Enterprise IT in 2016: Why it is no longer enough to just be the best in your industry


Over the course of 2015, we’ve seen many of the trends we predicted last year come to fruition. As cloud adoption in the UK soared past 84% in May, it was evident that we had been right that the technology would become even more mainstream. With enterprises aiming to become more mobile, 2015 has also seen the normalisation of “anytime, anywhere working” and the increased dependency on IT to help drive business transformation.

With over two-thirds of IT departments set to increase their operational IT budgets in 2016, it does not look like the importance of IT in driving business goals will diminish anytime soon – the question really lies in how. Although we don’t have a crystal ball that we can look into to predict anything with certainty, there are some trends emerging that we see shaping the enterprise IT in the year ahead:

Businesses will have to use IT to evolve

It is no longer sufficient “just” to be the best in your industry.  Businesses across all industries will need to examine their untapped data assets to drive the next wave of innovation and competition. Disruptive technologies have changed the potential of businesses of all sizes, and within each industry there will be those that will effectively leverage data assets to drive unprecedented levels of competition in 2016.

The nature of security will continue to change rapidly

As we’ve seen over the past 18 months, the nature of the threat has changed in fundamental ways.  No longer is perimeter based security sufficient – if it ever was in the first place. More than ever, a deep, granular, distributed security model will be needed.  Advances in software defined networking combined with other non-traditional approaches (think beyond IP and port ACLs!) will be what enables IT to keep pace with the evolving threat.

Understanding for how to map application portfolios to many cloud models will grow

Insomuch as mainframes still exist (indeed are a growth area for some), so will on premise IT, private cloud, boutique cloud, and hyper scale cloud.  All will continue to remain relevant.  Much of the new development, so called “born in cloud” applications, is likely to align with the hyper scale cloud, while the vast majority of existing enterprise applications may not. 

The value proposition of hyper scale cloud will be stemmed by shortage of truly able developers

There is already a shortage of developers that can truly capitalise on the value of hyper scale cloud. Indeed, many “born in cloud” applications are really just traditional designs deployed to the cloud.  Applications, even newly developed ones, often rely on the infrastructure layer to provide resilience.  The next generation of applications engineered to provide resilience at the application layer – i.e. those that can tolerate infrastructure failure – will suffer until this developer shortage is addressed. Unlikely to end in 2016, this is long term problem that will require one or more higher education cycles to fully resolve.

There will be a resurgence of the private cloud…but not for long

Early adopters of public cloud will re-evaluate the commercial fit of private cloud – and late adopters may move directly to private cloud due to regulations and compliance needs.  Cloud economics are compelling for a wide variety of use cases, but a CAPEX investment supporting a stable, long term application base often makes sense.  In addition, many regulatory bodies regularly lag behind in innovation, and private cloud often addresses compliance obligations while still providing many of the benefits of public cloud.  However, this resurgence is likely to be short lived as regulatory bodies catch up, applications evolve, and more flexible pricing models for public cloud prevail.

As we move into 2016, it’s clear that organisations will continue to look to their IT teams to remain competitive – both for developing new business solutions and meeting existing challenges. As such, it’s important that they are prepared to tackle the biggest hurdles and continue to take advantage of the opportunities that IT presents to the enterprise.

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