Hands Holding Crystal Ball

As we head into the new year, there is a lot of reflection on what we have accomplished and where we tried but didn’t succeed. Looking forward, I am most excited about the massive architectural changes going on in infrastructure as it adapts to business requirements.

Cloud computing has had a tremendous impact on what organizations expect from their environments. Those expectations will have a remarkable impact on what emerges and defines 2017.

Here are my Top 5 predictions as to what to expect in 2017 in IT infrastructure and security.

1. Lack of Qualified Technical Talent Will Change How You Work with Vendors

The continued lack of qualified IT and security talent will push IT organizations into a more “shared responsibility” operating model for their on-premises datacenter infrastructures.

Organizations continue to struggle to hire the skills they need to run and secure their infrastructure. The lack of resources challenges IT organizations to remain relevant and provide the speed and agility that their businesses demand.

More and more, organizations will turn to solutions that provide opportunity for IT to spend more of their effort on architecting business-relevant services, and less time on building and maintaining the core infrastructure platforms.

This will lead to an even greater adoption of cloud computing and SaaS service models where the IT focus can be on the solution outcome. New operating models for on-premise data centers will emerge based on cloud-managed infrastructure, allowing organizations to consume on-premise data centers without requiring the integration and maintenance of the underlying platforms.

2. Existing Security Tools Will Become Obsolete

The adoption of software-defined datacenter infrastructure eliminates the requirement for much of the existing security tools.

The continued use and consumption of converged and software-defined infrastructure will call into question why firewall, proxy and other host-based security tools are necessary. Organizations will be able to radically simplify their environment by adopting infrastructure that provides the visibility and control over applications and communications without needing to rely on separate tools and infrastructure.

3. Prepare for a Rise in the Commoditization of Compute, Storage and Virtualization

Significant commoditization will continue for not only compute and storage, but also virtualization within enterprise IT.

Organizations are already moving away from the VMware stranglehold with AWS, Azure and other virtualization platforms. The value will move away from the underlying virtualization and into the management process and experience of operating the infrastructure as organizations.

4. The “Cloud Everything” Pipe Dream Will Start to Dissipate

The “cloud everything” pipe dream gives way to a more practical implementation of hybrid environments.

Enterprises responding to the marketing hype around cloud computing will settle into more practical approaches for how to leverage the power of the cloud. Enterprises have learned the true costs of cloud computing, and discovered that it is not the cost savings that they expected.

However, there is still significant value for certain types of workloads. In particular, experimentation in the cloud is much more cost-effective as the requirement for capacity planning and the fixed costs of failure are much less.

In 2017, organizations will continue to increase their consumption of cloud, but will step away from a cloud-only model to a more balanced approach in leveraging cloud computing for the workloads and projects where it makes the most sense, consuming SaaS services where applicable and investing in their own data centers.

5. Get Ready for Private Cloud Version 2

The initial private cloud projects have largely failed. This year will bring more experimental investments into private cloud V2 based on converged systems.

The intense requirements for IT organizations to build, integrate and manage all the elements of the private cloud infrastructure have significantly contributed to the failure of most private cloud projects.

Many organizations will either revert to running their infrastructure as they always have with incumbent virtualization vendors, or they will begin to invest in more fully integrated platforms from the newer converged systems vendors.

Success in these projects will depend heavily on how much of the management layer integrations and capabilities can be delivered without requiring specific expertise. Solutions that have full integration across server, storage, virtualization and security will provide a more viable solution for the private cloud V2 projects.

In summary, the expectations of ease of adoption, ease of use and ease of management that have been set forth by cloud computing will continue to set the experience bar for internal IT teams.

This pressure combined with the lack of resources will drive the desire for pre-configured, easy-to-use and scalable platforms that in many ways will change the face of the data center. Building these private clouds has not been easy. Expect new technologies from incumbent and new vendors to rush to fill the gap of the existing environments.

-Art Gilliland, CEO, Skyport Systems

Contact us to have a conversation about what these 2017 predictions will mean for your business.