Interoute predictions: Pragmatic creativity and initiative will be key in 2018
Political uncertainty and regulatory change have the potential to make 2018 an unpredictable year for businesses. Finding the right mix of pragmatic creativity and initiative will be key, as organisations look to develop more flexible, agile and compliant capabilities. Mark Lewis, EVP Products & Development at Interoute, outlines five predictions for 2018.
Network and cloud will kiss and make up…
And network will save the day. Cloud is now more than ten years old (yes, this one has gone to eleven) and its growth consigned legacy systems to the stone age, or so many people would like to have us believe. But in a world where many legacy systems continue to work well and cost effectively, any talk of their imminent demise has been great exaggerated. 2018 could be the year legacy starts to find its place in the world, as moves to integrate legacy with digital infrastructure to create hybrid platforms gather pace.
Our 2017 research found that integrating legacy environments with digital cloud based applications is seen as the number one challenge for businesses across Europe when it comes to achieving their digital transformation ambitions. The role of providers who can use the network to enable this will be ever more important as companies look to mesh together all of their ICT assets.
In parallel, 2018, will see the rise of flexible, application-aware, cloud-optimising networking that can be present in offices, data-centres, manufacturing sites, operations centres, and most importantly, bring all those IaaS, PaaS and SaaS platforms that are resolutely just beyond the IT perimeter closer.
The network helps grow the edge and scale IT
A second wave of IT infrastructure integration will ramp up in 2018. Edge computing will be enabled by enhanced software defined application-aware networking. The same infrastructure that bridges the local edge to central cloud worlds will also integrate and consolidate on-premise networking and IT functions, swallowing a whole lot of local workloads along the way and making any other local IT infrastructure largely redundant.
Critically, it will allow IT Directors and CIOs the freedom to run workloads in the optimal location for their users, improving the performance of application engagement. It’s a new use for an existing capability, after all, networking has always been about provision of local infrastructure at scale.
Did anyone say three-tier?
If this all feels like Three-Tier Architectures replacing monolithic mainframes (read: Cloud) and badly integrated client-server architectures, well, yes, and for all the same reasons as first time around! In the inimitable words of Oscar Wilde, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
We’ve passed the trivial, generic workloads in IT-land and are now onto specialist cases. To utilise this capability best, customers will need to be able to address all this IT infrastructure programmatically. In 2018, you should look out for infrastructure as code offerings and joined-up edge compute to cloud compatibility.
For the more experienced software developers out there, remember how DCOM made COM useful, and Corba went on to, well… what did Corba actually do? That’s likely to be the difference between DIY IT infrastructure and finding the right partner for your business.
Your initiative will be all that stands between you and GDPR incarnate
GDPR is finally going to get its teeth as this new regulation comes into force in May 2018. Much is made of the potential fines for failing GDPR compliance, but in determining the exact figure, the GDPR requires the supervisory authority to take into account a range of factors, including, for example, the nature of the data in question, mitigation action taken by the organisation and previous breaches. This means that companies who have taken responsible steps to meet GDPR requirements should see this reflected favourably in any potential breach case considerations.
The tech talent shortage will force companies to globalise employees
Despite an ongoing skills shortage, not enough STEM graduates see technology and science as offering a career pathway for them. Hiring focus will have to be razor sharp, ensuring you get the best talent that will differentiate your business.
The talent that you do have will need to go further as in-demand skills must be shared across the business. Smart collaboration and communication platforms will be key to making the talented people you do have able to work at a global scale. Our 2017 research found that 39% of IT decision-makers are also looking to globalise their infrastructure so the business can use skills from outside its geographic location as part of its digital transformation plans.
As your suppliers will be facing the same skills challenge as you, solutions with automation and pre-integration at their core could be the best buys of 2018.