A look ahead: What’s in store for Enterprise IT in 2016?

By Sean McAvan, managing director, NaviSite Europe.

Although we don’t have a crystal ball that we can look into to make definitive predictions, there are some trends emerging that we see shaping enterprise IT in 2016. With over two-thirds of IT departments set to increase their operational IT budgets in 2016,[1] it does not look like the importance of IT in driving business goals will diminish anytime soon. The question really lies in how this will happen over the next year.

This time last year, we predicted several trends for 2015 that have since been realised. We predicted that we would see the normalisation of “anytime, anywhere working”, which has become much more popular in the UK as enterprises try to become more mobile. We also predicted that cloud technology would become even more mainstream, and we saw cloud adoption in the UK soar past 84 per cent in May[2]. Additionally, as we predicted, we have seen an increased dependency on IT to help drive business transformation as businesses look for new ways to gain competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive, globalised world. So what does 2016 hold?

·Security will evolve

As we’ve seen over the past 18 months, the nature of cybersecurity threats have changed in fundamental ways.Perimeter based security is no longer sufficient – if it ever was in the first place. More than ever, a deep, granular, distributed security model will be needed.Advances in software defined networking combined with other non-traditional approaches (think beyond IP and port ACLs!) will be what enables IT to keep pace with evolving threats and keep their business’ data safe.

·Private cloud will be back

Early adopters of public cloud will re-evaluate the commercial fit of private cloud – and late adopters may move directly to private cloud due to regulations and compliance needs.Cloud economics are compelling for a wide variety of use cases, but a CAPEX investment supporting a stable, long term application base often makes sense.In addition, many regulatory bodies regularly lag behind in innovation, and private cloud often addresses compliance obligations while still providing many of the benefits of public cloud.However, this resurgence is likely to be short lived as regulatory bodies catch up, applications evolve, and more flexible pricing models for public cloud prevail.

·Businesses will evolve using IT

Businesses across all industries will need to examine their untapped data assets to drive the next wave of innovation and competition. In recent years, disruptive technologies have changed the potential of businesses of all sizes and businesses will continue to look for ways that technology can give them a competitive edge in 2016. In 2016 there will be those that will effectively leverage data assets to drive unprecedented levels of competition within each industry in 2016. It will no longer be sufficient “just” to be the best in the industry.

·A lack of developers will constrain hyper scale cloud

There is already a shortage of developers with the skills required to truly capitalise on the value of hyper scale cloud. Indeed, many “born in cloud” applications are really just traditional designs deployed to the cloud.Applications, even newly developed ones, often rely on the infrastructure layer to provide resilience.The next generation of applications engineered to provide resilience at the application layer – i.e. those that can tolerate infrastructure failure – will suffer until there are enough developers with the skills to build them on a wide commercial scale. This shortage is unlikely to end in 2016, as it is long term problem that will require one or more higher education cycles to fully resolve.

In 2016, these innovations are likely to involve leverage of data assets, security, data storage and much more.As we move into 2016, it’s clear that businesses will continue to look to their IT teams for innovations that allow them to remain competitive, both for developing new business solutions and meeting existing challenges.

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