As the political and regulatory landscape changes month by month and the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, organisations will focus on developing a compliant, flexible and agile approach to business. Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, outlines his predictions for 2017.
Cloud and digital transformation programmes will continue to drive new IT spend
While some commentators expect 2017 to be flat on IT spending overall, we expect to see IT increase its spend on cloud and digital transformation. In particular, we’ll see investment in emerging integrated digital platforms that enable a business to move faster, deploy resources quicker and exploit new market opportunities.
Bimodal IT will become a necessity
The ability to manage two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery - one focused on stability and the other on agility – is still a priority for now, as organisations seek to ensure infrastructure and development platforms are optimised for performance and agility. The majority of business-critical information for many organisations is still in systems that are not currently in the cloud, but as part of their development, many companies will seek to exploit cloud-based models of consumption. Exploiting corporate information whilst continually innovating will drive a need for a bimodal digital platform approach, or else companies will risk ending up losing ground.
Businesses will get better at working out what they need to own and what they can comfortably outsource. Payroll, Salesforce automation and HR are all functions most organisations need, but they don’t define their competitiveness, whereas customer experience and supply chain integration does. Understanding this will provide a framework for which skills you need to nurture and which you can expect to see as a service.
The skills shortage becomes the biggest barrier to success
Lack of in-house skills in key areas will start to have a negative impact on the IT team’s ability to achieve its goals. Enterprises will need to look for skilled partners to support data centre migrations and development projects and manage IT systems and infrastructure. Partner management and strategic relationships will become the key to competitive success.
EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) starts to bite
EU GDPR will start to have an impact on businesses in the UK and across the EU. We will see 2017 beset with GDPR readiness and testing, as the bounds and impact of the regulation start to become apparent. The onus will be on enterprises and providers to seek out solutions that have definitive compliance, rather than waiting for challenges and legal disputes to unravel in the courts. Investments in compliant platforms that support a simple approach to geographic location of data will avoid this confusion.
Agile and continuous integration and delivery become the means by which applications are developed
As organisations move to the most efficient way of maintaining responsiveness, by using continuous integration and delivery of applications, they will wrestle with the competing challenges of control, compliance, integration and skill availability. The evolution of platforms to accommodate the most competitive and efficient delivery methods while closing the gap on their existing constraints will become the next defining evolution of cloud infrastructure. This means managing your own data centre is out, and investment in PaaS, containers and edge computing micro data centres is in.