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Six Critical Trends That Will Impact IT Over the Next Five Years

Six Critical Trends That Will Impact IT Over the Next Five Years

October 23, 2012
By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

While cloud computing is growing stronger by the day, analysts are suggesting that we may be caught in the eye of its storm. With heavy forces such as social media and networking, mobility, and information management all picking up speed as well, it could lead to a very messy outcome if not handled properly. Even worse, some of these factors cannot be easily controlled by IT, and yet they are expected to remain ahead in the game by meeting these issues that are thrown their way. To this point, Gartner (News - Alert) has just revealed a report indicating what may be the top 10 IT trends over the next five years to help meet and overcome the obstacles they may face.

Analyst David Cappuccio reveals the following from a recent report he presented at Gartner’s IT Annual IT Symposium. The following are deemed the “Ten Critical Trends and Technologies Impacting IT During the Next Five Years.”

1.)    Shift to Next-Gen IT Training: The level of attention businesses require of IT performance and support can lie drastically different from that which they experience with consumer-based applications and services. “Business-user satisfaction can be a moving target, but enabling higher levels of productivity at the IT service desk level demonstrates that the IT organization cares about the business, and that it’s committed to ensuring that users meet their goals and objectives,” Gartner reports. This is why it’s essential to focus on ditching traditional training, procedures and knowledge management in favor of next-generation methods, as this could eliminate un-needed disruptions altogether to increase IT productivity. This “will be paramount to meet the needs and expectations of the business more efficiently.”

2.)    Software Defined Networks: Apparently, we’re going to be seeing more software defined networks (SDNs), which can prove very advantageous for such things as extending private clouds to better supporting the cloud provider’s infrastructure. As the SDN gives the controller a full view of the entire network topology for both its virtual and physical components such as switches, firewalls and ADC (News - Alert), we can see this becoming increasingly prominent over the next few years in IT.

3.)    Bigger data and storage: “Data growth continues unabated,” Gartner repots, adding that it’s usually not increasing awareness of the issue that’s important (as this issue has been around for quite a while), but more so the prioritization of the issues. “We have spent so many years dealing with this, and surviving, that storage management projects are usually initiated from the ground up, rather than top-down, relegating many of these to ‘skunkworks’ status with little long-term funding.” As data grows, so must storage, and we’ll apparently be seeing this over the next few years. Gartner suggests that it’s time to put our foot down and grab the reigns with this, too, saying, “Now is the time to do this, because most of the growth during the next five years will be in unstructured data – the most difficult to manage from a process or tool point of view.” Researchers also forecast that technologies which will become increasingly important over the next few years will include in-line deduplication, automated tiering of data and flash/SSD drives for higher-end performance optimization.

4.)    The Internet: “Cloud computing is heavily influenced by the Internet and vendors that have sprung from it,” Gartner explains, noting massive media search engine Google (News - Alert). As the Internet expands regarding Internet-connected consumer devices and physical assets, such technologies as embedded sensors, image recognition and NFC payment – all things which will improve mobile communications and interactions – will become increasingly adopted over the next few years as a result.

5.)    Appliance Madness: “Despite the historical mixed bag of successes and failures, vendors continue to introduce appliances to the market because the appliance model represents a unique opportunity for a vendor to have more control of the solution stack and obtain greater margin in the sale. In short, appliances aren’t going away any time soon,” says Gartner. What will be next, they say, are virtual appliances, which they “fully expect to see a broad array [of] during the next five years.” They don’t predict, however, that an increase of virtual appliances will wipe out physical ones, as issues such as physical security, specialized hardware requirements and ecosystem relations will keep the drive for physical appliances unwavering – or at least for the time being.

6.)    Evolution toward the virtual data center: IT infrastructure is pretty much completely transforming due to the virtualization of infrastructure. “As we enter the third phase of virtualization, we see that the higher the proportion of virtualized instances, the greater the workload mobility across distributed and connected network nodes, validating fabric and cloud computing as viable architectures…We will see more of the possibilities in the future where the “fabric” will eventually have the intelligence to analyze its own properties against policy rules that create optimum paths, change them to match changing conditions and do so without requiring laborious parameter adjustments.” As a result, we will begin perceiving the roles of compute, network and storage elements differently, Gartner predicts.


Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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