As we approach 2024, AI’s evolution in the cloud market has ushered in a new era of innovation, reshaping infrastructure, services, and market dynamics, fostering sector-specific adaptation and technological synergies. This evolution continues to influence industry competitiveness and service offerings in cloud computing.
According to Forrester, technology spending in Asia Pacific (APAC) will grow 5.8% to reach US$732 billion in 2023. Seventy-four percent of growth will come from software and services as cloud adoption in the region increases. IDC also predicts that cloud-based spending by Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) digital-native businesses is expected to hit US$26.5 Billion in 2024.
What does the future of clouds look like in 2024? Let’s look at some of the trends outlined by Sandeep Bhargava, SVP, Global Services and Solutions, Public Cloud Business Unit, to shake up 2024.
- Democratising the use of Generative AI – IDC forecasts more than half of digital native businesses in APJ will increase their technology spending by up to 20 percent in the next 12 months, prioritising the latest technologies, such as generative AI and cloud platforms, to remain competitive, create innovative products, and maintain their financial viability. In the rapidly evolving landscape of AI, companies of all sizes are actively ideating and experimenting with generative AI. The convergence of cloud computing, easily accessible pre-trained models, as well as the open-source nature of advancements, will propel its accelerated use, establishing a robust foundation in 2024 and the coming years.
Additionally, the adoption of natural language models will expedite AI’s reach, transcending from being solely within the domain of technologists to a widespread application to non-technical users. In addition, given the sensitivity around the ethical usage of AI, it is likely that AI will augment humans instead of displacing them. In Malaysia, the government is working on an AI code of ethics to chart the future of AI. Anticipated in 2024, this code will embrace the Seven Principles of Responsible AI and also inculcate education and awareness of ethics.
The focus on ethical usage, encompassing accountability, reliability, explainability, security, and privacy, will persistently grow, paving the way for policy implementations and solutions in these critical areas.
- The Rise of Cloud Platforms – The evolution of cloud platforms marks a pivotal shift. With increasing industry adoption, there is a notable migration of applications from data centres to the cloud and a surge in software utilisation. As traditional sectors embrace cloud technology, a new phase emerges – Industry Cloud Platforms – as termed by Gartner.
These platforms are tailored to specific industries in a manner that streamlines the consumption of industry-specific solutions while adhering to unique regulatory and operational constraints. This evolution enables industries to leverage cloud resources more effectively for their distinct needs. Particularly, the rising demand for cloud services in Malaysia prompted the government to sanction the construction of fresh data centres by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Telekom Malaysia within the country, aligning with its cloud-focused approach and the Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint.
- Urgency to Address Sustainability Challenges – The extensive adoption of technology has the potential to contribute to carbon emissions due to the extensive use of computing and storage, demanding substantial electricity for operation and cooling. Nonetheless, the industry has been very cognizant of these implications, fostering organic initiatives spanning various areas to promote sustainability in all facets of technology. This heightened awareness is propelling the community to innovate digital solutions aimed at facilitating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) outcomes for companies. Cloud technology can drive efficient innovation and sustainability processes within organisations to address environmental challenges. Proper planning and tweaks in cloud technologies allow organisations to scale IT capacity for present and future competitiveness.
In summary, the cloud landscape in Asia Pacific and Japan is set for a revolutionary shift in 2024, driven by AI democratisation, industry-specific cloud platforms, and a heightened focus on sustainability. Organisations would need to optimise their cloud strategies for continual IT innovation to stay ahead of these trends in 2024.