Cloud is experiencing its breakout moment. Accelerated digital transformation caused by the pandemic brought cloud to the top of the list for C-suite executives, who are uncovering its potential to support company growth and innovation. Among other key factors, cloud helps connect data, devices, and emerging technology in ways that can empower companies to be agile and resilient.

While cloud can improve resiliency, support decision-making, create better customer experiences, and increase profits, very few companies are positioned for it to fully deliver on its promise. To fully realize its value, executives need to understand what’s to come for cloud transformation.

Here are my top three cloud predictions for 2022:

Legacy Coexistence Will Sit at the Heart of Cloud Transformation

Organizations have invested in legacy technology and applications for many years, and there’s a notion that these investments will quickly disappear as a result of new cloud transformation. However, that is far from the truth. In fact, the legacy footprint for non-cloud-based applications is unlikely to go away in the medium term as we look at the digital fabric of the future.

While organizations make their leap into the cloud or prepare to pick their cloud service providers (CSPs), legacy technologies will coexist. Organizations will focus on strategies where they can gradually reduce their legacy footprint securely as they move to the cloud. This means that hybrid systems, an environment where businesses are conscious of the balance between cloud modernization and migration, will become essential for transformation.

Cloud 2.0 Means Modernization vs. Migration

In what may come as a shock to some, cloud technology is still in its early stages. We know this because 53% of companies have yet to realize substantial value from their cloud investments. While this is true, cloud adoption shows no sign of slowing down.

As we move towards hybrid working models, cloud transformation will evolve from this relatively immature state to a new focus on innovation. Organizations will progressively stratify their cloud portfolio into segments aimed at modernization vs. migration. Modernization means upgrading or replacing current applications in order to run software that is supported by and takes full advantage of cloud architecture. Cloud migration involves moving applications, systems, and data from your on-premises servers to a service provider’s server.

Once organizations start to focus on modernizing their cloud initiatives, they will start to unlock the value of ROI. Doing so will have an impact on CSP selection, cost of cloud transformation, speed of movement to the cloud, and internal upskilling.

The Multi-CSP Model Becomes a Focal Point Across Industries

Multi-cloud approaches are not a new concept – nearly half of today’s organizations have a multi-cloud strategy. However, in the coming year, we’ll begin to see verticals like healthcare, financial services and consumer markets increasingly adopt these models over other industries.

Having a multi-CSP model will help organizations select the right provider that has the most mature proven use cases to improve their ROI. For example, if an organization’s objective involves creating better customer experiences and increasing profits, then their best bet is to arrange their workload across several CSPs to select the one that best meets these specific objectives.

On average, organizations have three CSPs. Moving forward, we’ll see CSPs evolve their capabilities across geographies. This means that only some businesses will be able to join in on the benefits of providers that are based on location. CSPs that can support organizations coupling legacy technology with cloud transformation will better meet market demands and will outperform providers that cannot.

With organizations worldwide facing market disruptions as a result of the pandemic, one thing is for certain — digital and cloud transformation can turn any challenge into an opportunity. As we head into 2022, I hope to see more organizations take full advantage of all the promises cloud has to offer. The possibilities are endless.