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Kemp 2020 Predictions: Hybrid Environments Reign Supreme, IoT and DevOps go Mainstream
Throughout 2019 user experience for applications has grown in importance but enterprises are facing challenges to maintaining application experience. Adoption of container-based and serverless architectures continued over the past year. Security, compliance and governance were top priorities for enterprises. Many digital transformation initiatives have not provided the return-on-investment that enterprises hoped to achieve. Kemp continued to support IoT and DevOps. We helped our customers to manage all types of multi-cloud, multi-platform and hybrid environments.

Here are Kemp's predictions for 2020 and beyond:

Jason Dover, VP Product Strategy, Kemp

Jason Dover

  • Application Experience Will Drive Need for On-Demand Licensing

The trend of increased focus on quality of application experience will continue in 2020. This will fuel the requirement for just-in-time delivery of services, dynamic scaling and elastic infrastructure in order to respond to customer experience requirements in near real-time. Whether an eCommerce site needs to horizontally scale with serverless functions to address a visitor influx or a consumer-facing trading platform needs to allocate more resources vertically to respond to increased transactions, delivering a consistently positive experience will be a top priority. With so much commoditization and access to information happening across all market verticals, experience becomes the battlefield of differentiation where vendors have the opportunity to win or lose. These delivery models require cloud-centric licensing and consumption in order to make it feasible for customers to implement from a financial perspective - gone are the days of significantly and statically over-provisioning months or years in advance for the event that might happen. As a result, we can expect that the availability of flexible, OpEx consumption models will be prioritized as a key evaluation criterion that enterprise customers will impose in their selection process in 2020.

  • Hybrid Environments Reign Supreme

While enterprises will continue to entertain the adoption of container-based and serverless architectures to support business objectives around service agility, roadblocks in the form of skillset, resources and time required to transition applications will prevent end-to-end migrations en masse. As a result, hybrid deployments consisting of traditional infrastructure architectures coexisting with next gen models will be the norm. On the same front, vendors such as RedHat, Microsoft and Amazon will see an increase in adoption of their packaged Kubernetes offerings and platform services as enterprises come to grips with the complexities of "rolling their own" environment.

  • Security Tops CIO Concerns

Security, compliance and governance will continue to be a top priority for CIOs. This will result in the CISO role being established in organizations where it typically was a part-time function of another technology leader as opposed to a dedicated office. This will increase the scrutiny in the selection process of technology vendors that operate in adjacencies to the security domain.

  • Digital Transformation vs. Business ROI

2019 saw an increase in dissatisfaction with the return on investment on so-called "digital transformation" initiatives. Part of this was due to many organizations having lack of clarity on what digital transformation really meant to their business and what customer-facing objectives the technology experiments under this umbrella were actually tied to. As a result, 2020 will see a more conservative approach on spend in projects in this category as well as stricter mandates on KPIs directly tied to customer-facing value, adoption and retention from boards of directors and senior leadership.

  • Adoption of Product Line Management Model

In attempts to accelerate IT-business fusion, promote customer-centric delivery and reduce bottlenecks on projects, there will be an increase in implementing a "Product Line Management" approach in traditional corporate IT environments. While this is the norm for technology vendors, it's only been seen as a standard approach for IT management in select verticals such as Finance. The results of this shift will help with the establishment of self-directed agile teams leading to cost efficiencies and a census of all systems required to support new capabilities earlier in the lifecycle of projects. Another expected benefit will be reduced IT planning and administrative costs. In the traditional world, a PMO office with portfolio managers were responsible for overseeing people doing work. In the PLM world, things are shifted to a model where individuals are enabled with the autonomy and resources to be responsible for the entire portfolio at a per product level. This treating of an entire IT functional area as a product lays the foundation for removal of staff redundancy and more efficiently operating teams.

Ben Hodge, Principal Technical Advisor, Kemp

Ben Hodge 

  • IoT Goes Mainstream

There will be increased connectivity between IT systems and physical infrastructure, and not just in the early use cases of power stations, medical systems, power grids, transport networks, etc. It's now beyond early adopters and becoming mainstream in general enterprise whether it's "smart locks" in hotels or "smart traps" in pest control. Any enterprise that builds or operates physical systems will be connecting these in 2020.

  • Mainstream Adoption of DevOps and Lean Management Practices Within IT Operations

This is no longer questioned or a matter of 'early adopters' and is in the late stages of the adoption cycle. New practices and techniques such as FinOps are already emerging from organizations that took to this early and have emerged on the other side of the DevOps transformation and are exploring new opportunities in ITOps.

  • Increased Awareness and Focus on the Role of Telemetry and Infrastructure Validation Systems in IT Operations

Scale and complexity are beyond ad-hoc and manual monitoring for medium and large organizations. I would say this is somewhere around early adopter phase. Already concepts such as control theory and things that would be "old school" for nuclear power operators, etc. are now entering ITOps language but as a whole the IT industry still has a lot to learn about operating the type of complex and distributed systems that are now being deployed.

  • The Emergence of Meta-Infrastructure Patterns in Enterprise

Infrastructure for building and operating IT infrastructure (i.e. CI/CD pipelines to build and deploy CI/CD Pipelines) to achieve hyper-scale is moving into enterprise as they learn to apply GitOps practices.

  • Hybrid and Multi-Everything

Multi-cloud, multi-platform, hybrid-cloud, multi-architecture (traditional/microservice/serverless/etc.). This has been visible for a number of years but it's now clearer and accepted that there's a strong need for new management practices and tooling that can cope with this.


In conclusion we would summarize as follows. Enterprises will choose technology vendors offering cloud-centric licensing and consumption models. Hybrid environments of traditional infrastructure architectures coexisting with container-based and serverless architectures will be the norm. Technology vendors will be evaluated from a security perspective. We may see a more conservative approach to spending on digital transformation projects and greater importance placed on how measurement of customer-facing value, adoption and retention from these projects is gathered and reviewed. "Product Line Management" will be used in enterprise IT departments to increase IT-business fusion and customer-centric delivery while reducing bottlenecks on projects. IoT connectivity between IT systems and physical infrastructure at general enterprises will increase. There will be mainstream adoption of DevOps and Lean management practices and improved usage of telemetry and infrastructure validation systems in IT Operations. New tools and practices will be used to manage Hybrid and Multi-Everything.


About the Authors

Jason Dover, VP Product Strategy, Kemp

Jason Dover is a subject matter expert on messaging technologies and application delivery with a background in the design and implementation of enterprise unified communication and directory solutions. Jason is part of the Kemp Strategy team responsible for leading direction of product portfolio, driving end-to-end customer experience management as well as defining and executing on Kemp's overarching market strategy. Jason has previously worked in the finance industry and provided consultative messaging and directory transition and migration services to NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Bank, and served as Technical Lead for the global Directory and Messaging Operations team at AllianceBernstein.

Ben Hodge, Principal Technical Advisor, Kemp

As Principal Technical Advisor at Kemp, Ben works directly with the VP of Engineering and CTO to drive innovation and continuous improvement within the R&D Organization. Ben provides in-house analysis within Kemp on strategic technologies to support M&A activities and product strategy. Key areas of focus at the moment are DevOps/NetOps adoption, digital transformation, application experience, microservices and multi-cloud environments. Ben is based in Sydney, Australia.

Published Friday, February 21, 2020 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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