Operational Excellence

Infrastructure and Operations: what to expect in the coming years

Sep 18, 2019 | 127 views

The focus of Infrastructure and Operations (I & O) leaders is evolving far beyond the elements of technology such as data centers, colocation and cloud, to encompass more how an organization's I & O can support and enable business strategy.

"There is a dramatic evolution of I & O going on now," said Ross Winser, senior analyst at Gartner, at Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations and Cloud Strategies Conference in Las Vegas. "It's no longer about hardware or software - it's about delivering services that meet business needs. The future of infrastructure is everywhere and everywhere, and will be driven by business by nature. "

More than ever before, the infrastructure and operations department needs to engage with the day-to-day strategic areas of business. The focus of industry leaders is no longer just to deliver engineering and process operations, but to deliver products and services that support and enable organizations' business strategy, says Ross Winser, Gartner Senior Research Director, commenting on key trends that infrastructure and operations (I & O) leaders should begin to observe in 2019.

"The question is how can we use features such as artificial intelligence, network automation or state-of-the-art computing to support rapidly growing infrastructures that need to meet the needs of companies," he said.

In this context, Gartner encourages infrastructure and operations leaders to prepare for the 10 technologies and trends that will support digital infrastructure in 2019. These are:

1 - Computing without server

Serverless is an emerging standard of software architecture that promises to eliminate the local need for infrastructure provisioning and management. Infrastructure and operations leaders need to start taking an application-centric approach to serverless computing and managing APIs and SLAs, rather than building on the physical infrastructures created in their companies. "The truth is that servers will continue to exist, but service providers will be responsible for all the analysis and scaling of resources involved in the environment, which will result in more agility to organizations," he explains.

This type of technology will not replace the application of containers or virtual machines, and it is fundamental to know how to best use the concept without server before applying it. "The development of support and management capabilities of this kind should be a focus within infrastructure and operations teams, as more than 20 percent of global organizations will deploy serverless computing technologies by 2020. Today, fewer than 5 percent of companies use this technology. format, "says Winser.

2 - Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is growing in importance for infrastructure and operations leaders who need to manage ever-expanding infrastructures while at the same time not being able to grow their team. Artificial intelligence capabilities have the potential to transform organizations and are at the heart of digital business, whose impacts are already felt by companies. According to Gartner, business derived from Artificial Intelligence will reach $ 3.9 trillion by 2022.

3 - Network agility

Infrastructure and network capacity are the foundation of everything IT does - Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and state-of-the-art services, for example, and will continue to advance in 2019. " constant pressure to ensure high network availability. While team culture often limits change, the fact is that the demand for agility in the performance of these operations has also increased, "says Winser.

The focus of I & O leaders for 2019 and in the coming years should be to find ways to help their teams increase the pace of work by finding options to meet the need for more agility. "Part of that response is the creation of an automated and analytical environment that can deal with real business change," he explains.

Gartner estimates that demands for network performance improvements are expected to grow with the advent of 5G, the maturity of Cloud solutions, and the explosion in the number of IoT devices. "These are just some of the pressures that leaders must anticipate. So the critical period to deal with this challenge is now, "says the Gartner analyst.

4 - End of traditional data centers

Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of organizations will migrate their data from local data centers to colocation, hosting, or cloud environments, leading to the gradual closure of their traditional data centers.

"I & O leaders must prepare for this move by adjusting workloads based on business needs and not limited to decisions based on physical location. From hosting to the Public Cloud, there are many alternatives to local Data Centers. Leaders must identify whether there are truly strategic reasons to persist with local needs, especially when they consider that the significant amount of investment involved is often amortized over many years, "says the analyst. Preparations should start now, because the critical timeframe for this will be from 2021 to 2025.

5 - Edge Computing

The advancement of things' internet devices and immersive technologies will push information processing to the edge, redefining and reshaping what I & O leaders will need to deploy and manage. The edge, in this case, is the physical place where things and people will connect with the digital world in a network - space that will make the infrastructure more and more reach its limit.

Edge Computing is part of a distributed computing topology in which information processing is located near the edge, which is where things and people produce or consume that information. Edge Computing addresses the laws of physics, economics and earth, which are contributing factors to how and when to use edge. "This is another trend that does not replace the Cloud but it potentializes it," says Winser. "The critical timeframe for organizations to adopt this trend is between 2020 and 2023."

6 - Digital Diversity

Managing digital diversity is not about people, but about discovering and maintaining assets that are "out there" in any modern digital company.

"There has been a tremendous growth in the variety and quantity of 'things' that the I & O area must know, support and administer," says the director.

Preparing the I & O area for this scenario is vital before the critical period, which should be from 2020 to 2025.

7 - New I & O Roles

Infrastructure and operations leaders consider their team's primary justification to be based on resolving complex cost relationships, activities, and quality expectations of their internal customers.

But the fact is that explaining to IT and business managers what the roles of the I & O team are for business success and the strategic goals of organizations is a great need of today's business.

"A major challenge with cloud-based services is keeping costs under control, and the company expects the I & O area to do just that. Instead of focusing only on engineering and operations, infrastructure planning should develop the necessary resources to intermediate services, "says Winser.

The critical timeframe for this trend begins immediately, now in 2019.

8 - Software as a Service (SaaS)

By 2019, SaaS will have a major impact on how organizations look at ongoing infrastructure delivery strategies.

However, the truth is that most I & O leaders are still focused on infrastructure and platform offerings as service solutions.

"The SaaS model itself is becoming complex on a level where IT areas are not yet ready as they should.The shift to SaaS must be accompanied by the I & O team, from maintaining the visibility of what is in use to the support compliance requirements and integration needs of the enterprise, "says Winser.

The pressure will increase in 2021 and in the following years.

9 - Talent management

As infrastructures become more digital it is necessary for people to work horizontally between these applications to identify and remedy any kind of technological disruption that may occur in their business. The expansion of I & O skill sets to accommodate hybrid operations is of utmost importance for the coming years.

10 - Global Infrastructure

Although few infrastructures are truly "global" in nature, organizations still need to prepare for the notion of "infrastructure everywhere."

In doing so, I & O leaders must work within tight budgets and under pressure to reduce costs. One way to address this challenge is to wisely choose the network of partners necessary for global success.

Infrastructure and operations leaders should look closely at their suppliers and raise the level of partnership, "says Winser. Gartner recommends that leaders review whether partners can clearly identify the value they need to generate in the context of global infrastructure and whether they are prepared to leverage the investments made by their companies. "There will be no time for 'Type B' suppliers in 2019 and in the coming years. The I & O leaders keep an eye on this trend between 2020 and 2023. "