higher-level views the CFO’s office is looking for,” he added.

As organizations adopt a cloud-native strategy, Sustar said the initiative will often come from the IT enterprise architects and the organization’s CTO, with support from the CIO’s office.

“Partners of all kinds are often needed in the move to cloud native, as they help generalize lessons from early adopters,” he noted. “Organizations new to the cloud today are not just focused on lifting and moving legacy workloads, but on modernizing cloud-native technology.

Multicloud container platform vendors offer a more integrated approach that can be adapted to different cloud providers, Sustar added. “Kubernetes-based cloud-native technologies can also run on existing infrastructure.”

Research the Big 3 SaaS Providers

The report also forecasts the needs of the major cloud providers – Google, Microsoft and Amazon – to make tactical acquisitions in the areas of managed detection and response (MDR) and software as a service (SaaS).

Forrester predicts Google will buy at least one major SaaS vendor to help “bridge the gap” with AWS and Azure.

“With SaaS stock prices down for much of 2022, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, could bring on one or two key players,” the report notes. “Buying a major SaaS provider would give Google greater entry into the business, where it struggles to replace AWS and Azure.”

Focusing on AWS, the report notes that the cloud provider is under pressure to match its hyperscale cohorts — Microsoft expanded its Defender offerings, including an MDR service, while Google bought Mandiant to round out its security portfolio — with extended security.

“AWS has focused on security through its custom, security-focused silicon,” Sustar explained. “They’ve had success with this approach, but are now facing pressure to match Microsoft Azure in breadth of security offerings, including multicloud, and Google’s acquisition of Mandiant for security investigation. and Google’s renowned security research organization Project Zerto.”

About the Author

Nathan Eddy in the headNathan Eddy is a freelance writer for ITPro Today. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012, he directed his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin.

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