“The year of the Rooster teaches the lessons of order, scrutiny and strategic planning.”
Hubert Yoshida, Chief Technology Officer
Every year at this time I along with many other bloggers try to identify the coming trends for the following year. While there are many analysts like IDC and Forrester who provide predictions that go out to 2020 and beyond. I only identify IT trends that I have noticed developing during the past year that will likely affect the coming year 2017. These are my views and may not necessarily be the views of Hitachi Data systems. – By Hu Yoshida
No surprise, everything next year will be impacted by the major move to digital transformation. The trends which I will be covering in more detail over the next three weeks are organized into three major categories. The first category is Data Center Trends followed by Technology Trends and IT/OT/IoT Trends. Here is an overview of the trends which I will be expanding on over the next few weeks.
Data Center Trends
1. Productivity gains will be more about people, process and business out comes
Despite the explosion of new technology over the past 10 years, productivity has declined compared to the previous 10 years, even in the countries that are viewed to be the most tech savvy. This is according to an OECD (Office of Economic Co-operation and Development).
Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked. While IT has become more cost efficient in terms of managing infrastructure this has not translated into increases in business goods and services. IT will begin to be measured on business outcomes rather than by how many Terabytes can be managed by one FTE (Full Time Employee). The hope for Digital Transformation is to reverse this trend in productivity.
2. The Agile Transformation of IT
The mantra for IT will shift from doing more with less to doing more – faster. Businesses are under tremendous pressure to transform and that means implementing innovative new applications and platforms for all aspects of their business. More IT executives are adopting Agile methodologies, working with the business units from the beginning and getting their feedback on a regular basis. IT must rethink their processes and reskill their people and their CIO must become a “business” CIO rather than a cost center manager.
3. Buying models are changing
The market is shifting away from technology asset purchasing. Businesses are rethinking the buying model for their IT purchases both in infrastructure and services. This is influenced by the advantages of reduced costs, increased agility and improved time to value of cloud and hosted services.
4. Accelerating Transition to the cloud
Cloud-first strategies are the foundation for staying relevant in a fast-paced world,” according to Ed Anderson, research vice president at Gartner. IT managers will be developing skills in cloud monitoring, cloud workload performance and security management, and cloud capacity management. It is no longer a question of “whether” but “when”. Virtualization, convergence, object storage and cloud management portals will facilitate the movement to cloud.
5. Bi-Modal IT
Companies that are not born in the cloud have systems of record that they must maintain and modernize while they transform to new systems of innovation. Bimodal IT refers to having two modes of IT, each designed to develop and deliver information and technology-intensive services in its own way:
- Mode 1: Traditional — emphasizes safety and accuracy
- Mode 2: Nonlinear — emphasizes agility and speed
IT must be able to manage both modes and implement systems that can bridge between these two modes. While some may consider this to be a data center trend, this requires technology to integrate these two modes.
6. Flash First
The TCO per bit cost for multi-terabyte flash is already lower than hard disks based on 5 year projections for power, cooling, floor space, maintenance, and ease of management. The cost argument against all flash is eliminated and you no longer have to argue with a user whether his data is tier 1 or 2. As a result, analyst are projecting that the revenue for flash storage will cross over the revenue for Hard disks in 2017 as the transition to Flash accelerates.
7. A Centralized Data Hub
Data is exploding, and data is becoming more valuable as we find ways to correlate data from different sources to gain more insight, or we repurpose old data for different uses. Data is our crown jewels, and IT will be creating a centralized data hub for better management, protection, governance and search of their data. This centralized data hub will need to be an object store that can scale beyond the limitations of file systems, ingest data from different sources, and provide search and governance across public and private clouds and mobile devices.
8. Real time analysis, Hadoop, visualization, and predictive analytics will be a major focus
Predictive analytics is becoming more prevalent as businesses try to anticipate the events that affect their business. This trend will see the expanded use of in-memory data bases, and streaming analytics platforms to provide real time analysis of developing trends. Real time analytics will be connected with Hadoop analytics for further analysis and results will be stored in an object store for the possibility of future analysis. Analytic tools like Pentaho will combine structured and unstructured data from different sources to provide a 360 view for analysis.
9. Smart IT: The Integration of IT and OT
Operational technology (OT) data may be data from sensors or logs that can augment the data from IT to provide a more complete understanding of an event or process. This will be the foundation for Smart Banks, Smart retail, Smart transportation, Smart Manufacturing, etc. Retailors are already at the forefront combining operational data from in-store sensors and social media to optimize purchasing and supply chain systems. More businesses will be looking for data integration tools like Pentaho to integrate their IT and OT data.
10. Growing awareness of IoT in the Data Center
The internet of things (IoT) is the networking of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect, exchange and even process data on the edge. The networking of things will impact every aspect of our lives. This goes beyond the integration of IT and OT and except for a few applications like public safety, will not be a major IT trend in 2017. However, the decisions we make in IT in 2017 should be made with an eye to IoT. The integration of IT and OT with analytics is the first step. To address IoT requires more than the vertical integration of industry silos, but a horizontal platform of reusable components so that the front end is integrated with the backend business systems.