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The next generation of enterprise IT

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Jason Dover, director of product line management, KEMP Technologies, looks at how startups and microservices are shaking up the world of enterprise IT and how the traditional industry player are responding.
In today’s technology ecosphere, small, nimble service and product consumption models are becoming more commonplace. This ongoing industry shift opens the door for hungry upstarts to come in and shake up the space – where transparency, agility and true value proposition are prized above all. So, how can these up-and-coming enterprise IT companies harness this momentum and adapt to this rise of microservices architecture?
Well, let’s look at where this is already playing out. Most recently, Hewlett Packard split its operations into two separate corporate entities. HP Enterprise will be focusing on server, software, storage, networking, and associated services sales, while HP Inc. will sell printers and PCs. Speculation is that this unbundled approach at the business level will help HP to be more nimble by separating legacy traditional offerings from areas where real innovation is happening. eBay and PayPal also parted ways earlier this year to allow both companies to, “have a sharper focus and greater flexibility to pursue future success”, while Symantec is moving ahead with its spin-off of Veritas into two publicly traded companies by January 2016.
A recent survey by MuleSoft,  which involved several hundred IT decision makers, revealed that 66 percent of respondents found that microservices will be “important” or “very important” to their business strategy in the next 12 months. Clearly, disaggregation or unbundling is becoming more commonplace for legacy organisations attempting to maintain a competitive stance with startups, as the days of monolithic application suites and network solutions offered by legacy vendors are numbered.
There are three core reasons why enterprise IT is in the midst of great disruption:
* IT agility – Modularity and just-in-time delivery of services are increasingly seen as essentials in allowing for the optimal use of technology to maintain competitive edge.
* Simplified scalability – The ability to adapt to customer growth and needs – whether relying on a traditional data centre approach, public cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) – based on real time data helps businesses win in the marketplace.
* Deployment flexibility – Providing the best environment and supporting elements for an individual application or customer use case without being fettered by the infrastructure or inflexible vendor models enables differentiating service delivery.
Breaking the mold of vendor lock-in and a one-size fits all approach within the modern IT landscape is producing technologies that can be consumed in a more flexible and open manner, as CIOs and technology directors remain under immense pressure to keep efficiency high while still harnessing technology to drive the business forward. Accordingly, I anticipate that the companies listed below will be catalysts for this trend and will likely see larger future funding rounds:
* Docker – Poised to be the monolithic enterprise hypervisor killer, Docker’s open and approach for delivering and running distributed applications puts them in a position to continue disrupting the market and enabling more efficient cloud designs.
* MuleSoft and AppDynamics – As microservices architecture become more prevalent, solutions that allow for the visualisation, tracking and governance of these will also become a requirement for an increasing number of enterprises. Companies that identify these opportunities as new models take shape, like MuleSoft and AppDynamics, will have an opportunity to control their own fate.
* Hortonworks – This is an Open Enterprise Hadoop solution that relies solely on open source components and on the open community, as opposed to proprietary extensions, allowing customers to benefit from the latest community innovations and avoid lock in to vendor-specific analytics.
In the end, start-ups, young companies and even older companies, are really best prepared moving forward if they emphasize creating value, having flexibility and driving innovation. These are the traits that will continue to characterise today’s businesses and are re-imagining the way that they deploy their IT infrastructure.  And, for those CIOs and network administrators who haven’t yet, now is the time to get on board.