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Apcera 2017 Predictions: Bridging the Gap, OSS and Big Data, IoT and AI

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual 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 risk.


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.

Mark Thiele 

Published Friday, November 25, 2016 7:01 AM by David Marshall
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