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Welcome to a future as a service (Part 1)

There’s no such thing as standing still in the IT world. In the blink of an eye, the past fades away in our rearview mirror and the future transforms from mirage to certainty. Looking forward is no easy feat, but the future looks bright for those able to anticipate the right trends.

In this two-part blog series, we will examine a few of the trends that will shape the future of IT in the coming years.

IT spending will continue rising

The pandemic forced organizations to adapt quickly, resulting in a surge of spending on remote-working solutions. As the corporate world slowly acclimatizes to its new order, budgets are also returning to a steadier and more structured pace. Spiceworks Ziff Davis’s 2023 State of IT forecasts that — despite a potential recession ahead — roughly 51% of companies still plan to increase tech spending in 2023.

IT budgets are expected to grow by 13% year-over-year, driven by the need to support remote workforce and hybrid work environments, updating infrastructure, strategic projects to sustain growth, and rising security concerns.

Interestingly, the major shift in IT spending seems to benefit managed services, which should rise to 18% of IT budgets (up from 15% before the pandemic). It indicates an increased need to manage both on-premises and cloud infrastructure at a time when companies are right-sizing their environments to support employees.

Spiceworks Ziff Davis also predicts that the largest share of 2023 managed services budgets will go to managed business applications, security, hosting, and hardware support and maintenance.

In the context of a possible recession, the most important thing any company can do is maximize how you utilize the assets you already have, especially your people. While optimizing your bottom line remains key, your employees are still your company’s ‘engine room’ and you should invest in them to drive client satisfaction and new innovations.

Cloudy, with no chance of clearer skies

The rise of remote as-a-service solutions had already begun, but the pandemic triggered a sudden shift to remote work and the steady flow of companies implementing digital workplaces became a tidal wave. Even as employees come back into offices, the adoption of cloud services shows no sign of slowing down.

Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services will grow by 20.7% to a total of $591.8 billion in 2023, up from $490.3 billion in 2022, according to the latest Gartner forecast.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach in this new reality, and companies need expertise and assistance to navigate this cloud complexity. Employees all over the world now expect to work from anywhere with a consistent quality of service that only a tailored ecosystem can deliver. As such, software and IT services are driving most of Gartner’s global IT spending forecast for 2023, growing by 11.3% and 7.9%, respectively.

Within cloud computing, Gartner predicts that infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) will experience the highest end-user spending growth in 2023, while PaaS and SaaS will be impacted by inflation, staffing challenges and margin protection.

Looking forward, we expect edge computing to emerge as the natural evolution for cloud services. Edge enables enterprises to benefit from a remote infrastructure tailored to their needs and able to handle vast amounts of data near where it is produced and used.

The global edge computing market will reach $250 billion by 2024, and 90% of new operating procedures will be deployed on edge — compared to 20% today.

With the deployment of 5G and the proliferation of IoT devices, IDC predicts that the global edge computing market will reach $250.6 billion by 2024. Furthermore, 90% of new organizational operating procedures will be deployed on the edge computing network, compared to 20% today.

Based on our experience, managing, securing and processing data wherever it is produced creates opportunities to develop new services and dynamic ecosystems, specifically designed to meet customer needs. Data-driven companies also help drive enhanced business decisions. We can unleash the potential of data by enabling scalable and trusted access to open ecosystems.

It’s raining data

According to Statistica, 180 zettabytes of data will be created, captured, and consumed by 2025. That’s equivalent to 180 billion terabytes — a staggering increase from the record-shattering 64.2 zettabytes created in 2020. Data is everywhere, and almost everything has become data.

This paradigm shift has brought an ever-increasing need for computing power to collect, process and leverage these precious raw materials.

Fortune estimates that the IoT market will reach $1.4 trillion by 2027 and increasing adoption of edge computing will allow more data to be collected and stored than ever before. New AI advances and their implementation as-a-service will help companies process and make sense of these vast volumes of data.

Gartner estimates that the Internet of Behavior (IoB) will impact more than half of the world’s population by 2025. If IoT is the collection and processing of data, IoB stands on its shoulders to interpret and directly influence customer behavior. To harness this data, skills and IT infrastructures will have to adapt and scale very quickly, driven by expertise provided by managed services providers.

I also believe that IoB has a role to play in digital workplaces, helping understand and improve employee experience and accessibility, going beyond self-service to truly empower individuals by tailoring core support services to their needs.

In part two of this blog series, we will explore the challenges of sustainability and how to cope with an ever-evolving landscape.

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About Adam Lewis
Global CTO Healthcare & Life Sciences, Atos and member of the Scientific Community
An internationally recognized executive with a passion for new technologies & digitally transforming organizations. Adam is responsible for setting the overall technology and innovation agenda for Atos Healthcare & Life Sciences business. His primary focus is delivering industry-leading solutions, supporting the adoption of innovative new technologies, products, and services. Adam is an Atos Distinguished Expert & Member of the Atos Scientific Community. Adam has served many of the world’s largest organizations across multiple industries, with over twenty years of experience in global roles, including at SunGard, Ernst & Young, and Capgemini. He has a track record in providing strategic and technical leadership, usually advising at board-level, to organizations ranging from start-ups to global corporations. Previous roles and responsibilities have included Global CTO, leading Global Practices, P&L’s and Operations, Global Product Management & Chief Architect. Adam is a regular presenter at technology and business conferences.