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SoftIron 2024 Predictions: Ten predictions for IT in 2024 and beyond


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2024.  Read them in this 16th annual series exclusive.

Ten predictions for IT in 2024 and beyond

By Andrew Moloney, Chief Strategy Officer, SoftIron

It's that time of year again when we get the crystal ball out and take a stab at what we think the next year has in store for us when it comes to the evolution of IT. I pulled together our leadership team at SoftIron to debate these and come up with some of the key ones we think we'll see come about in the next twelve months as well as a few we think that will take longer to play out.

1. Cloud strategy moves from "fashionable to rational"

Moving from an era when proposing a full-scale migration to the public cloud was a surefire way to promotion, the current maturation of the market, economic conditions, shifting performance requirements, and a dramatic simplification in building private cloud-native infrastructure, will see a much more rational approach. Underpinning this will be a broader understanding of the difference between cloud "the model" and cloud the "place", where how applications are built is decoupled from where they operate.

2. Geopolitical instability continues

We see little to suggest that 2024 will be any less turbulent in terms of geopolitics than we have seen this year. Indeed, this is one that will likely play out over a number of years around the world. With regard to its impact on IT, we expect that we will see this accelerate plans by nation-states to boost their own sovereign resilience. 

This, we predict will be in three main areas:

  • Accelerated investment in the build-out of true sovereign clouds, both in terms of infrastructure and domestic IT skills
  • Accelerated investment in the deployment of "tactical edge" capability
  • Great investment in protections from state-sponsored attacks on critical infrastructure

3. A sovereign cloud shake out

We predict that many of the "pseudo" sovereign cloud projects - those that rely on obfuscated infrastructure and/or local third parties to operate them to provide a veneer of sovereignty, will not gain traction. AWS, late to the party to offer such a service and having recently launched their European Sovereign Cloud may well be delivering too little, too late. Instead, those that offer true sovereign resilience - enabling nation-states to build, operate, inspect, and audit their own infrastructure on their own terms and turf, will become the preferred option.

4. VMware acquisition accelerates the adoption of cloud-native infrastructure

Forced into seeking credible alternatives to using VMware to provide virtualized infrastructure in on-prem. data centers, existing VMware customers will take the opportunity to revisit their cloud strategy, making the rational decision to shift to a fully cloud-native infrastructure - one able to consolidate and simplify existing virtualized on-prem. workloads within an infrastructure able to deliver true private cloud going forward will grasp that opportunity. Finally, they will be able to deliver what VMware and Nutanix have promised for years but have never quite been able to deliver.

5. Public Cloud market fragments and the battleground shifts

After a period of stability in the market shares of the big three, we predict we'll see competition start to heat up as the hyperscalers are forced to battle on multiple fronts;

  • An increased focus by customers on the real value of the service they are getting
  • Increased consideration of whether workloads should migrate to the public cloud at all
  • A fragmentation of the market with the growth of specialist CSP, with targeted propositions around verticals, apps, and/or sovereignty and security
  • New entrants to the cloud market (e.g. NVidia) using the explosion in AI to drive new behaviors.

6. A renaissance for Private Cloud

Partially related to our VMWare prediction, and the availability of cloud-native infrastructure that changes the economics of private cloud, the evolution of a more rational cloud strategy will see Cloud Centers of Excellence (CCoEs) and FinOps professionals grasp the opportunity to get an apples-to-apples comparison across not just public clouds, but now between public and private cloud. New open standards released in 2024, such as FOCUS will help to enable this.

At the same time, shifts to distributed cloud architectures, enabling workloads to move to the edge to the core and back will elevate the need to make private clouds more than just basic virtualized infrastructure.

7. The death of "Hyper-Converged"

Already effectively abandoned by its greatest exponent, Nutanix, the independent and elastic scaling limitations inherent in these architectures, plus their failures to fully deliver on a fully cloud-native environment without significant integrations and third parties will see hyperconvergence relegated from the data center to smaller, departmental type solutions only.

8. IT skills shortage worsens, demanding a fundamental rethink of how IT is built

We predict a backlash against over-complexity in the fundamental ways IT is built. Customers challenged by a skills crisis and budgets under pressure will seek out simpler, more innovative ways of solving IT's infrastructure challenges. This will compound the issues for VMware as a major contributor to that complexity. While AI, we predict, will have an impact in the longer term in helping streamline the efficiency of how IT is built and run, in the short to medium term a shift to cloud-native infrastructure can address many of these issues today.

9. Software-defined fades, hardware, and hard tech get sexy again

Fuelled by the hype around AI and the investments being made in the processing power to support it, we predict we'll see a resurgence in interest in innovation right in hardware, and the hard tech required to support that. A new generation of start-ups will disrupt the inertia in innovation in IT infrastructure design of the last couple of decades.

10. Consumption-based purchasing models are exposed for the "complexity tax" that they are

Large providers of consumption-based on-prem. infrastructure (such as HPE GreenLake and Dell APEX) struggle to deliver quickly on the promised roadmaps that would make the delivery of such services seamless, painless, and highly profitable. Customers start to question why they are effectively paying a complexity tax that pays for the engineers needed to manually support the lack of integration in their own products.

And there you have it...our top predictions for IT in 2024. Buckle up, and enjoy the ride, it's bound to be an interesting year!



Andrew Moloney, Chief Strategy Officer, SoftIron

Andrew Moloney 

For almost 30 years, Andrew has led product, marketing, and sales teams in a range of hardware, software and cloud businesses for both start-up and leading enterprise brands.

Previously, Andrew founded and ran a consulting firm for 8 years advising, developing and executing go-to-market strategies for technology businesses. Former roles include leading the SMB networking business unit at 3Com (now HP) and leading European Marketing at Information Security leaders, RSA Security.

Published Friday, November 17, 2023 6:02 AM by David Marshall
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