Your 2024 Tech Predictions From AWS re:Invent 2023
Inspired by our own conversations with you at AWS re:Invent 2023, here’s what we think should be on your radar for 2024.
With more than 52,000 attendees and 250 sessions, the energy in Las Vegas for AWS re:Invent 2023 was electric. The Megaport booth was busier than ever as we showcased our latest and greatest – standouts for the crowd were our automation, APIs, and showing you how to connect from any location on the Megaport network to AWS in a minute (yes, literally 60 seconds).
But beyond what we brought to the event, we left re:Invent 2023 feeling enlightened by what we learned from you, including what’s on your minds for the next year. Based on these conversations (and a lot of AWS sessions), here are our top tech predictions for 2024.
1. It’s time to embrace AI
The letters on everyone’s lips at re:Invent, much like the rest of 2023, were AI. Attendees we spoke with were divided into two camps: Enthusiastic adopters experimenting with any way they can integrate AI into their business, and skeptics who haven’t quite overcome their hesitation of putting their company’s future into the hands of a premature technology.
But in 2024, we’ll see most of these cynics welcome AI in some form. According to Forrester, 60% of generative AI skeptics will embrace the technology – whether knowingly or not. “AI as a service” is also a term we’ll be seeing a lot more of, as new players emerge offering different AI-driven specialities on-tap. This doesn’t discount the need to practice due diligence, though.
If you don’t know where to start on your AI journey, think about where you could use it to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks. You may already be doing this with APIs, but you can make it even easier by leveraging tools that do the back-end work for you – think platforms like Zapier.
2. Enable network flexibility within a hybrid cloud environment
Many of our conversations with re:Invent attendees had a common theme – how to keep your network flexible as your business goes increasingly virtual. Few organizations can say they’re entirely cloud native; there are many challenges in creating and maintaining high performance hybrid cloud environments, where geographically dispersed infrastructure means that application performance is only as good as the underlying connectivity. Activities like mergers and acquisitions, clearing up tech debt, or even just improving operational resiliency also force teams to interact with legacy systems and methods, and add further complexity to the network.
The key is ensuring network flexibility to move data quickly and with ease between environments. Many enterprises are in a constant state of migration, moving from on-prem to the public cloud, replicating environments in new locations or regions for expansion and resiliency, and even adopting additional cloud platforms on a frequent basis.
Flexibility in hybrid cloud networks will be increasingly important in 2024 as businesses continue to encounter complex infrastructure. Ensure your network is optimized for ever-evolving hybrid environments to stay ahead of the market.
3. Multicloud interconnection is more important than ever
More so than previous years, there were recurring conversations around the topic of multicloud at re:Invent. Conscious decisions are being made to pursue “best of breed” cloud workloads, prioritizing the best provider for each task over sticking to one provider for everything. But without effective management, the benefits of multicloud are offset by the resource drain caused by the increased complexity.
Multicloud architectures are only going to get more complex in 2024, and if you’re not already interconnecting your clouds with a flexible private connectivity solution, now is the time to. If your workloads are already interconnected, 2024 could be the year to optimize speed between clouds, and prepare for scale across your entire multicloud network.
Many customers who visited us at the show said they’re already using Megaport Cloud Router (MCR) for high-speed cross-cloud interconnection. From an MCR, you can leverage Virtual Cross Connects (VXCs) of up to 10G to connect your clouds, so you can grow your multicloud network on Megaport’s low-latency, elastic interconnection fabric, and avoid hairpinning back to your nearest point of presence. Plus, Megaport’s global, private network underlay reduces latency and jitter – crucial for effective interoperability between clouds.
4. Strengthen your cybersecurity posture
For a lot of visitors to our re:Invent booth, security was a key topic of conversation. As AI permeates the networking world, multicloud setups grow more complex, and businesses expand their networks to the edge, we’re seeing an invigorated interest in security as data becomes more vulnerable – and as attackers find more sophisticated ways to infiltrate networks.
If you haven’t already done so in 2023 (and even if you have), 2024 is the year to harden your cybersecurity posture by reviewing your processes, regularly testing and implementing updates, automating threat detection, privatizing your network wherever possible, and getting your entire business on board. Make sure you carefully review each AI integration with your InfoSec team first – there are new risks to consider with these platforms.
5. Edge computing will accelerate
Taking data to remote locations across globally distributed networks has become the norm for businesses of all kinds. The “branch” often extends beyond offices to hospitals, factory floors, and mine sites, to name a few. Conversations at re:Invent reflected this increased focus.
Edge computing technologies have matured to a point where businesses almost can’t afford not to have them. Processors are more powerful, devices are more energy-efficient, and memory processing has gotten smarter for a more low-cost, high-performance edge environment. However, interconnection from the edge to the cloud core is increasingly strained, and requirements for speed and capacity are rapidly increasing. We predict that businesses in 2024 will demand transformative edge networking solutions that integrate with core infrastructure seamlessly.
Solutions like Megaport Virtual Edge (MVE) enable the deployment of virtual network functions on a global private network, offer high-performance edge-to-cloud capabilities, and feature automations to reduce middle-mile network complexity.
In 2024, cloud users will be spoiled for choice with new AI-driven, edge-optimized networks – but as the hype subsides, reality will set in as teams feel the growing pains of managing these new technologies. Lean into these changes, rather than away from them, and bring your teams along for the ride – in 2024, you could build your best network yet.