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IT Leadership // IT Strategy
Commentary
12/29/2014
09:06 AM
Sarah Lahav
Sarah Lahav
Commentary
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6 IT Trends To Watch In 2015

In the new year, mobility evolves, the hybrid cloud grows, and big data will need more people skills.

To shepherd in the new year, I've created a list of 15 IT trends for 2015 from which I list six here.

They're in no particular order, and most are not new -- they're just more relevant in 2015 given the long lead time for mass corporate adoption of new technologies, practices, and thinking despite what industry pundits get excited about and predict.

Continued cloud adoption, with growth in hybrid cloud
In 2015, IT organizations will continue to move IT services to third-party cloud service providers. Security will continue to be a cause for concern -- especially as the media's frenzied coverage of data breaches continues -- but integrations and service availability will rise to be two very practical concerns for enterprise cloud adoption.

[What does the crystal ball say about big data? Read Big Data: 6 Bold Predictions For 2015]

The hybrid cloud, defined by analyst firm Gartner as "a combination of private, public, and community cloud services," will rise in popularity during 2015 as companies look to get the best benefits from the private cloud such as cost savings, flexibility, or scale and from public cloud such as cloud cost savings while still meeting internal or external governance requirements.

From an IT management point of view, companies will continue to seek out people with the ability to manage suppliers and cloud service delivery over the technology itself.

Increased automation
There's no escaping that people costs -- by that I mean the people who operate a corporate data center and its services -- continue to be a big part of total IT costs. The increased use of cloud services will continue to reduce people costs, but there's still a need to reduce human touch points, and the associated costs within corporate data centers and operational environments with speedier delivery and fewer human errors as benefits. In 2015, we'll see even more adoption of automation tools like Puppet and Chef by corporate IT groups under pressure to reduce costs and show business value.

The BYO epiphany and mobile pervasiveness
This is where corporate IT organizations will finally wake up to see that Shadow IT, BYOD, or BYO-anything are not being driven by consumer IT and cloud service providers, but by the IT organization's inability to meet stakeholder and user expectations across usability, cost, service, and agility.

The 10 years of "consumerization of IT" talk, with a focus on consumer gadgets, has thus been a red herring -- hiding the true root cause of customer discontent with existing IT supply. With this epiphany, corporate IT organizations will need to change quickly by placing more emphasis on how IT services are consumed and the expectations of the service experience. Additionally, improvements in and demand for anytime, anywhere, any device access to data and services will require better mobile apps, and most likely the continued use of personal devices for work purposes.

Not only will this dictate the need for better service and app design and delivery and more intelligent approaches to BYOD, but also the need to (re)consider the security implications of mobility such as data segregation issues -- with personal and business data and applications isolated from each other on the same device.

The need to manage more complex IT supplier environments
This will happen as enterprises exit outsourcing deals that have failed to deliver against expectations of service improvement, cost savings, and innovation. In 2015, the need for service integration capabilities, often called service integration and management (SIAM) or multisourcing services integration (MSI), will come to the fore.

And this will happen not only for larger companies replacing previously outsourced scenarios across different suppliers, but also smaller organizations needing to manage a portfolio of third-party -- often cloud service -- providers. During 2015, SIAM will require companies to invest in people and skills, new or revised processes that manage third party services, and technology that enables this.

Big data insights
While there will continue to be big talk about big data, the real big data issue for 2015 will be the availability of big data people, and their big data skills, rather than big data technology itself. Companies will need big data people with analytics skills and also skills for building the new data architectures required to handle unstructured data and real-time input. Other advances will be required in areas such as product innovation, customer insights, internal decision-making, or IT service availability as the focus on large data sets continues to disrupt business and IT operations.

And finally...

Unicorn chasing will continue
Whether it's the large-scale use of cloud technologies or more DevOps strategies, enterprises in 2015 will continue their fascination with the IT operations of technology giants such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Business leaders will also continue to ask why their IT organizations can't match these technology giants for unit costs, service levels, service experience, customer support, and agility. Thus, they'll continue to chase these unicorns, but I'm not sure that 2015, 2016, or even 2017 will be the year anyone catches them. But this won't stop business stakeholders from having elevated and probably unrealistic expectations of their IT peers.

