Five Trends Shaping the Future of IT

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Software-Defined Everything

Trend 4: Software-defined everything will continue its advancement.

You've probably already heard the talk of software-defined data centers or software-defined networks, where the control plane is abstracted from the hardware. It seems to be in vogue across all data center domains: Software-defined servers now seem old hat; software-defined networking continues to mature; and software-defined storage is gaining interest. But this is about more than quickly moving from the old to the new state data center, notwithstanding the fact that the legacy data center might not want to change so quickly. It's about increasing your agility, minimizing vendor lock-in, and improving your ability to serve the customers and consumers of your IT services.

When we think about the future or even the present of IT, it's easy to get caught up in the vendor, analyst and media new-technology buzzword frenzy. Words and phrases such as cloud, IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), Big Data, bimodal IT, DevOps, wearables and the quantified self, the consumerization of IT, BYOD and personal cloud services, and shadow IT all seem to get the headlines over the operational evolution required for many corporate IT organizations. Plus, many of these technologies/ideas are nothing new. For instance, the consumerization of IT has been around since June 2004 and is thus three years older than the Apple iPhone. Sometimes, it just takes time for new innovations and practices to permeate their way into your average corporate IT organization.

Look at the adoption of cloud, for instance. How long did it take for cloud to finally start its rapid ascent in the enterprise IT space? It can be hard to change the IT status quo, even when the technology itself is changing rapidly around it. And even when the technology does change, there are often people issues (beyond having the right technical skills and knowledge) to address. Again, using cloud as an example, it really is a case of "step away from the technology" for the IT professionals that have previously been more hands-on in the corporate data center. Now the IT professionals responsible for the infrastructure, platform or software delivered by third-party cloud service providers need to be more focused on service quality, costs, contracts and integrations.

In addition to responding to the impact of technology changes, corporate IT organizations and those within them need to better understand what IT really is – that IT is a business capability, not a department. And that the IT itself is not the required "end" – it's merely the means to an end, with the end being some form of positive business outcome. So, according to Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid Technologies, it's time to think differently about IT and what we ask of IT employees. While there will always be new technologies to watch and then adopt, there will also be fundamental changes required in the way that IT organizations work in partnership with business colleagues. In this slideshow, Lahav has identified five technology and operational trends that will help corporate IT organizations deliver better business outcomes via the optimal use of technology.


Related Topics : IBM Looks to Redefine Industry Standard Servers, APC, Brocade, Citrix Systems, Data Center

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