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The OpenNMS Group 2023 Predictions: The Evolution of IT and the Future of Network Monitoring

vmblog-predictions-2023 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

The Evolution of IT and the Future of Network Monitoring: Thoughts on 2023 and Beyond

By Mike Huot, Principal Product Strategist at The OpenNMS Group

I began my career in 1993-a time when Slackware was born a year before RedHat, and the Cisco 2500 series router was released laying foundations for the Internet-age. It's pretty safe to say that I've seen a lot of changes to the IT landscape over my 30-year career. Without a doubt, some of the biggest changes have happened in the last few years, with innovation growing at an ever-accelerating speed. The need for IT has far surpassed the walls of an office, and now extends to the homes, cars, phones-you name it-of employees. IoT is increasing the number of devices that companies have to support, meaning that there's more data, and more data means more complexity. Here are the top ways I expect network monitoring and the IT industry-at-large to change in the next year, and beyond:

Companies will need to learn to adapt to the hybrid age 

Organizations need to start accepting that we're not entering the cloud age-we've already entered into the hybrid age. For companies to catch up, they will need to do three things: Prioritize knowledge sharing; companies need to find the most effective way to train new IT team members, as greater support is needed to accommodate existing on-premise technologies and new cloud technologies. Second, the need for network uptime and availability has increased exponentially, so IT will have to continue to find innovative ways for efficient maintenance to minimize network downtime. Lastly, the volume of information is going to continue to increase, thus needing more effective ways to log and measure metrics. We simply can't sift through all of that data manually anymore.

The growing use of SaaS will redefine the IT department 

The pandemic accelerated enterprises moving to SaaS for office productivity, to accommodate an increasing share of their workforce working remotely. This accelerates as more ancillary and core applications become available via SaaS. The shift will cause the role of IT to evolve from its earlier focus of building IT infrastructure, whether on-premise or in the cloud, to advocating for acquiring and maintaining the right IT solutions. The new burden will be to insure that the levels of service the enterprise expects are met. This will include the crucial and often forgotten resiliency, extraction and archiving of data.  

The cycle towards edge computing comes as the edge of networks grows from largely on-premise to increasingly at-home and with a larger usage of IoT, forcing networks to expand and thus the definition of the edge is expanding. Edge computing, coupled with enterprises becoming SaaS-reliant, is causing the traffic patterns to change from 'all roads lead to the data center' to 'shortest path'. The monitoring and observation will have to shift from centralized to decentralized.

Greater collaboration between the CIO and CISO, as roles expand

As we look at infrastructure-IT infrastructure and monitoring-the role of prevention in cybersecurity becomes more important. Infrastructure monitoring and cybersecurity inherently overlap--the data that infrastructure monitoring looks at is also the data needed to implement protections. The trouble is, as these lines blur: who owns it? The concept of separation of duties is there so the teams running operations aren't also the ones shutting operations down for security reasons. As a result, we will see a unique collaboration between the infrastructure and cybersecurity teams as their role expands to support the greater needs of the business while ensuring the protection of the network. 

Formalized programs will begin to develop as the generational skills gap widens

The first generation that built the IT infrastructure that's in place today is starting to age out. As a result, there is a growing skills gap as the path to IT leadership lacks a clear path. As a huge population retires out of the industry, companies will need to find efficient ways to pick up the pieces. As it stands, there's a misconception that in the IT industry, skills should be acquired over time and so there are few formalized programs to bridge the skills gap. The reality is, we need more IT professionals who can work with both legacy and emerging technology-and fast. In 2023, we will see these pressures start to mount, and companies will be forced to rethink how they build out their teams.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike-Huot 

Mike Huot has been working in information technology infrastructure for his entire career to design, implement, and monitor the most complex environments with creative, extensible, and manageable solutions. After many years of working in health care, Mike recently made the move to The OpenNMS Group which he supported and contributed to the community for more than two decades. Mike brings his in-depth knowledge of the industry and customer-centric viewpoint to product strategy to help take OpenNMS into the future. In his spare time, Mike can be found tinkering with software and hardware, using the same problem-solving approach he uses in his work.

Published Tuesday, January 17, 2023 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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