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IT predictions for 2017, according to Riverbed

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Allan Paton, regional vice -president for UK, Ireland and sub-Saharan Africa at Riverbed, offers the company’s trends and predictions for the year ahead.

Enterprises move toward a strategic architecture for digital transformation: IDC predicts that, by 2017, 60% of digital transformation initiatives will be unable to scale due to a lack of a strategic architecture. And by 2018, 70% of siloed digital transformation initiatives will ultimately fail due to insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing, or project management. Research from MIT Sloan Management and Deloitte University Press concurs. They found that less-mature digital companies tend to take a tactical, piecemeal approach as they solve discrete business problems with individual digital technologies. As a result, they don’t fully integrate digital technologies with their business operations, don’t solve the underlying infrastructure problems that cause frequent application performance issues across the enterprise, and fail to deliver the required technical capabilities at scale.
Prediction: Enterprises will realize that, for application, compute, storage, and networking infrastructure to work optimally, it all must work together, seamlessly, as a system. Any point of weakness or failure anywhere in the infrastructure can make the whole system fail. Thus, a strategic architecture must extend across the enterprise and unite all the components into a seamless, software-defined system delivering high-performing applications, data, and services.

Everything becomes software-defined: Whether it is compute, storage or networking, you can see increased impact and adoption of software-defined everything. In the software-defined world, management and control of computing environment, storage and networking is automated by intelligent software and not by the hardware components.
Prediction: Enterprise organisations will implement technologies that ensure agility, visibility and performance in order to transition more and more to a software-defined enterprise.

Visibility creates a competitive advantage for the hybrid enterprise: After deploying a hybrid environment, which can be complex and difficult to manage, the work is just beginning for the enterprise. The process continues as application requirements and business needs evolve. So, to increase agility, IT is always evaluating and adopting cloud services and related technologies like PaaS, containers and micro-services to deliver applications faster. IT organisations will keep an eye on the longer-term to ensure that they can scale as usage increases.
Prediction: We expect to see greater adoption of application and network management functionality to ensure visibility into the hybrid cloud creating more trust in IT and alignment to business objectives.

Cloud visibility becomes critical to success of DevOps approach to digital services: DevOps teams are increasingly using the cloud’s PaaS capabilities together with third-party components to develop composite applications faster. According to Sonatype, the average enterprise downloads more than 229 000 components annually, of which one in 16 has security defects. Third-party components account for 80% – 90% of the code in a typical enterprise application today. Current monitoring for components traces app transactions through server interactions, which obscures dependencies within the app layer.
Prediction: Enterprises will seek new solutions that provide clear visibility into the behaviour and interaction of third-party components and platforms in cloud-based environments in order to accelerate development of apps and digital services in the cloud, proactively prevent performance issues, and improve performance of cloud-based apps.

The cloud-ready branch ends data storage at remote locations: Organisations that lose data, lose business. Regardless of the mix of cloud services being used, backing up data is still a necessity, especially at branch or remote sites. Branch IT is poised for transformation with the rising adoption of cloud-first strategies, and as CIOs look for ways to reduce the risk of data loss at the branch.
Prediction: We expect to see more enterprise organisations transform distributed IT with a software-defined approach by deploying a centralized infrastructure model. This will allow organizations to build a safer, easier, and more effective way to back up data at the branch and store data in the data centre, cloud or via a hybrid combination. By levering this approach, IT can instantly provision and deploy new services at these sites to keep pace with the demand and growth of the business.