Cloud computing trends for 2022

From cloud native and SASE to business technologists and industry clouds, we take a look at the top cloud computing trends for 2022…


Cloud computing use accelerated during the pandemic as it became a necessity for businesses to scale up their digital presence and look to provide services in different ways.

Already a popular and well-established technology, it took the spotlight as the mass move to remote working was thrust upon us, and now as we look towards recovery, the appetite for cloud solutions is still strong.

A Gartner survey found that CEOs believe cloud is one of the top technologies that will impact their industry most significantly in the coming three years, and the analyst firm has forecast that organisations are 17 times more likely to increase their cloud spending than decrease it over the next 12 months.

As more organisations move towards a cloud-first strategy, we can expect to see new capabilities, improved efficiencies and scalability and customisation from cloud service providers (CSPs) as they vie for a bigger slice of the pie.

Forrester, for example, predicts that the general-purpose cloud has had its time, and that in 2022 we can expect to see the growth of specialised industry clouds, with solutions tailored for each sector.

Gartner’s predictions include the growth of distributed cloud, while CSS Insight has forecast that ‘clean’ cloud will take more importance, as companies put more importance on sustainability and achieving their ESG goals.

Here we take look at what analysts predict will be the biggest cloud computing trends in 2022.

Cloud native

Analysts agree that cloud native will take centre stage in 2022, becoming the core cloud strategy rather than a “nice to have” addition.

According to Forrester, container adoption rose from 33% of organisations in 2020 to 42% in 2021 and will hit the 50%-mark next year as cloud-native technologies permeate all tech domains, from big data and AI through to IoT.

By 2025, Gartner predicts that cloud-native platforms will serve as the foundation for more than 95% of new digital workloads, up from less than 30% in 2021.

As people move from the traditional virtual machine (VM) ways of developing and deploying applications towards containers, this is going to drive a decision point around how to orchestrate and scale the containers notes Lee Sustar, a principal analyst at Forrester.

“And there’s a number of ways of doing that. You could have a type of proprietary container orchestration system for example, but what we’re seeing is a much wider embrace of open standards around Kubernetes. This is a sea change in the way IT infrastructure is organised,” he says.

SASE will help security scale

How security is implemented also looks set to change. According to Gartner the future is secure access service edge (SASE), which distributes, rather than centralises, security.

“As use of cloud continues to grow so will the number of apps and transactions. Imagine trying to bring all that traffic to one centralised place. This will take forever and your applications will drop out or there’ll be mistakes. But, if you do it session-based then it’s very scalable,” explains Milind Govekar, Chief of Research, Infrastructure and Operations at Gartner. “SASE brings security to the sessions rather than sessions to the security. Off you go, no delay!”

Changes to the cloud provider landscape

Data protection regulations and antitrust reform have begun to have an impact on the cloud market and in 2022 all the major hyperscalers are predicted to continue making major adjustments to meet the needs of regional customers and regulations.

The giants look set to continue out in front, however Forrester has forecasted that Google Cloud Platform (GCP) won’t achieve its short-term ambition of being in the top two of public cloud by 2023 ­– but this won’t affect its opportunities for long-term success.

Interestingly, as edge computing grows in 2022, Sustar believes that the hyperscalers won’t just be able to walk in and assimilate this sector into their overall tech dominance.

“The edge, which is a distinct group of technologies, is likely to have a different make up of vendors, and successes may initially hinge on partnerships,” he says.

A foundation for business innovation

According to Govekar, cloud computing is set to become a key driver for business innovation, rather than technology, over the next few years by enabling new business models and revenue streams.

“For example, a shipping company, which focuses on logistics, will be able to get into B2B insurance. Cloud facilitates business disruption capabilities, allowing you to build a platform business model and then ecosystems around that platform. You can collect data, then mine it to discover potential opportunities.”

This will take a few years to come to fruition as the journey has just begun, but he says we can expect to see some interesting things happening in this area soon.

“There are several things going on and one is the rise of what we call ‘business technologists’. This is someone who doesn’t sit within the IT part of the business but is tech savvy; a kind of ‘citizen developer’ that can create technological capabilities for either internal or external use.

“As the name implies, the idea is that the applications of the future will be composed and assembled by the people that actually use them, and this is a big change.”

Instead of seeing them as shadow IT and trying to shut them down, Govekar advises organisations embrace their business technologists and look at their rise as a force multiplier.

“If you’re struggling to get people with the right skills, ask how you can make this new ‘business technologist’ capability more impactful. What we’re seeing as a result is the rise in low code, no code applications, (70% of new applications will be developed this way by 2025), with business technologists developing custom applications that can give their organisation a competitive advantage.”

Analyst recommendations

Keeping these cloud computing trends in mind, analysts recommend that organisations shift their IT mindset from control to adaptive governance.

In order to make the most of the opportunities cloud will provide, they advise IT leaders begin to build platform teams now, in addition to prioritising a DevOps culture and encouraging fusion teams.

By taking these steps organisations will be well positioned to gain an advantage on their competitors and make the most of the new opportunities 2022’s biggest cloud trends will offer…