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AppFormix 2016 Predictions: Turn on the Lights, the Party's Just Getting Started

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Sumeet Singh, Founder and CEO of AppFormix

Turn on the Lights, the Party’s Just Getting Started

Willie Nelson's classic, "The Party's Over" is a perfect contrast to the momentum, energy and economic transformation accelerating around DevOps, agile and cloud infrastructure in 2016. Indeed, while the client/server and virtualization philosophies of the past decade are losing steam, the cloud party's just getting started. Here are five ways we'll see it happening:

1. Enterprises Finally Embrace Cloud Native App Dev...

Within the enterprise, cloud native application development has been chiefly limited to skunk works, visionaries and those enterprises with web-centric business models (think: Netflix). That's no longer the case. We're already seeing mainstream enterprises like Disney, BMW and Fidelity embrace an agile philosophy for the core applications that run their businesses and unlock new value for their customers. In 2016, this will spread to conservative, risk-averse industries like healthcare and financial services. Cloud-native is no longer an edge case.

2. ...and Self-Service and Automation Are the Keys.

To make this happen, enterprises are putting in place infrastructure deployment and operations game plans that empower users (application developers) and API-driven automation. The tooling, best practices and training to make this transformation possible are becoming widely available and mainstream.

3. Hybrid Cloud Becomes the New Enterprise Normal.

Okay, we've been talking about this for three years. Maybe more. But three major barriers to hybrid cloud have been cleared, and 2016 *should* see substantial new adoption. First, enterprise resistance to public cloud has softened, as rational risk management strategies and operational policies have emerged. Second, the infrastructure and platform layers are collapsing, simplifying hybrid deployment and operations. Third, the emergence of credible enterprise use cases for containers as a hybrid enabler make an on-prem + off-prem approach  both feasible and cost effective. If hybrid doesn't take off this year, it'll be due to new barriers that emerge.

4. Open Technologies Emerge as a Strategy, not a Tactic.

OpenStack, Kubernetes, Docker... these are *strategies*, not tactics. The enterprise has figured this out, and they're getting smart about how they think about the roles these technologies play in their next-generation cloud infrastructure plans. Enterprises are making 10- and 20-year bets on what technologies will power their IT needs going forward, and the realization that open-source technologies are strategic tools rather than products is a major "a-ha" moment for enterprise IT success.

5. A Rational, Coexist Approach to Containers and VMs Emerges.

The initial tempest over containers eclipsing VMs has-mercifully-subsided. Enterprise IT leadership has internalized two critical facts: First, containers are promising but young. Second, VMs reliably and efficiently support thousands of mission-critical workloads. Thus, they've realized that the notion of throwing VMs overboard en masse was foolishness at best and irresponsible daydreaming at worst. It's not an either/or situation;. It's about using the *right* technology for the goal that needs to be achieved. Both will flourish and increasingly work together (think: Magnum, Kuryr) in the year ahead.

We are moving past the early adopter phase of agile cloud in the enterprise. Visionary test cases and the first-mover advantage of web-first enterprises will be eclipsed by mainstream enterprises who understand the value of software as a competitive differentiator, with agile, self-service and automated cloud infrastructure powering the transformation.

Indeed, it's time to turn on the lights. This party is just getting good.


About the Author

Sumeet Singh is Founder and CEO of AppFormix.

 Sumeet Singh

Published Thursday, January 07, 2016 3:00 PM by David Marshall
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