Thursday, May 25, 2017
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Executive Viewpoint 2017 Prediction: Apcera

IT Automation at Scale Becomes Foundational

Automation can’t be considered a “nice to have” anymore – the demands on IT for faster time to value and broader distribution of solutions for internal and external customers requires it. In many areas of IT, automation will still seem like a high hurdle for limited return, but that doesn’t mean actions shouldn’t be taken now to leverage whatever improvements are available and better prepare for the tsunami that’s coming.

The trends coming revolve around the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Big Data and the Cloud. Each of these trends will bring with it new potential business opportunities for companies to pursue, and will likely create increased interaction with customers. Companies will expect the ability to react to the new information they’ve obtained through one of the aforementioned trends – and they will expect it now. Otherwise, what’s the point?

A Focus on Security From the Start Becomes the Norm

In line with the idea of an increased need for automation is the need for secure by design. There is no value in being good at fixing holes; value is never allowing the holes in the first place. If we’re going to be expected to deliver new applications or updates to existing applications in record time, we can’t afford two months for a security review of each update. There will be heightened expectations that IT will be able to deliver trusted environments that take into account holes that are often attributed to things like patch management, version control, test mixing with production, poor role definition, and more.

Creating an environment that allows control of all of the above issues and more at the source is the only way to keep up with demand as well as maintain trust in environments. Automation will be key, but auditability and live updates will also play important roles in keeping nausea at bay when the seas are rough.

Containers Become the de Facto Standard for Apps in the Cloud

There are significant benefits to how containers work versus legacy infrastructure, including virtualization. However, any new solution brings risks that need to be mitigated before broad-based adoption. 2017 will likely be the year when even smaller companies can leverage containers to reduce spend on legacy infrastructure hardware and software.

Companies attempting to make the switch to containers will also be looking for solutions that allow them to leverage existing investments in people, hardware, and software solutions. As the vast majority of applications will not be redesigned as cloud native any time soon, there must be a way to accelerate the process of containerization. The best way to speed the move to containers is to find ways to leverage what you have while reducing the daily overhead required to manage it.

The Theme is Speed with Resiliency

Speed by itself is of little value and resiliency is of little value if you spend too much time on it. The combination of a DevOps culture tied to a platform that provides improved governance, trust and repeatability are going to be core to the survival of IT.