Here’s something to get charged up about: Gartner forecasts end-user spending on cloud services to reach $482 billion by the end of 2022, up from $396 billion in 2021.
As companies look beyond the pandemic toward a more flexible future, there is no pumping the brakes on cloud adoption. Emerging cloud technologies enable faster, and more customer-centric development of applications, particularly large-scale machine learning and internet of things (IoT) capabilities.
“We’re blurring the lines between physical and digital right now,” said Ryan Fay, Global Head of High Tech and Global Enterprises for Gartner. “Companies are looking for real-time abilities to interact between people, business, and things.”
Tom Walpole, Trials.ai co-founder and CTO, is among those experimenting with cloud technologies. The San Diego-based startup leverages machine learning to accelerate clinical trials that get treatments to patients faster.
“The new business environment is driving an architecture that must support a distributed, cloud-agnostic application,” Walpole said.
In the last two years, Trials.ai modified its technology strategy to deliberately move away from any dependence on cloud-specific vendor services such as AWS S3 and SQS. Rather, it enabled a cloud-agnostic approach by using technologies like MinIO and Terraform.
The enterprise health-tech platform sells to pharmaceutical companies where privacy and security are of the highest importance.
“Typically, our customers have their own infrastructure that they want us to deploy on,” Walpole said. “In some cases, these are accounts on major cloud providers such as Azure, AWS, and Google, in other cases these are bare metal servers in their own data center.”
Trials.ai responded by developing technology to deploy in any environment.
“One key advantage of this approach for us is that we are able to easily leverage cloud edge technology as it proliferates,” Walpole added.
Oh yes, the elusive edge. Put simply, edge computing is done on-site or near a particular data source, minimizing the need for data to be sent to the cloud for processing. Organizations are increasingly turning to edge computing to handle IoT data to deliver quicker and more secure insights.
“Edge is further along than most people understand,” Fay said.
The tricky part of edge computing is the industry niche. It’s only visible if you’re working on a factory floor, worried about the supply chain, retail tech, gaming, AI or improving customer experience, among other specific tasks.
“People understand edge technology to an extent, but they don’t understand how to actually drive that technology to have a sustainable business ROI,” Fay said.
Despite the chip shortage and the pandemic’s impact on the supply chain, there will likely be more than 27 billion connected IoT devices by 2025. Widespread IoT and increased 5G adoption is expected to drive demand for edge computing as functions localize.
“Edge computing will become an important part of everyday work with the convergence of device delivery, privacy, security, maintenance and customer engagement,” said Ron Lev, Cox Edge CTO, Cox Business.
Walpole said Trials.ai is not currently utilizing edge environments, however they are working with an edge provider to support some of its technical requirements to deploy on its infrastructure.
It’s clear the cloud is no longer new and novel — it’s essential. As you leverage cloud technologies in 2022, connect with providers including our friends at Cox Business, who are finding ways to lower the barrier to entry.