What Reg readers really think will affect IT in the next three years...

Cloud, analytics, even politics

Temperature Check The rate of change in IT and business has never been more rapid. When it comes to how your organisation uses IT, standing still is not an option.

But keeping track of advances in technology and the new solutions becoming available in the market place isn’t always that easy, and few Reg readers have the time or resources to investigate everything. Helping your organisation change at the same time simply heaps on the pressure.

In a recent study we asked Reg Readers “Which technology or business-related changes will impact the way you develop and operate your IT infrastructure over the coming three years?”. Given the diverse nature of respondents a variety of significant changes were identified, not all of them technology advances. Some of the free text answers expose both how quickly certain solutions, such as ‘Cloud’, are moving into the mainstream, as well as throwing a light on the people and politics side of things.

Drivers of change

The rate at which businesses are evolving is expressed very clearly in the quotes, and not only from an internal perspective but among the customer base as well. One reader, for example, highlighted the following as having the biggest impact:

“The pace of change of our customer base in adopting new technologies.”

The expectation of change is clear, but the usual suspects of regulation and external mandates are also expected to affect the evolution of business and IT. Factors here expected to impact the infrastructure include:

“Most changes are driven by Government Policy and vendor software requirements. Regulations about the location of data are very strict and require control over the location of that data”

“Government mandated changes”

Naturally IT has to react to these triggers, but what technologies are expected to have the biggest impacts going into the next three years?

Established technologies on the rise

Cloud

It will be no surprise to readers that Cloud in all its forms, Public, Private and Hybrid are expected to have big impacts in the near future. Here are some of the developments called out:

“The availability and security of public cloud services” “Hybrid cloud solutions” “Mixing cloud and onsite security and information provision to end users.” “Transition from traditional IT to a Cloud Services delivery model.”

Or as one respondent put it:

“cloud...Cloud...CLOUD”

SaaS cloud offerings are mentioned explicitly by a number of readers:

“Office 365 and other cloud computing initiatives”

“All about SaaS.”

“Moving from on premise exchange to hosted.”

However, not everyone thinks that Cloud is going to take over everything in IT:

“Funding streams - the Council I work for is Opex poor so this is hindering moving to subscription models such as the Cloud”

“Cloud is hot air and vapour. I don’t think a bullet proof automated private cloud will be available within 3 years.”

Perhaps the future is best summed up by the respondent who said that the biggest development would be:

“Service Brokerage”

The idea here is making sure everyone gets the services they need, whether built internally or taken from outside suppliers.

Mobility

Beyond cloud, another topic that comes through prominently is mobility, with the trends in home and personal use again being highlighted as a big factor, along with the emergence of a multi-device world:

“Evolution and adoption rates for mobile consumer tech.”

“Further proliferation of mobile devices and BYOD.”

Or as one reader who said that top of their list of factors driving new infrastructure requirements put it:

“On the go Mobility”, “Mobile Devices” and “Mobile working”

Both Cloud and mobile bring with them added concerns around security, to add to the ever-growing list of security challenges IT professionals face every day. Indeed, security comes through as both a concern and a likely initiator of change as regulations expand and as customer, client and supplier expectations around data privacy escalate:

“Security related issues are the key driver at this point.”

Next page: Security

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