Cloud7 is gathering opinions of the important names in cloud computing, web hosting, cybersecurity, data center, Linux, and other industries for 2022 in the Cloud7 Expert Series. Alongside their evaluations of 2022, they will share their expectations for 2023.
Andre Reitenbach is Chief Executive Officer at Gcore. Since being appointed to this position in 2014, Andre quickly became a leader who helped Gcore grow its global infrastructure across 6 continents, with one of the best network performances in Europe, North America, Asia, and LATAM. Under his management the company officially released the powerful Secure Edge & Cloud Platform and developed new low-latency services around the world, trusted by the largest online businesses. Andre completed an executive leadership Program at Leading Change and Organizational Renew from Stanford University, holds a Diploma in telecommunications systems, business intelligence, and international marketing from Technische Universität Braunschweig, and a Diploma in Business Informatics by Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig.
The picture in 2022 – data sovereignty, sustainability, and security
There were three topics that seemed to be on every customer’s lips during 2022: digital sovereignty, sustainability, and security.
Digital sovereignty is becoming an increasingly pressing issue in the EU. Member states are often reliant on businesses from other parts of the world for infrastructure and expertise. Events over the past few years — such as supply chain issues and the energy crisis — have made the case for Europe to become more self-sufficient and build resilience into its own technological base. Europe must be more assertive and proactive in fostering an environment that can support digital infrastructure and services firmly rooted in its values. When global powers are putting the resources and energy of the state behind drives for digital supremacy, Europe needs a similarly muscular approach.
With the world experiencing ever more extreme weather events, the environmental impact of equipment and operations has become one of the major factors when businesses are evaluating technology suppliers. Some of this is driven by regulatory pressure with businesses looking to optimize their ESG performance, but it’s also good business — better-performing hardware uses less energy and will ultimately reduce costs.
From a security perspective, businesses remain locked in an arms race with bad actors. Our own research revealed that the number, volume and power of DDoS attacks was approximately double in 2022 compared to the year before. E-commerce, fintech, and games development were the industry sectors subject to the highest volume of attacks. As artificial intelligence and machine learning get even better, we will see ever more sophisticated attacks. Businesses will be looking for support from technology providers to help them withstand the onslaught.
The outlook for 2023 — optimizing spend, technology as a competitive advantage and AI becomes an everyday work tool
As we look ahead to 2023 and a more challenging economic environment, businesses are asking themselves two questions: how can we do less for more? And where can we harness technology to drive competitive advantage?
Businesses should be exploring how they can reduce costs and increase the performance of existing technology. The pricing of many vendors for cloud services has become ever more complex and labyrinthine. It is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to understand and forecast the costs of the technology they’re going to need.
In assessing cloud vendors, firms should be looking for transparency and clarity — with aspects such as flat fee structures, predictable pricing, and the elimination of hidden costs and supposedly ‘optional’ extras. During the pandemic, many businesses accumulated lots of tools and software with overlapping capabilities across departments and geographies. Now is the time to audit technology use across the organization, eliminate duplicate capabilities, and optimize pricing with vendors.
While companies can be more efficient, they should not scrimp on the technology deployments that can move the business forward and give it an edge in the market.
And we see Artificial Intelligence as a capability that will transform business and society in the same way that the touchscreen smartphone has done. ChatGPT has really brought home the power and utility of AI. Then there is the emergence of creative tools, which can produce images and videos in response to user prompts.
We’ve been discussing AI’s potential for a number of years of course, but it now feels like we’re on the verge of a step change. People with no tech savvy can test out these capabilities and, already, we’re seeing professionals and industries beginning to explore how they can integrate these into their working lives and accelerate productivity. But beyond that, these tools are going to open up new industries and business models.
I think we’re likely to see a polarization in many industries — between those companies adopting the technology and finding new and more efficient ways of serving customers, and those who try and muddle through using the systems and processes they always have done. You can probably guess my views on which approach will come out on top.
Gcore’s priorities for the new year
From Gcore’s perspective, last year was very much a tale of two halves. At the start of the year, as the pandemic receded, there was a lot of optimism with businesses looking for opportunities to grow and innovate. We ourselves invested in international growth and we saw our customers do the same.
Then with geopolitical tensions and rising inflation, the outlook shifted. The prevailing attitude shifted towards defense rather than offense, and the globalization we’d taken for granted in recent decades began to go into reverse.
We at Gcore started to think more in terms of our core proposition and focus efforts there. For us, that is a European cloud provider with high performance and global reach. We doubled down on our areas of strength, particularly when it comes to innovation, such as our launch of AI Infrastructure as a Service. And we kept growing our teams and hiring people across the globe. We opened several new offices including Poland, Lithuania, Cyprus, and Georgia, along with the Philippines and Singapore to help our customers capitalize on growth in Asia.
As for Gcore in 2023, we will continue to invest in our infrastructure and people on a global scale — to provide our customers with an affordable, high-performance technological foundation for growth. In combination with this international outlook, as a European provider, we will maintain our commitment to supporting our customers’ digital sovereignty — with tools and systems that give them transparency and confidence about where their data flows and resides. And, finally, our focus on innovation will continue to drive the development of new products and services.