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As SysAid Technologies' first employee, Sarah Lahav has remained a vital link between SysAid and its customers since 2003. She is the current CEO and the former VP of Customer Relations. The two positions have given her a hands-on role in evolving SysAid solutions to align ... View Full Bio
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ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
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12/29/2014 | 9:55:56 AM
Unicorns to learn from
I'm not so sure that the web giants are all that unicorn-like, and I would say that on the whole the fascination with them, especially for reasonably large companies, is a healthy one. When FedEx created a new data center, it mirrored the general purpose data center infrastructure architecture of cloud providers like Amazon; as Fidelity is building a new data center, it's borrowing aspects of Facebook's use of the Open Compute, open-source hardware movement. They set the bar for performance, companies can't afford to ignore them.   
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 1:28:59 PM
Re: Unicorns to learn from
"They set the bar for performance, companies can't afford to ignore them."

@chris: I don't think this will ever stop. Just think about companies that are growing vertically (i.e. taking their business to the cloud) and now think about the amount of options available to them at this point of time, with so many less players. In 5 or so years this market is going to be teeming with competition.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 1:30:47 PM
Increased automation
I'm sure the human element in IT industry would feel left out if they were replaced by high work value automation. I think if there is no middle ground between automation and employment of labour, then this could merge as a problem.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 2:19:23 PM
Re: Increased automation
I don't think we are going to get to that point just yet.  There is still a high need for skilled folks who can build out the automation infrastructure and to ensure that the rest of any systems that will utilize it are up to date and able to stand the transition to a more automated environment.  The transition stages will be the most critical, with lots of opportunity for folks with the right skills to get involved in this next wave of IT model change.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2014 | 12:30:39 PM
Re: Increased automation
Stratustican,

I daresay not all those Unemployed IT Folks(who have lost their Jobs because of Automation) and can't be re-trained (for whatever reason) feel this way today.

We are very much in the Transistion phase today and somehow the Available IT Oppurtunities while there are'nt quite all that they are made out to be[Although I could be missing some obvious oppurtunities here].

 
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2014 | 2:24:08 PM
Re: Increased automation
"I think if there is no middle ground between automation and employment of labour, then this could merge as a problem."

@SunitaT0: I agree. But it's difficult to reach a point where you create a balance between automation and employment. As long as there are savings involved and benefits to be reaped, companies would prefer to automate regardless of what long-term impact it may have on the labor.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2014 | 2:38:31 PM
Re: Unicorns to learn from
 

"When FedEx created a new data center, it mirrored the general purpose data center infrastructure architecture of cloud providers like Amazon; as Fidelity is building a new data center, it's borrowing aspects of Facebook's use of the Open Compute, open-source hardware movement."

@Chris: I think it's great to see companies coming up with their own solutions that can somewhat become industry standards in the years to come. I think this should be encouraged and more and more companies should start getting their best-practices patented so that they also make some money when companies try to imitate them.

 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 2:33:38 AM
Cloud & Big Data for 2015
"In 2015, IT organizations will continue to move IT services to third-party cloud service providers. "

Sarah, I think Cloud and Big data are the two domains, to be more prominent in IT domain for 2015. In cloud again it can be more prominent with Hybrid cloud than either private or public cloud. 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 2:37:58 AM
Re: Increased automation
"I daresay not all those Unemployed IT Folks(who have lost their Jobs because of Automation) and can't be re-trained (for whatever reason) feel this way today. We are very much in the Transistion phase today and somehow the Available IT Oppurtunities while there are'nt quite all that they are made out to be[Although I could be missing some obvious oppurtunities here].

Asish, this transition phase can happen at any moment; especially when technology changes. Employs has to be prepare themselves for a transit either by updating their skills or knowledge. Otherwise they becomes odd and gradually can be phase out.  
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 5:35:11 AM
Re: Increased automation
Gigi,

Here's the whole problem(as I see it)-This constant change leaves a lot of ordinary folks unsettled in IT with not everybody ready and willing to make the constant changes neccessary to keep up with the relentless pace of change causing them to feel left out.

However,that does'nt mean they are completely Useless-No way!

Its important to spend time re-training them so as to enable them to their job effectively enough.

I know its easier(in the short-term) to Hire someone who's trained just for the Job but this Constant attrition ends up destroying Company Culture (&Employee Loyalty)entirely in the Long-term.

 
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