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5 IT infrastructure trends that will impact your business

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There are no short cuts to digital transformation. Your business might want to benefit from digital disruption but it will first need to make sure it has the IT infrastructure to support lasting change.

Business decision makers looking to take advantage of digital innovation must create a flexible and agile base for dealing with change in today’s ever-evolving IT business landscape. Here we present the five trends you will need to follow to create an IT infrastructure that’s future-ready.

1. Hardware is all about software

Applications are the front end of digital transformation. Businesses are using software to boost internal productivity and external customer service. But the new breed of applications needs high-quality hardware. Software-defined infrastructure brings automation to hardware resources, allowing business to boost optimisation and cut costs.

With an annual growth rate of about 15 per cent, IDC predicts software-defined infrastructures will become the fastest-growing component of the data centre infrastructure market by 2020. Analyst Gartner agrees, saying the software-defined data centre is key to the evolution of an agile digital business.

2. Provision must support a shift to the cloud

Strategic planningSuch software-defined infrastructure provides the backbone for new on-demand services. The cloud is moving to the core of organisational infrastructure strategies. Organisations might have started using the cloud by running test and development projects but they will increasing use on-demand IT operations, even production systems.

IDC says a quarter of IT infrastructure hardware will be sold into private and public cloud environments by 2018. The researcher says global spending on public cloud services will reach US$195 billion by 2020, compared to nearly $70 billion in 2015. Now business decision makers must find ways to bring these investments in cloud and on-premise resources together.

3. Hyper-convergence as a single route to success

The need for resource consolidation provides the perfect breeding ground for the growth of hyper-convergence. The proliferation of cloud-based computing, the increased desire for simplification and the rise of the supplier ecosystems means business decision makers must find a way to make the most of disparate infrastructure resources. Hyper-convergence provides the route to success.

Hyper-converged appliances offer integrated compute, storage and networking capabilities. One partner provides the entire hyper-converged stack to the business. That approach provides a great way for business to simplify and consolidate infrastructure resources in a digital age. IDC says spending on hyper-converged systems in Europe will reach $540 million by 2017.

4. Big data is set to get even bigger

Your business will be adopting two or more of the key pillars of digital transformation if it is really looking to create significant business change. Cloud, clearly, forms a key tenant of this change, as does social and mobility. Yet the final pillar – big data and analytics – could have the most significant impact on hardware spending going forwards.

The right information at the right time is key to your executives being able to make well-informed decisions. Such is the clamour for knowledge that IDC says big data and analytics will account for 17 per cent of server and storage spending in European data centres by 2018. That spending is being driven by organisations using open source tools, like Apache Hadoop and Spark.

5. New storage that’s quick as a flash

Reliable, fast hardware underlies true digital transformation. The leading providers are pushing design innovation to improve performance in storage. Such developments in Flash are helping firms to process their business-critical workloads quickly with both lower latency and total cost of ownership.

Flash is set to become ubiquitous, with IDC suggesting new developments in the storage mechanism will continue to be deployed into enterprises. Such is the power of the technology that 80 per cent of new storage arrays deployed will be based on Flash. Find a partner provider that suits you business requirements.

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Gartner on the SDDC: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3136417

IDC cloud research: http://www.totaltele.com/view.aspx?ID=494672

On Apache Hadoop and Spark: http://www.zdnet.com/article/the-cloud-and-new-big-data-sources/


Mark Samuels

Mark Samuels

Mark Samuels is a business journalist specialising in IT leadership issues. Formerly editor at CIO Connect and features editor of Computing, he has written for various organisations, including the Economist Intelligence Unit, Guardian Government Computing and Times Higher Education. Mark is also a contributor for CloudPro, ZDNetUK, TechRepublic, ITPro, Computer Weekly, CBR, Financial Director, Accountancy Age, Educause, Inform and CIONET. Mark has extensive experience in writing on the topic of how CIO’s use and adopt technology in business.

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