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CommVault 2013 Predictions: Business IT Forecast - Partly to Mostly Cloudy with an Increasing Chance of Managed Service Providers

VMblog Predictions

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2013.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Phil Curran, Director of Product Marketing for CommVault

Business IT Forecast - Partly to Mostly Cloudy with an Increasing Chance of Managed Service Providers

In case you missed the memo, businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on support from service providers. Gone are the days when IT maintenance, updates and upgrades were based on a yearly, quarterly or even monthly schedule, and your data lived in a storage center that was located in an industrial park across town.  Instead, IT maintenance today is based on need, which is now, and data is being moved to the cloud, which many are now considering a safer alternative for when the next 500 square mile super storm hits.  

hese issues are not just reserved for data-heavy companies; over the next 12 to 18 months they will most certainly spread to include a greater majority of companies. With that in mind, here are some of the trends which we are seeing related to the move to virtualization, the cloud and the rise of the managed service provider (MSP).

  1. Realizing the true benefits of shared services: Businesses are now aggressively migrating to shared services and cloud enabled infrastructures. This doesn't have to be an MSP cloud; in fact, many IT organizations are building their own private cloud infrastructures.  The promise of this approach lies in greater cost and operational efficiencies.  But to meet these demands, requires seamless integration of data security, user access controls and data access services that ensure the right data is made available to the right application or user -- quickly and efficiently--in order to meet the various line of business requirements.   Also, this process is requires leveraging a shared infrastructure, which is going to place greater demands on IT to develop an underlying data infrastructure, or as some in the know are calling it "infostructure," that understands the dynamics of the cloud-enabled platform as well as the line of business requirements for data services and security.

  2. Enabling self-service: Operational efficiency has always been a big promise in deploying cloud-enabled infrastructure. While the reality is IT departments may or may not meet this promise, it remains one of the big goals. Originally the benefit of operational efficiency was on doing more with less - fewer admins running more applications and workloads. But leading organizations have already taken this horse to water and made it drink, so for them the next leap forward in operational efficiency will be in enabling self-service options.  Today, line of business and application owners can perform some basic self-service tasks such as provisioning and creating VMs, but options are limited because the underlying structures, technologies and policies are not yet in place. Business responsiveness and efficiency will increase dramatically when application owners and end users are empowered to perform more tasks for delivering, managing and analyzing applications and data on their own, without having to go through complex, cumbersome request and provisioning requirements. The key improvements required to achieve this level of self-service involve the delivery of granular policy-based security and user access control settings that are deeply embedded in the virtual infrastructure, inclusion of application awareness and support of the underlying data and information infrastructure.

  3. Virtualization of business applications: Many organizations have already virtualized the easy pieces of their infrastructure such as file/print and test/dev.  For typical IT organizations, those account for about 40% virtualization- which means most IT organizations are not operating at optimum efficiency.  As such, IT Managers are now focusing on virtualizing business applications.  These applications are much more demanding in terms of performance, security and availability than ever before, which is going to require continued focus on architecting an underlying infrastructure that can support the 24x7 operational demands of both applications and data. 

As Bob Dylan said, "The times, they are a changin'" and nothing could be truer for businesses and those who provide them with IT support.  It is not a matter of if businesses will move to the cloud, MSP or private; it is when they will migrate. I am betting the answer is now. The rise of the MSP is already underway, and I do not think that I am going out on a limb when I say that channel partners who aren't thinking like an MSP will have a very challenging path to navigate in the years to come.


About the Author

Phil Curran is Director of Product Marketing for CommVault Infrastructure solutions. In this role Phil has spent the last several years working with CommVault customers to define and deploy industry leading data management solutions for the burgeoning virtual and cloud-based infrastructures. Prior to joining CommVault, Phil spent 6 years working at Dell in various product management and marketing roles to drive Dell PowerVault Storage products and Intelligent Data Management (IDM) solutions. Phil has a Bachelor's Degree and Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. 

Published Friday, November 30, 2012 6:57 AM by David Marshall
CommVault 2013 Predictions: Business IT Forecast – Partly to Mostly Cloudy with an Increasing Chance of Managed Service Providers | Brad Dickinson - (Author's Link) - November 30, 2012 2:44 PM - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 15, 2013 7:00 AM

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