Cloud-Native Goes Mainstream as CFOs Seek to Monitor Costs

The developments in cloud technology and its adoption will be affected by the growing economic uncertainty, the transition to cloud-native architectures, and the demand from hyperscalers to provide greater efficiency and security.

Those were among the findings in Forrester Research’s 2023 Cloud Forecasts report, which predicted enterprises will accelerate investment in Kubernetes as a distributed computing backbone for existing applications and workloads that can run more efficiently in K8s environments.

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

“Kubernetes will drive application modernization with DevOps automation, low-code capabilities, and site reliability engineering (SRE),” the report noted. “Cloud leaders need to accelerate the transition to containers and Kubernetes.”

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

While each does essentially the same thing—letting customers run containerized workloads on managed infrastructure—there are important price variations that organizations must consider.

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Examining cloud costs

The report also noted that inflation is bringing CFO scrutiny to the cloud—a development that is expected to benefit third-party cloud cost management and optimization (CCMO) providers.

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

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

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

There is interest from CFOs in third-party cloud cost management and optimization tools that can give them a vendor-neutral tool, especially in multi-cloud environments, according to Forrester analyst Lee Suster.

“Cost management tools from cloud providers are generally suitable for tactical spending decisions, but don’t always provide the higher-level visibility that the CFO’s office is looking for,” he added.

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As organizations move to a cloud-native strategy, Sustar said the initiative will mostly come from the IT enterprise architects and the CTO, with backing from the CIO’s office.

“Partners of various types are often required in moving to a cloud source, as they help generalize the lessons learned from early adopters,” he noted. “Today, new enterprises in the cloud are focused not on simply upscaling and shifting existing workloads, but on innovating with cloud-native technology.

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

Look for the Big 3 to go after SaaS providers

The report also predicts 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 that Google will acquire at least one major SaaS provider to help “close the gap” with AWS and Azure.

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“With SaaS stock prices through most of 2022, Google’s parent Alphabet could gain one or two key players,” the report noted. .”

Turning its focus to AWS, the report noted that the cloud provider is under pressure to match its hyperscale stacks — Microsoft built its Defender offerings including an MDR service, while Google snapped up Mandiant to round out its security portfolio — with breadth securing.

“AWS focused on security through the custom, security-focused silicon,” Suster explained. “They’ve had success with this approach, but now face pressure to match Microsoft Azure across a range of security offerings, including multicloud, and Google’s acquisition of security forensics firm Mandiant and Google’s well-known security research organization Project Zerto.”

About the author

Headshot of Natan EddyNathan Eddy is a freelance writer for ITPro Today. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales and Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary, The Missing Page. He currently lives in Berlin.

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