The following article was written by C2C Global President Josh Berman (
The past two years have been exciting periods of growth for the cloud market, driven by increased demand for access to new technology during COVID-19 and the proliferation of the “work-from-anywhere” culture. IT leaders worked to shift workloads to the cloud to ensure business continuity for the remote workforce, leading to skyrocketing adoption of cloud computing. This momentum is expected to pick up in 2022 and beyond.
For many businesses, the pandemic accelerated their digital transformation plans by months, or even years. Reliance on cloud infrastructure will only continue to grow as organizations adjust to the hybrid work model. Gartner projects that global spending on cloud services is expected to reach over $482 billion in 2022, up from $313 billion in 2020.
As we start the new year, C2C, an independent Google Cloud community, has identified six cloud computing trends to watch in 2022.
More people are harnessing new technologies
The pandemic inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs. Whether out of necessity from mass layoffs, a desire for a more flexible lifestyle, or finding the inspiration to finally pursue a passion, millions have started their own ventures.
As their businesses grow and digitize, entrepreneurs across industries are embracing the cloud and adopting technologies like machine learning and data analytics to optimize business performance, save time and cut expenses. There are countless benefits to small businesses and startups. For one, the cloud makes data accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling the seamless collaboration necessary in a hybrid work environment. Without having to spend on expensive hardware and software, entrepreneurs can invest in other areas as they scale their businesses.
We often see founders leveraging the power and ease of use of Google Cloud Platform AI and ML tools to rapidly prototype and build applications. They’ve used this technology to create unique and exciting solutions, like tools that use ML to analyze English pronunciation or ML that predicts one’s mood from their breath.
There’s an increased desire for more direct access to product developers
As more users shift to the cloud, there is an increased desire to connect and network with product developers who have worked behind the scenes to bring the latest technologies to market. Online communities, like C2C, make having these conversations possible and easy. These conversations ultimately help users secure the right applications they need and successfully deploy them to ensure operational success.
Greater emphasis on security in the cloud
Last year, businesses looked to the cloud to reshape their operations and become more agile. While cloud computing certainly offers the benefits of that flexibility and productivity, it also puts organizations at risk of becoming more vulnerable to cyber threats and data breaches. For that reason, security is going to become a larger part of the cloud conversation throughout 2022 and beyond.
This reality is going to influence a greater emphasis on building more security into the cloud. As the world continues to go digital, organizations are being tasked with ensuring security within the cloud is properly integrated into evolving business models.
More organizations will seek out data solutions
Almost all enterprises operate in multi-cloud environments. As a result, a lot of valuable data is spread across systems, creating a need to make data accessible to more analytics tools. Cross-cloud analytics solutions are on the rise to help data analysts manage all their insights.
At C2C, we’ve discussed the noticeable rise in the number of people and companies looking at data solutions, specifically BigQuery, Google Cloud’s fully managed, server-less data warehouse. These companies are typically mapping out their data strategy, but, interestingly, some companies that are trying to work with AI and ML realize they need a solution that makes their data consistent and easy to store.
Productivity tools will become even more sophisticated
When the world was forced into a remote work model overnight during the pandemic, many companies were not prepared for the challenge of immediately shifting their processes to a virtual format. The ongoing challenge for many companies that have transitioned to a hybrid model has been determining how to best keep both remote and in-person team members engaged.
This opened doors for cloud-based collaboration tools like Google Workspace, which are only going to become a bigger part of our day-to-day operations. These solutions have capabilities like document collaboration, integrated chat features, virtual whiteboards and more.
Much of that growth has already occurred: Nearly 80% of workers are using collaboration tools for work in 2021, up from just over half of workers in 2019, according to Gartner research. Not only are more companies going to adopt these cloud-based collaboration solutions, but the solutions are going to be enhanced and evolve as the needs of the hybrid workforce change.
Cloud certifications are becoming more sought after by employers
As industries accelerate remote adoption of cloud technologies, certifications and other IT credentials are becoming increasingly important and sought after by employers. And more IT professionals see the benefits of earning these certifications as well.
More than 90% of IT leaders say they’re looking to grow their cloud environments in the next several years, yet more than 80% of those same leaders identified a lack of skills and knowledge within their employees as a barrier to achieving this growth. It turns out, the next big challenge for companies will not be how to manage cloud technology, but how to find enough qualified workers certified in it.