Move to the Cloud, AI and Machine Learning, DevOps, and Data Governance: Four Trends that Defined 2023

2023 was a year marked by innovation and change in the enterprise technology landscape. Companies of all sizes continue to accelerate their digital transformation efforts and leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered solutions, including observability tools, to keep up with today’s increasingly complex network environments.

To remain competitive during this transformative time, companies migrated their workflows and applications across the cloud, increasingly implemented AI-powered solutions, looked to bring a DevOps framework to the database, and emphasized the need for having strong data governance.

As we approach the end of the year, here’s a closer look back at four significant trends that shaped the IT industry in 2023.

The Never-Ending Journey of Cloud Migration

The ever-evolving journey of cloud migration is one of the biggest stories in modern computing. As businesses seek to adapt to today’s rapidly changing digital world, "the shift to the cloud" is a critical step for any company to achieve efficiency, flexibility, and scalability.

However, “cloud migration” is a complex, multifaceted process. Even with 94% of enterprises using cloud services, research indicates that one in three cloud migrations fail and only 25% of businesses meet their migration deadlines.

There are many reasons that can result in successful or failed migration. A successful transition hinges on a deep understanding of, and transparency into, the database because while companies continuously transfer data and workloads to the cloud, they also move data back to on-premises infrastructure, transition between public and private clouds, or shift between different hyperscalers. Therefore, cloud migration is an ongoing and dynamic process that, over time, becomes a self-sustaining process of continuous improvement.

There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for cloud migration, so you need a purposeful approach for how and what you move to the cloud. This requires understanding multiple factors such as application dependencies, interoperability, performance, cost analysis between on-premises and cloud, and compliance, among other variables.

This is why the industry continued to turn to observability in 2023. Database observability provides a comprehensive view of what's happening inside a company’s most imperceptible and valuable systems. A strong observability system is the bedrock foundation for any organization attempting continuous improvement and maturing processes. Observability ensures that your never-ending cloud journey properly aligns to business goals and that the business delivers results in support of the objectives themselves.

Increasingly Implementing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning transformed the way IT professionals manage and analyze a mind-boggling amount of data, optimizing performance and improving overall business outcomes. AI plays a critical role in helping IT professionals manage high volumes of data and optimize performance, especially as more data was created between 2019 and 2021 than in all of human history.

By being able to manage and parse through large amounts of information and data, AI ensures applications and services are running properly, preventing application or system crashes and outages. This is critical as recent research from SolarWinds revealed that the typical enterprise suffers from an average of nine brownouts or outages every month, lasting around twelve hours each, at an average annual cost of $13.7M.

Since companies’ systems often run in multiple cloud environments and rely on hundreds of applications to get work done, the integration of artificial intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) has emerged as a powerful solution. With AI, IT professionals can improve the performance of these applications and services, enabling employees to work more efficiently.

Bringing the DevOps Framework into the Database

Companies often struggle to harness the true power of data because of the complex nature of having various types of data stored in multiple locations, both on-premises and in the cloud. Bringing the DevOps framework into the database has the potential to streamline database development and administration.

The software development world has long accepted the DevOps framework—a popular methodology that brings development and operations teams together to make software development and delivery more efficient. Although it’s been successful, DevOps is not well known in the database community, nor frequently applied because of the complex nature of managing data. Implementing database DevOps practices ensures data and applications are running efficiently while avoiding downtime and system crashes.

Database DevOps provides organizations with streamlined deployment, improved flexibility, reduced risk and downtime, and so much more. When organizations effectively bring DevOps practices into the database, they can quickly address the intricate requirements of their diverse and expansive database infrastructures. This strategic integration enables them to meet the demands of database performance management and drive modernization efforts.

Effective Data Governance is the Key to Successful Data Management and Organization

2023 revealed that data is no longer just a tool for the largest companies. Today, every business is a data business, and in order to stay competitive, companies need to be able to use data analytics to understand what decisions to make to support the business. Many companies now have a wealth of data that requires developed systems and principles to manage, which they can do through advanced cloud databases, alongside enterprise-wide policies and practices that ensure the highest data quality, security, and compliance. 

Without these policies and systems in place, the value of data can’t be maximized, and organizations will lose out on operational efficiency, informed decision-making, and much more.

A Look Ahead to the New Year

Moving into 2024, businesses should expect digital transformation efforts to continue to evolve at unprecedented rates. As database professionals continue to face challenges with having comprehensive visibility into the database, I believe more companies will learn how to combine both DevOps and DataOps practices to ensure more seamless database development and administration.

In addition, I predict we will see greater specialization happening within data teams to help parse through the large amounts of data. To effectively manage data, we will need a specialist dedicated to building data pipelines as well as specialists who are responsible for cleaning the data. This will help prevent any issues within the database and lead to a better understanding of what’s happening.

2024 is set to be transformative in the IT industry as the integration of AI not only elevates the significance of harnessing the power of data but also makes the shift to the cloud even more critical for companies to achieve efficiency, flexibility, and scalability. With new AI-powered tools, we are on the cusp of ushering in remarkable advancements and revolutionizing the industry overall.