This year has seen several interesting developments in the global IT industry, particularly within the cloud sector. As CTO of NaviSite I’ve seen many of the trends we predicted last year being realised, such as the normalisation of 'anytime, anywhere working' and cloud becoming a mainstream business technology. My bet is that 2016 will have even more fascinating developments in store. I’m not claiming to have a crystal ball, but as organisations continue to depend on IT to realise business goals, increase efficiencies and attract the best talent we can expect to see some of the following developments for enterprise IT in 2016:
- Businesses will be forced to transform to survive. It is no longer sufficient “just” to be the best in your industry. Businesses across all industries need to examine their untapped data assets to drive the next wave of innovation and competition. There are other businesses in your industry which will effectively leverage these assets to drive unprecedented levels of competition.
- The security landscape will continue to change rapidly. As we’ve seen over the past 18 months, the nature of the threat has changed in fundamental ways. No longer is perimeter based security sufficient (was it ever?) – a deep, granular, distributed security model is required. Advances in software defined networking combined with other non-traditional approaches (think beyond IP and port ACLs!) will enable IT to keep pace with the evolving threat.
- People will clearly understand how to map their application portfolio to the myriad clouds in the market. Insomuch as mainframes still exist (indeed are a growth area for some), so will on premise IT, private cloud, boutique cloud, and hyper scale cloud. All remain relevant. Much of the new development, so called “born in cloud” applications, will likely align with the hyper scale cloud, while the vast majority of existing enterprise applications will not.
- There will be a severe shortage of developers who can truly capitalise on the value proposition of hyper scale cloud. There is already a shortage, and many “born in cloud” applications are really just traditional designs deployed to the cloud. Applications, even newly developed ones, often rely on the infrastructure layer to provide resilience. The next generation of applications engineered to provide resilience at the application layer – i.e. those that can tolerate infrastructure failure – will suffer until this developer shortage is addressed. This is long term problem that will require one or more higher education cycles to resolve.
- Private cloud will see a short lived resurgence. Early adopters of public cloud will re-evaluate the commercial fit of private cloud – and late adopters may move directly to private cloud due to regulations and compliance needs. Cloud economics are compelling for a wide variety of use cases, but a CAPEX investment supporting a stable, long term application base often makes sense. In addition, many regulatory bodies regularly lag innovation, and private cloud often addresses compliance obligations while still providing many of the benefits of public cloud. This resurgence is likely to be short lived as regulatory bodies catch up, applications evolve, and more flexible pricing models for public cloud prevail.
If you agree/disagree with my predictions or if you have any of your own, I would love to hear from you, find me on Twitter @DGrimesCloud
David Grimes is CTO at NaviSite