Infrastructure and operations (I&O) has seen significant disruption in recent years, spurred by the rapid growth of the cloud and the shift to hybrid IT. A business located in the U.S. might host its website on public cloud infrastructure while storing customer information and backups across private cloud infrastructure in data centers in India and in the U.K.
Today, infrastructure is everywhere, and the pace of change for I&O will only increase in 2020 as IT leaders face pressure to more quickly create, deploy, manage and govern dynamic application environments.
Today’s I&O professionals must be willing to move beyond legacy practices and mindsets to embrace trends that will profoundly impact I&O teams
“Hybrid IT environments are becoming the new normal, with many enterprises managing workloads in data centers, in the public cloud and at the edge,” says Ross Winser, Gartner Senior Director Analyst.
“Traditional I&O tools are quickly reaching their limits when tasked with such a wide array of data-processing venues. Today’s I&O professionals must be willing to move beyond legacy practices and mindsets to embrace trends that will profoundly impact I&O teams and the capabilities they provide their business.”
Here are the top ten trends that I&O leaders should focus on as they look ahead to 2020.
Trend 1: Automation strategy rethink
To date, many I&O teams have taken an opportunistic approach to automation, resulting in automation capabilities that vary significantly between I&O teams. Additionally, independent automation tools have proliferated throughout IT. However, as digital business scales up, demands on I&O automation will increase, which will threaten the viability of this type of approach.
I&O leaders must shift to a strategic approach to automation. By 2025, more than 90% of enterprises will have an automation architect, up from less than 20% today. This leader will guide investments through the lens of the automation strategy, ensuring that automation is scalable to digital business needs, addressing use cases that align with business strategy.
Trend 2: Hybrid IT vs. disaster recovery confidence
Hybrid infrastructures make disaster recovery increasingly complex. In the new world of distributed applications and complex integration, I&O professionals are facing the uncomfortable truth that if a disaster strikes, heritage recovery strategies may not address the full extent of their operating scenarios.
Rethink disaster recovery strategies to account for workloads in public and private clouds, in traditional data centers and at the edge. Ensure resilience requirements are evaluated at design stages, and that opportunities to enhance resilience when needed are achievable and work with other business leaders to decide how to close resilience planning gaps.
Trend 3: Scaling DevOps agility
An increasing number of enterprise product teams work in DevOps environments. Yet as successes win mind share and enthusiasm builds, the practical challenges of scaling DevOps must be addressed. For example, ensuring that the skills needed are available at scale and that many teams do not end up duplicating effort in similar ways.
By 2023, 90% of enterprises will fail to scale DevOps initiatives if they do not create a shared self-service platform. A shared self-service platform provides a “digital toolbox” of I&O capabilities to help multiple DevOps teams create, release and manage products, while ensuring consistency and streamlined efforts at scale.
Trend 4: Infrastructure is everywhere — so is your data
In a hybrid IT world, IT infrastructure is located wherever the business needs it, meaning that data is located everywhere, too. By 2022, more than 50% of enterprise data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud, up from less than 10% in 2019.
I&O leaders must plan for the accompanying data impacts. As data is increasingly distributed, I&O teams can struggle to provide the protection and management needed.
At the early stages of IT solution design, mandate a data-driven infrastructure impact assessment. Identify where data is being stored, how it will likely be consumed and how important factors like its growth rate could impact I&O’s ability to protect and manage it.
Trend 5: Overwhelming impact of IoT
Due to the transformative and far-reaching nature of IoT projects and their inherent complexity, understanding which team is responsible for each piece of the IoT puzzle can be a challenge.
“I&O must become involved early on in IoT planning discussions to understand the proposed service and support model at scale,” says Winser. “This will avoid the cascade effect of unforeseen service gaps that could cause serious headaches in the future. I&O leaders have important thought leadership to offer IoT teams regarding service and support considerations.”