Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017. Read them in this 9th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed by Mark Thiele, CSO, Apcera
Bridging the Gap, OSS and Big Data, IoT and AI
Businesses Will Realize
They Can't Move Forward Without Fixing Some of Their Pasts
The imperative for all of us in IT is to deliver more,
faster, and with better results and resiliency. The problem for most of us is
that we have 99 percent of our infrastructure in legacy from virtualization
back to mainframes. According to a
blog post written by Hamut Pascha, director of product management EMEA and
worldwide leader of financial services as SimpliVity, between 75 and 85 percent
of the IT budget is spent on "keeping the lights on". How, exactly, are we to
make rapid progress on new architectures and cloud adoption if we're buried in
firefighting activities supporting our legacy environments?
As we look for ways to move forward with more alacrity, we
must find ways to best play the hand we've been dealt. How can we move some key
systems into the cloud without major refactoring or design changes in order to
free up hardware, software and people resources to focus on forward thinking
and innovative initiatives? Finding a solution that allows you to bridge the
gap between old and new in the form of human skills and effective use of
existing solutions is key to making a successful move.
More Businesses Will Realize
that Building Complex Open Source Frameworks Isn't for the Faint of Heart
Open source everything is the dessert of choice these days
and there are many good reasons for that. Many of us have ugly history with
buying proprietary solutions that didn't measure up or penalized our successes.
While the concerns about proprietary are valid, what many will find is that
building a framework of open source software (OSS) tools to cover your data
center needs is not only extremely complex, but even harder to hire for.
Time to value is worth every penny, so spending months or
years building a framework for a moving target is a cost most can't bear,
regardless of whether the software is "free". Tactical, architectural and
strategic thinking needs to be applied to your approach to finding the
appropriate balance of OSS versus proprietary solutions. Besides the difficulty
in building something that has a future path governed by others is the issue of
finding and keeping the talent needed to build and operate it. All the risks
and issues of OSS take away from your time to value - they take away from your
ability to be responsive to the business where you could be creating
opportunity now versus when.
Real-time Reaction to
Information from Big Data, IoT, and AI Will be a Minimum Business Requirement
Enterprises will begin a wholesale move to creating an
environment that can deliver new services in record time without serious
additional year-over-year (YoY) costs. With largely flat budgets in IT
organizations but an increase in drivers for instant response to new
opportunity, you can't resolve the issue by throwing more hardware and bodies
at it. Fundamentally, every business needs to think about running their
technology the way a Facebook or Paypal does. IT organizations must be looking
at how they can position the company for digital transformation, which will be
driven and supported by greater customer interaction.
Greater customer interaction means a significant new set of
objectives for the IT team. Those companies that started out as platforms for
external customers like Uber and Facebook knew they couldn't just build what
everyone else built and support it the same old way. Every company will need to
reevaluate how they train, how they incentivize, and how they recruit IT staff.
They will need to start thinking about IT as a production line with an
engineering mindset. Once you've recognized the need for organizational change,
you'll need to find the combination of tools that will help ensure you can
deliver (much) more with the same people, at the same costs with less
About the Author
Mark Thiele's successful career in IT spans 25 years and has
focused on both operating roles and on driving cloud adoption across
enterprises of all sizes. Currently, Mark drives cross-functional
strategic initiatives as the chief strategy officer for Apcera.
Prior to joining Apcera, Mark was the executive vice president
of ecosystem development at Switch SUPERNAP, the president and founder
of Data Center Pulse, and held executive roles at HP, Gilead, VMware and
Brocade. He is also a member of nonprofit groups including The Green
Grid and Infrastructure 2.0, where he advocates for data center and
cloud industry evolution.