As the new year gets underway in the IT infrastructure arena, it seems like everything is changing. But at least one thing will stay the same: we can guarantee that your daily juggling act will continue unabated.
While it's necessary to separate ITIM – IT Infrastructure Monitoring, the actual tools that capture the availability and utilization metrics of your infrastructure components – from ITOM – IT Operations Management, the administrative, decision making functions – you really can't make commitments in one area without assessing the impact in the other.
While we identified dozens of trends to keep your eye on, let's take a look at five that will soon have an impact on your operations.
1. The increasing capabilities of AI.
The big impact item that everyone is watching is Artificial Intelligence. Rapid advances in technologies such as machine learning and deep learning are increasing the underlying capabilities of AI. If you are challenged by cogent management of operations and obtaining meaningful analytics, AI will deliver for you. As more and more data aggregates at the edge, that data will help your analytics get smarter. The key will be to leverage it to deliver management benefits to your IT infrastructure, in areas such as log analysis, infrastructure scaling and capacity planning, to name a few.
Guidance: Once here, AI will begin to play a huge role in performing the analytics necessary for you to make cogent business decisions.
2. The ongoing adoption of cloud.
No surprise here: the cloud will continue to grow. Many IT organizations are now running between one-third to one-half of their workloads in the cloud. A typical organization’s actual environment will continue to be hybrid. As the growth of smart devices continues – here meaning IoT, everything from smartphones to street lamps – the necessity of leveraging the now globally available cloud for management at the edge will be unavoidable. The emerging availability of high-performance computing in the cloud will accelerate that use case.
Guidance: Even as cloud providers make inroads into satisfying data residency requirements and address latency issues, many in-house applications will stay there. For you, you’ll continue to walk the tight rope of remaining concerned about security and struggling to optimize cloud costs.
3. The advent of modeling technologies.
One interesting transfer from the science and engineering world to the business world is the emerging use of modeling. While scientists and engineers have been modeling physical processes and structures for decades, it is now becoming feasible to model your entire IT infrastructure. Known as "digital twin" in the IT world, this replication allows for predictive analysis of planned changes to your environment.
Guidance: While not ready for prime time at the moment, digital twins will become a powerful force in managing complex ecosystems. Keep an eye on the ability to closely tie digital representation to the actual environment.
4. The necessity of IoT cybersecurity.
An important new component of ITOM platforms this year will be the incorporation of cybersecurity methods that address the unique requirements of industrial equipment and control systems. As with IoT, the days are long gone since something connected to a network can reasonably be presumed to be a computer. Organizations that insist that they are not in industry could be caught off-guard as their HVAC systems, power systems for their data centers, and so on, start showing up in IT security logs.
Guidance. The cybersecurity umbrella, long focused on software vulnerabilities, will continue to expand. The recent exposure of hardware vulnerabilities, such as the Meltdown and Spectre defects, show that security must now focus on absolutely everything. Help with that daunting task will be forthcoming this year from a variety of emerging vendors and services firms.
5. Viable big data management solutions.
And of course, managing the big data resulting from each of the issues mentioned above requires innovative thinking. To help IT operations teams cope, new age, open solutions such as Hadoop, Spark, NoSQL are increasingly being used alongside more established technologies. Big data will impact IT budgets by necessitating that you find ways to accommodate the exponentially increasing data (i.e., storage, processing) and by imposing increasingly costly pricing models from mainstream IT vendors.
Guidance: Consider ways to obtain meaningful, actionable insights from your big data issues.
We will be tracking each of these areas in greated depth in the coming months.