Technology in an evolving economy

Feb 04 2013, 02:29 IST
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SummaryEnterprise IT continued to evolve in 2012 at a lightning-fast pace.

The rising expectations of executives require IT to be even more agile when addressing the needs of the business

Jim Totton

Enterprise IT continued to evolve in 2012 at a lightning-fast pace. Concepts like hybrid environments and cloud operating systems moved from being buzzwords that were discussed and planned for, to, in many cases, full-scale implementation.

Simultaneously, other trends began to take shape—trends that will heavily influence the way enterprises approach IT well into this year and beyond. These trends range from the way organisations handle big data to the ever-present need for mission-critical computing. They signify the rising importance of IT within the enterprise, and beg the answer to the question “What does the future enterprise platform really look like?”

The role of IT has never been more important within the enterprise. In a recent Gartner and Forbes survey of Board of Directors, the percent of respondents that rated IT’s strategic business value contribution as high or extremely high doubled between 2010 and 2012. The rising expectations of executives require IT to be even more agile when addressing the needs of the business.

In response, we’re seeing a trend towards convergence of compute, storage and network as integrated infrastructure in the next few years. Many organisations are also looking to standardise their infrastructure to become more efficient. While the long-term goal is simplification and standardisation, this represents a significant shift for IT. How and when companies move forward will depend on their ongoing virtualisation and cloud computing efforts.

From a process perspective, we’re also seeing the convergence of development, infrastructure and IT operations teams to strengthen the interdependence of these groups and reduce development and deployment time. More organisations will adopt an integrated DevOps approach to increase communication, collaboration and integration between these teams, and thus eliminate issues that stem from incomplete hand-offs or insufficient skills.

This will put additional strain on developers. Not only are they tasked with developing and managing code; many of tomorrow’s developers will also be challenged with troubleshooting infrastructure issues once solutions they build are in deployment. This makes the need for reliable platforms and stable operating systems even more critical. As their jobs become more complex, they need an enterprise platform that frees them to focus on new projects, instead of managing downtime.

This model will continue to gain traction within organisations as the IT department achieves prominence and enterprises look to streamline operations. But it won’t come without challenges. Enterprises

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