hybrid cloud

The tech industry will continue to undergo major transformations next year, driven by the evolving needs of the digital landscape. Let’s explore the top predictions for our 2024 tech forecast:

1. Embracing the new normal in IT: Remote work & security

First off, the remote work trend isn’t just a phase – it’s here to stay, and it’s reshaping the responsibilities of IT administrators. In 2024, expect to see IT admins focusing even more on keeping things secure and compliant, especially with the rise of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and contractor access. We’re moving past the era of traditional VPNs and web gateways; it’s all about innovative solutions for our diverse, remote, and hybrid work environments. And guess what? The Digital Employee Experience (DEX) is now more crucial than ever.

2. Cloud meets AI: A match made in tech heaven

In 2024, the combination of cloud computing and AI will revolutionize how quickly we can develop and launch SaaS (Software as a Service) applications. Productivity gains for developers are through the roof with some seeing more than 50% gains. It means more innovative, efficient software solutions on the horizon. Plus, for those already in the cloud, adopting and using GenAI models will equate to faster time to value.

3. Budgets in IT: A balancing act

IT budgets are constantly evolving. While total spending might not see a huge shift, where the money goes is changing. Think more focus on security, managing endpoints, and securing applications. It’s all about smart spending in 2024 with FinOps being a crucial tool for the IT.

4. The rise of hybrid cloud

The hybrid cloud isn’t just for the big players or regulated industries anymore. In 2024, it’s going mainstream, with more organizations blending on-premises investments with cloud services. This flexible approach is gaining traction. According to the recent 2023 Hybrid Cloud Survey, two-thirds of respondents, 64%, have already implemented a hybrid approach, and 38% of all respondents intend to enhance their adoption of the hybrid cloud within the upcoming year. GenAI is only going to accelerate cloud adoption, and legacy workloads will need the ability to work with these new workloads in the cloud.

5. When vendors change, cloud adoption grows

Vendor decisions have a strong influence on IT strategies.  For example, as vendors like Citrix and VMware evolve through mergers and acquisitions or leave a customer segment, many businesses lean toward a cloud-first strategy. This shift is becoming a significant driver for cloud adoption. This also becomes a time to consolidate vendors. 

6. Legacy apps: The ongoing challenge

Despite rapid cloud adoption, many companies are sticking with on-premises infrastructure due to compatibility issues with legacy apps. According to a recent survey by Parallels, 49% of IT professionals affirmed the ongoing need to support legacy Windows and Linux applications beyond five years. Expect legacy app challenges to be a hot topic well beyond 2024.

7. Safeguarding against browser-borne threats with zero-trust alternatives

With more apps moving to a SaaS model delivered from the cloud, protecting against cyberattacks like malware and phishing originating from browsers will be a priority for IT organizations. Remote Browser Isolation (RBI) is becoming a go-to solution to help neutralize online threats and stave off exposure to malware and other cyberthreats in a zero-trust stack. RBI works by containerizing and isolating individual applications and cloud-hosted environments, to ultimately prevent data leaks from the organization.

8. Generative AI: Shaping our digital world

Generative AI is making waves, from content creation to design and beyond. With cheaper and more accessible APIs, we can expect a lower barrier to the adoption of Large Language Models (LLMs) for a variety of use cases from marketing, sales, data analytics, software development, customer support, and cybersecurity. 

9.Bottom-up tech spending: A new trend

Even with tight top-down budgets, employees and teams are investing in tech tools they find valuable. This bottom-up spending trend signifies a shift in technology adoption within organizations, despite the economic conditions.

10. Looking forward to predictable growth in 2024

Finally, 2024 is shaping up to be a year of predictability in tech. We’re expecting growth in end-user computing device shipments, with a spotlight on Macs in the enterprise world. It’s a welcome change from the uncertainties of recent years.

    In conclusion, our 2024 tech forecast predicts that remote work, AI evolution, and cloud strategies will be key drivers to IT success. It’s all about being adaptable and seizing new opportunities in this ever-changing tech landscape. Stay tuned, stay adaptable, and let’s make the most of these exciting times!

    More and more companies are considering a hybrid cloud approach for better control and customization over things like security and costs.  Hybrid clouds offer the benefits of a public cloud with the agility of a private cloud and/or hosting workloads on-premises.  Although public have quickly evolved from new-fangled fringe technology to far beyond the perimeter and into the mainstream, they aren’t without potential detractors and complications. For one thing, cloud migration can be intimidating. And second, there’s a shortage of skilled IT staff with the necessary cloud-specific skills.  A recent Parallels Hybrid Cloud Survey revealed more about how organizations and IT leaders are engaging with the hybrid cloud.   

    Not everyone has their head fully in the cloud(s)—here’s why 

    The survey found that, among those who say they aren’t getting enough value out of the public cloud, 41% cite migration complexity as a significant concern.  

    As if migration to the cloud weren’t challenging enough, it requires the availability of qualified staff for migration deployment and management. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a massive shortage of skilled staff in the IT space. IT recruiting challenges were another commonly cited concern. Even if IT roles are fully staffed, cloud-specific skills may still be lacking. One in three respondents struggling with cloud adoption says a lack of in-house expertise is a driving factor. 

