And finally, the last day of term for 2012. This time last year I was waiting for my daughter to be born. Now she’s almost 1. Where does the time go?!?? And it feels if anything, IT got more confusing in the meantime…….
Cloud Computing is a reality for almost every organisation I meet - in some shape or form. CIO’s all know they need to unlock the value of their ‘Big Data’, but are not always sure what to do about it. Converged Infrastructure is in large scale production. And in the world of Storage, architectural discussions focus on a shift towards agile data infrastructure and how best to use solid-state Flash technologies.
2013 – The year of Big decisions
So, where will the time go in 2013? This might come back to haunt me, but I don’t see any major technology surprises coming. Existing trends will continue. However, I do think that everyone in IT will have some BIG decisions to take. Big Data, Cloud, Converged Infrastructure & Flash technologies are all a year more mature. Big Data is moving from hype to pragmatic projects. In-memory computing with SAP HANA and others is real. Many cloud services with SLA’s for Enterprise exist and hyperscale providers like AWS are starting to close the gap. Solutions to build automated and secure Private Clouds are maturing. Continued growth in mainly machine generated, unstructured data means Enterprise object storage is set to move to the mainstream. FlexPod has 1600 customers while the traditional single-vendor stacks continue to lose market share. And Flash is now proven to be viable as both a cache and in all-flash arrays. Intelligent IT departments will work out the best Flash fit for them – there is and will be no one right answer.
Those that continue to think they can ignore these trends like in 2012 and stick with traditional silo’d purchasing (based on hardware pricing) will be left behind, or be outsourced. The majority who know they need to embark on major change, but haven’t yet started will make architectural decisions that will impact what they do for many years to come. Those that have already have begun migrating to an agile infrastructure strategy will reap the rewards. The foundation of this change is an agile data infrastructure, built on shared, clustered storage architecture. 2013 will indeed be ‘defined by Software’.
The last work trip I did in 2011 (before I was grounded waiting for my daughter to arrive) was to South Africa, for Cisco’s Expo event. We went on a brief evening safari thanks to our hosts, Bytes Technologies. Everyone kept telling me about ‘the big 5’. We didn’t see any unfortunately. In IT, I think we can safely say that in 2013 we will see a lot of ‘the big 4’ – Big Data, Cloud, Converged Infrastructure and Flash. Of course there will be much short & long term hype, acquisitions, start-ups and more. And IT departments will continue to change more than ever. But try to avoid getting distracted – this ‘big 4’ is where your time should go in 2013.