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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.
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.

 
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 2:03:02 PM
Re: Unicorns to learn from
@tzubair interesting observtion as everyone this days follow and copy winners... how I see it...
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].

 
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.

 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2015 | 2:40:44 AM
Re: Increased automation
"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."

Asish, continuous skill updation and trainings are very much required in engineering sector, especially with IT. Technologies are changing very frequently and we have to update with the latest one; otherwise we may out from the industry without any other reason
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2015 | 2:43:22 AM
Re: Increased automation
"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!"

Asish, IT is like "No gain- No pain way". I know some old peoples are still in IT with documentation works. Once they are good in programming with Fortran, Lotus etc; but failed to switch the talent with market trends.
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.
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. 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 5:38:47 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
Gigi,

A lot of Cloud Practicioners can' stop raving about Hybrid Cloud as the right /Perfect solution.

However,in a lot of cases ;IT departments either don't have the Budget for Hybrid Cloud or have much more serious Compliance Needs which forces them to look for alternative options.

 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 7:23:30 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
I think the hybrid approach is the easiest sell and that's why it is being pushed.  Many companies that have things that they don't trust anyone else to do correctly so while they may want to move to the cloud there is that one little system that keeps them from diving in.  I think we're going to see a lot of public cloud focused services shifting to a more hybrid style approach to get their foot in the door.  
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 1:59:43 PM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
@SaneIT, interesting point and i think you are right on the money... as Co. trying to get it right...
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 12:40:02 PM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
SaneIT,

Agreed.

That one little system which you talk about also ensures that nobody is going to be 100% Cloud oriented either.

There will always be that Little something which they want in-house.

But one never knows;some might see a Business case for keeping everything related to that system or touching that system inhouse instead.

 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/7/2015 | 7:36:34 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
If a hybrid solution lets them get at least some of their resources out into the cloud I'm all for the new push toward hybrid solutions.  This is the way I went from the start as well.  I put things that are easy to manage, easy to re-create and fit well into public clouds out into public space. The things that would have taken years to move I kept in house and as those products mature parts of them are slowly moving into the public space as well.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2015 | 3:20:16 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
"If a hybrid solution lets them get at least some of their resources out into the cloud I'm all for the new push toward hybrid solutions.  This is the way I went from the start as well.  I put things that are easy to manage, easy to re-create and fit well into public clouds out into public space. "

SaneIT, hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private cloud resources. 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2015 | 7:33:25 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
@Gigi3, I probably could have worded that first sentence a bit better how about ""If a hybrid solution lets them get at least some of their resources out into the public cloud I'm all for the new push toward hybrid solutions. "
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/11/2015 | 10:55:11 PM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
" I probably could have worded that first sentence a bit better how about ""If a hybrid solution lets them get at least some of their resources out into the public cloud I'm all for the new push toward hybrid solutions. ""

SaneIT, now you are putting in right !!!
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
2/3/2015 | 11:19:31 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
@SaneIT interesting observation, as technology grows and matures our aproach/process changes... how I see it...
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 2:01:46 PM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
@Ashu001, I think we seeing this reaction as each Co./department trying to save one way or other ... plus IT Budgets shrinking... - How I see it...
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 12:37:20 PM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
bateye,

Fair enough statement to make today.

Everyone just is desperate to do more and more and more with Lower Budgets.

So IT Departments somehow or the other have to squeeze out more value from what they have on the Table today.

Which they are trying to achieve with a lot of desperation currently.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 12:44:35 PM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
yes, but the quality and everything else get affected... one way or other...
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 12:47:24 PM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
bateye,

It once again comes down to the following-

Is IT a Cost-Centre or a Profit Centre?

Once Your CEOs and CFOs can make that distinction effectively everything else falls in place.

 
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 1:12:28 PM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
yes, you are right...
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2015 | 2:37:18 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
"A lot of Cloud Practicioners can' stop raving about Hybrid Cloud as the right /Perfect solution. However,in a lot of cases ;IT departments either don't have the Budget for Hybrid Cloud or have much more serious Compliance Needs which forces them to look for alternative options."

Asish, in my company we are using Hybrid cloud as the best option; where we can keep or move the data from our internal location to third part service location based on priority
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2015 | 7:22:42 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
@Gigi3, I think this is a good argument for the hybrid approach.  If you are doing business internationally or moving data between international sites a hybrid approach makes sense in terms of availability, legal compliance and ease of shifting your data around. 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2015 | 3:17:41 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
" I think this is a good argument for the hybrid approach.  If you are doing business internationally or moving data between international sites a hybrid approach makes sense in terms of availability, legal compliance and ease of shifting your data around. "

saneIT, how it can supplement to legal compliance. It can be vary from country to country  and how hybrid environment can resolve such data governing issues.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2015 | 7:31:55 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
Hybrid solutions can help with compliance because you can chose which parts of your data you are storing offsite and where those offsite locations are.  If you're working with a government entity that requires data be kept within its borders but you are located outside of those borders you can split that part of your  cloud storage solution to a service that is acceptable to your customer.  Large companies have been good at splitting their systems up geographically  for disaster management or compliance but now smaller companies without the benefits of physical locations all over the map can do the same. 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/11/2015 | 10:59:08 PM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
"Hybrid solutions can help with compliance because you can chose which parts of your data you are storing offsite and where those offsite locations are.  If you're working with a government entity that requires data be kept within its borders but you are located outside of those borders you can split that part of your  cloud storage solution to a service that is acceptable to your customer.  Large companies have been good at splitting their systems up geographically  for disaster management or compliance but now smaller companies without the benefits of physical locations all over the map can do the same."

SaneIT, what I understood is those non critical datas can be moved to public environment; out of the boundaries and that's the only benefit. If it's a critical or non critical the data governing laws may be same for a particular country and it may be different for different countries.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/12/2015 | 8:16:59 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
Depending on where you are and the status of your company (privately held, publicly held, tax exempt, health care, etc) there can be rules about where that data can physically be held.  If the laws say that a specific type of data has to be held within a physical set of borders then public cloud space can be used to hold that data if you don't have your own space inside those boundaries.  In the past I had to do things like find co-location sites in foreign countries so that we could store data.  In the end it really wasn't much different because the site was managing my hardware for me and doing the occasional software support if things went wrong as I was doing updates across oceans.  A public cloud provider does the same but it's understood up front that they will be taking care of the backend for you.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/14/2015 | 12:18:36 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
" In the end it really wasn't much different because the site was managing my hardware for me and doing the occasional software support if things went wrong as I was doing updates across oceans.  A public cloud provider does the same but it's understood up front that they will be taking care of the backend for you."

SaneIT, am not getting/clear about the legal aspects.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/14/2015 | 8:26:42 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
@Gigi3, an example of the legal aspects.  We had contracts with state entities that required we kept data inside their borders.  Since we didn't have a physical presence in that state I had to secure a co-location site to store records for that project.  State and local government entities can have some funny little rules that are usually designed to keep money local.  Now that public cloud providers have data centers in geographically disparate areas I can use one that has a datacenter in that specific state and use its location when we go through project audits.  There have also been reports lately about European countries not wanting their data stored in the US because of NSA activities.  If you are a US company working with one of those European  companies you're going to need a place in the EU to store data.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
1/20/2015 | 2:18:27 AM
Re: Cloud & Big Data for 2015
"There have also been reports lately about European countries not wanting their data stored in the US because of NSA activities.  If you are a US company working with one of those European  companies you're going to need a place in the EU to store data."

SaneIT, thanks for the clarification. You are right about moving datas across boundaries; there can be some legal issues because of different data governing rules & regulations.
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