    This isn’t a benign issue. There’s plenty at stake. According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of IT professionals (62%) find a lack of cloud management skills to hinder growth. That’s an even bigger issue among mid-sized companies (those with 500 – 1,999 employees), where 72% think growth is stunted. 

    But how can you overcome barriers to growth when you don’t have the resources to do so? 

    For many, that’s where hybrid cloud comes in. 

    Mind the gap 

    There’s a reason hybrid cars are capturing so many headlines right now: consumers love blending the efficiency of electric vehicles with the familiarity and perceived dependability of gas-fueled cars. 

    Hybrid is meant to deliver the best of both worlds, and many IT leaders are finding that the same goes for the cloud space.  

    The hybrid cloud is a dynamic mix of public and private clouds with on-premises infrastructure. It’s helping organizations embrace digital acceleration while keeping a foot in legacy operations, and some IT leaders say it’s revolutionizing how they manage their data and applications. A hybrid approach allows for more gradual cloud adoption, bolstered by user-friendly software solutions incorporating automation and security measures.  

    Using a hybrid cloud structure might help organizations balance a desire for growth and digital acceleration with a persistent lack of skilled expertise, enabling organizations to harness the full potential of the cloud, even without a full roster of specialized cloud management skills. 

    The survey found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents already use a hybrid approach. Almost one in four (38%) plan to ramp up focus on a hybrid cloud approach in the next year, whether starting the process or elevating their investment in the hybrid cloud. This surge signals a broader recognition of the benefits that hybrid solutions bring to the table. 

    A hybrid approach for a hybrid world 

    Perhaps not surprisingly, the hybrid cloud is most popular among companies that embrace a hybrid workplace model, with employees mixing in-office and remote work. A hybrid approach works well for organizations that still rely on existing infrastructure but need to support operations that extend beyond a perimeter. Among respondents, 83% currently work within a hybrid workplace model, and a whopping 82% of those use the hybrid cloud. 

    Regardless of the workplace model, the hybrid cloud may deliver several attractive benefits compared to a 100% public cloud structure or a 100% on-premises structure. Respondents found the top five benefits of a hybrid approach to be: 

    • Increased flexibility (49%) 
    • Improved security (46%) 
    • Cost savings (45%) 
    • Increased reliability (44%) 
    • Scalability (40%) 

    How to get the most out of the hybrid cloud 

    Legacy applications remain the backbone of IT infrastructures, with 96% of professionals indicating an ongoing need for legacy Windows and Linux applications. Nearly half (49%) expect this need to persist for the next five years and beyond. A hybrid cloud approach can be instrumental in navigating legacy application challenges, enabling organizations to make incremental changes to their infrastructure needing a total application overhaul. 

    In a dispersed workforce with an increasingly diverse range of devices (both company-owned and personal) being used, solutions like Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) are critical to the success of the hybrid cloud. Parallels RAS enhances automation and security for end-user computing in a hybrid cloud setting. This ensures cost efficiency and reduces administrative overhead, especially in environments like Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). 

    Avoiding storm clouds ahead 

    The gap in IT professionals is expected to expand significantly between now and 2027, creating an urgent need for the industry to find new ways of driving innovation while maintaining security and productivity. An overwhelming 82% of respondents in large enterprises find value in the hybrid cloud, and that number is likely to rise with new releases of supportive technology like Parallels RAS. 

    Parallels RAS can help facilitate gradual, user-friendly cloud migration while making it simple and cost-effective for businesses and individual customers to use the applications they choose, anywhere, anytime. 

    The Parallels Hybrid Cloud Survey was conducted in July 2023 with data from 805 IT professionals using the public cloud to some extent in the U.S., UK, and Germany. Access the full report to learn how organizations and IT leaders are engaging with the hybrid cloud.   

    As more and more companies make the switch to the cloud, it’s important to consider the financial implications of such a move. Cloud costs can be difficult to control for several reasons, including different pricing structures and billing models with various options and combinations, and constantly changing offers and pricing. In addition, the cost of migrating to the cloud can be significant, as many organizations do not have the necessary in-house knowledge and need to hire specialists.

    Building a business case

    To manage cloud costs effectively, preparation is key. Before making the switch, it’s important to make a business case and carefully consider which applications, infrastructures, and workplaces can be moved to the cloud. For large data sets that require significant resources and can increase cloud costs, an on-premise solution may be a better fit. Additionally, legacy applications that pose problems when deploying to the cloud may also be better left on-premise. For applications with fluctuating workloads or disaster recovery purposes, the cloud can be a more viable solution. A hybrid cloud approach can also be beneficial, allowing organizations to take advantage of the best of both worlds.

    It’s also essential to map out what can and cannot be transferred to the public cloud. For example, it’s often cheaper to run databases on-premise, and organizations should regularly assess whether certain data is still needed. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that existing processes continue to work correctly after the switch. By opting for a VDI solution, for example, IT departments can easily centralize desktops in a data center, saving time and improving productivity.

