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SoftwareONE 2018 Predictions: The need for agile IT drives changes in the cloud

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Lawrence Schwartz, CMO, SoftwareONE

The need for agile IT drives changes in the cloud

As we discovered last year -- the demand for agile IT solutions is here to stay. In 2017, many companies took a good, long, hard look at their initial cloud deployment strategies and examined how they're operating alongside the typical on-premises corporate IT infrastructure. I think this drove many organizations to pivot their strategies, and those changes will manifest in the coming year. We'll see SaaS grow, cloud management strategies shift and the way we train our employees evolve.

Prediction 1: SaaS maturity drives governance

In the year ahead, Software as a Service (SaaS) applications will continue to grow, further defining themselves in the enterprise space. However, SaaS will not serve as a replacement for other leading enterprise business applications. Instead, it will be in addition to the current model, carving out a space for it to expand. As business-driven SaaS becomes more pervasive, I think it will organically push IT toward a different approach to governance. Due to the fact that some SaaS applications are used across an organization, while others are deployed on a much smaller scale (think department level, or even individual level), they cannot all be governed the same way. Each application needs to be evaluated against business goals, and governed in a way that allows the IT team to stay both agile and secure. I expect that this will also push our customers to search for a single provider to support their multiple SaaS applications, ensuring a seamless experience across the organization and helping bring Shadow IT operations into the light.

Prediction 2: Cloud deployment strategies will continue to evolve

Everyone knows at this point that the cloud isn't going anywhere. But, I do think deployment models will continue to evolve. In addition to the rise of SaaS, my four biggest predictions for the cloud are:

1)    Hyperconvergence will take its place as the default stack for building scalable, hybrid cloud solutions.

2)    Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and management of NFV will become seamless between the public and private cloud.

3)    Cloud spend on un-managed applications will continue to rise. I predict that this year this cost will actually outpace the money organizations spend on non-compliance software audits.

4)    For the foreseeable future, there will be a new focus on the management, automation and security of microservices as architecture styles continue to evolve.

Prediction 3: Employee training will be integral to adopting emerging technologies

Back in the day, employee training might have been a yearly activity, or just something that happened on your first day of work. However, with the rate that enterprise technology is evolving, that approach is no longer an option. If employees do not understand new technologies, they will likely resist adoption. To combat this, ongoing employee education and training will become a priority for organizations and will ultimately come to define their company culture. Ensuring that every employee has access to the newest technology and is using it correctly will become paramount, setting the tone for employee (and customer) satisfaction. On the flip side, training is also crucial to helping employees curb outdated technology habits. If they do not adapt to new technologies, it can become a serious security risk for organizations, opening the door to data leaks and ransomware. While some employees may be resistant at first to new protocol, striking a balance between technology adoption and best practices starts with effective training, which will lead companies down the path towards employee satisfaction.

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About the Author

Lawrence Schwartz 

Lawrence Schwartz has focused his career on growing companies and building world-class marketing organizations. Lawrence joined SoftwareONE last year as CMO and oversees the company's worldwide marketing strategy and operations. With 20 years of experience in data and information systems, Lawrence has been a featured speaker at leading conferences, and has been quoted in numerous industry publications. He holds a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, as well as a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Published Monday, January 15, 2018 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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SoftwareONE Profiled in VMblog.com - (Author's Link) - January 19, 2018 2:10 PM
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