IT Trends for 2015 — Post 2: Web-Scale IT
The new IT reality strongly increases complexity; organizational disruption will occur as we move from IT industrialization to the digitalization of everything.
Additionally, the looming trends of software-defined anything, the growing need to properly harness and understand big data, the Internet of everything and more enterprise mobility, means an organization's IT infrastructure must be managed in a new way.
In my last post on the top technology trends for 2015, as seen by Gartner, I looked at Actionable Intelligence — and the increasing need to transform data into information into knowledge, to make smarter business decisions based on evidence not on intuition.
However, actionable intelligence only works with a network aligned with business objectives that dynamically governs itself to connect network infrastructure to the enterprise's business goals, delivering high-level knowledge and taking the right decisions to reach business objectives.
Automation, governance and business dashboards are key to maximizing business continuity, rationalizing IT resources and expenses, as well as controlling and predicting new usages. This blog post will examine more trends set to heavily impact the way IT departments manage their organisation's applications and network infrastructure.
A new style of cloud computing — Web-Scale IT
Whilst cloud computing is already widely used, 2015 will see it converge with mobile computing to promote the growth of centrally-controlled applications that can be scaled for use on any device.
Mobile cloud computing is now becoming a reality for many businesses. Some retail companies use tablets for payment processing, accelerating the sales process and efficiency. Similarly, building companies use tablets and cloud apps to synchronize all the construction professionals involved in a project in order to reduce errors and maximize delivery time and efficiency. Both of these are advancements that would be impossible without the cloud. But they would also fail without an optimized network. Cloud IT structures need to be scalable and work elastically to manage a network with fluctuating demands such as these.
Web-scale IT is an extension of cloud computing that big cloud providers already have in their vision for the future. Enterprises are increasingly adopting these web-scale offerings and moving away from managing their own infrastructure. This means a change for the IT department, as they are no longer always in control of the specific applications on their network. This requires both a cultural and technological change, where the IT department needs greater information on the performance of apps and infrastructure and the ability to centrally control these, allowing for agility, scalability and cost reduction.
An additional trend that will change the way that IT works in 2015 is closely linked to the greater consumer demand for personalization. More organizations will begin building infrastructure that allows them to offer personalized services, in a way that web giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon are already known for. With software-defined networking approaches coming into the main, businesses will be able to drive the development of applications and services that offer the consumer more, whilst simultaneously reducing IT costs through workflow automation. For this to take place, businesses should invest in tools that support the underlying network infrastructure ensuring of the application management.
Securing the future of IT performance
The idea of software defining a network is seen as the logical next step as we move into a world where applications are ubiquitous across enterprise networks. Due to the resulting incremental volume of traffic on the corporate network, organizations will need easy-to-use, fully integrated and cost-effective systems able to dynamically automate, orchestrate and control this diversity of usages and applications over a hybrid environment.
Enterprises need to have a strong software-defined vision for the future in order to keep up with the growing software commands going over the network that tell the ever-diminishing volume of hardware how to behave. Soon, we will move into a world with software-defined anything — where APIs are able to link different cloud infrastructures together, so they all work in unison without the need for any additional hardware. As an enterprises' infrastructure becomes increasingly software-based, the need for a highly functioning and flexible network grows and grows.
To summarize, it seems 2015 might be the year when cloud computing meets mobile, to offer the user seamless control of their network and applications wherever they may be. As well as this, we will begin to see an evolution in cloud computing that will take a move web-scale approach. This will mean organizations' infrastructure becomes increasingly cloud-based and software-defined moving from manual and static management to automated and dynamic management including governance in order to be more agile, business centric and more competitive.