    Making the most of your cloud investment

    To minimize cloud costs, it’s also important to turn off virtual machines, databases, and services when they’re not needed. As long as organizations take these steps into account, they can take advantage of the many benefits and capabilities of the cloud, including faster time-to-market, innovation opportunities, and more opportunities. By effectively managing cloud costs, organizations can make the most of their cloud investment while avoiding financial pitfalls.

    The original version of this article appeared in Computable.

    Latest release, just announced, includes exciting new features—especially enhanced integration with Azure Virtual Desktop.

    You already knew that Parallels RAS (Remote Application Server) plays well with others. After all, the entire point of Parallels RAS is to enable seamless work on the OS and the device of your choice. Now, we’re taking things to a new level with the just-announcedrelease of Parallels RAS 19.2—including a collaboration with Microsoft to rev up Azure Virtual Desktop integration.  As organizations move to the cloud, we perceive Azure to be a strategic hyperscaler in their digital transformation. Our hybrid cloud setup facilitates easy startup and scaling of Azure Virtual Desktop with hassle-free deployment and management.

    Why is hybrid cloud important?

    The cloud isn’t one-size-fits-all. Savvy companies are carefully evaluating their specific needs and requirements to determine the best approach for them. Hosting applications in the cloud should be used when it makes sense—think seasonal workloads, or disaster recovery to shore up a second data center for failover. Still, some applications might be better off on-premises, like legacy apps, or large data sets that require a lot of resources that could drive up cloud costs.

    The demand for flexibility

    The name of the game: flexibility. Flexibility has never been more in demand, and that’s why organizations are flocking toward a hybrid model that enables both public and private cloud options. That demand for flexibility is the same reason so many companies are embracing a remote and hybrid workforce.

    Reduced cost and maintenance

    Parallels RAS 19.2 allows for an unparalleled (sorry!) level of flexibility at all levels of business. Of course, flexibility is only part of what businesses and workers need right now. With economic uncertainty and a tight labor market, they also need as much streamlining and efficiency as possible. With this new release, Parallels RAS delivers even more of what customers have come to expect: reduced costs, optimized operations, an enhanced user experience, easy implementation, no need for specialized expertise—the list goes on. And the numbers back it up. This new enhanced Azure Virtual Desktop integration translates to up to 79%* Azure cost reduction, with up to 70%** reduction in time spent on maintenance and troubleshooting.

    Total cost savings

    With Parallels RAS 19.2, adopting a hybrid cloud model has never been easier.

    Can’t get enough? Learn more about what’s new in Parallels RAS 19.2.   

    *Based on unoptimized AVD native |**Estimate based on reduced time to deploy, no trial-and-error management, driven by intuitive and wizard-driven RAS management console (incl. FSLogix config and MSIX App attach) | More info at https:// https://www.parallels.com/products/ras/capabilities/avd/

    As SVP of Technology at Alludo, I’m often asked about what technology trends I see coming down the pipeline. I recently shared new predictions with Italian publication BitMAT and wanted to highlight them here as well.

    Trend #1: Investment in technology will be a requirement, not a “nice-to-have”

    With the economic downturn, companies are looking for ways to tighten budgets. Technology should not be a place to compromise in 2023. Smart investments in technology can make companies significantly more economically efficient, doing more with fewer resources.

    In 2023, companies will be called up on to ramp up their technological equipment—both to remain competitive in an increasingly complex and demanding market, and also to cope with the exponential increase in costs and constraints related to issues like sustainability and productivity.

    Trend #2: True hybrid cloud is the way forward

    In 2023 and beyond, enterprises will finally start planning for a true hybrid cloud. To that end, we’ll see a push toward integrating cloud services and legacy infrastructure teams. However, skills shortages will continue to be a challenge. Employees who have the skills to build serverless and cloud-native infrastructures are very rare, and companies will have to squeeze their budgets to attract and retain this type of top talent. 

    Trend #3: Green computing for a sustainable future

    More and more businesses—especially midsized to upper-midsized—will significantly accelerate their cloud adoption investments to securely and efficiently manage both next-gen and legacy applications. This is especially important as the threat of the global energy crisis and economic downturn continues, and companies increasingly focus on their carbon footprints.

    While the cloud isn’t perfect in terms of sustainability, it’s greener than traditional data centers. And with more and more companies moving workloads to the cloud, cloud providers can continue to invest in renewable energy sources to enable environmentally friendly cloud-native applications. 

    Trend #4: Tackling talent shortage through automation and long-term investments

    As skills shortages continue to dominate the labor market globally, companies will adapt to augment and automate repetitive tasks. This automation will also feed into a trend toward qualifying and enhancing existing talent to focus on higher value-added activities. This is going to become crucial in an increasingly resource-strapped and highly competitive labor market.

    Automation isn’t the only path forward. Companies will also have to make long-term investments to train and nurture talent that has yet to enter the labor market, with the aim of enriching the ecosystem.