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Top 10 IT predictions for 2013

December 14, 2012 No Comments

Running IT like a business is a pervasive goal of IT executives and increasingly important to business leaders outside of IT. With economic recovery still tenuous, transforming IT into an internal service provider allows enterprises to flexibly support increasing consumerization of IT, while also maximizing efficiency and focus on the bottom line. The following predictions for IT in 2013 reflect where emerging and maturing technologies fit with the needs for greater flexibility, automation, and scale of service provider-oriented IT organizations.

1.      Virtualization Extends to the Edge

Virtualization of data centers has caused a ripple effect and will be increasingly making its way to the edge of the organization in 2013. Virtualization technology has enabled enterprises to create multipurpose “branch office boxes,” completely eliminating the need for conventional remote servers.

2.      The Stateless Branch Becomes a Reality for More Enterprises

In parallel with consolidation within a branch, advances in technology allow enterprises to build “stateless branch” offices.  Achieving 100 percent consolidation of edge servers, applications and data into the data center lets IT more effectively secure, manage and protect its resources.

3.      Software-Defined Networks & Data Centers Come into Sharper Focus

As enterprises look for ways to increase automated, policy-based computing, a programmable infrastructure enables enterprises to visualize and control their network with their own tools and in essence “program” their network with their own parameters. With software-defined networking and software-defined data centers, more enterprises will begin strategizing how they will build out their future data centers in 2013 so that they can rapidly and dynamically carve up their network and data center as needed. By creating entire functioning ensembles of servers and networking on the fly to meet changing business demands, these new networks and data centers are offering up a level of flexibility and nimbleness that is not available with traditional networks and data centers.

4.      Mobility Becomes More Pervasive

There will be greater penetration of mobile devices in enterprises than fixed access devices in 2013. With the availability of 802.11n Wi-Fi and further enhancements coming such as 802.11ac in 2013 as well as mobile networks increasingly using 4G, the typical office will be all wireless soon. More enterprises will also inevitably need to incorporate BYOD policies into its IT planning, especially as enterprises plan and manage BYOD as it converges with virtual desktops adoption.

5.      Disaster Recovery Becomes Highly Automated

Disaster recovery will become more automated with simplification of processes and failover in mind in 2013. More organizations are upgrading networking connections to remote offices and adding SANs with virtual servers so they can replicate critical data to these branch locations. Other enterprises are choosing to move to the cloud as providers are continuing to make it an even more affordable option. DR in the cloud is also gaining momentum as cloud storage is being leveraged as a dedicated DR site.

6.      Cloud Drives Cross-Functional Teams

Enterprises are rapidly adopting virtualization and cloud architectures to consolidate and reduce costs, increase flexibility and efficiency, and dynamically deliver services to end users. In 2013, more enterprises will assemble cross-functional IT groups across computing, storage and networking teams for both troubleshooting and achieving predictable, reliable delivery of applications.

7.      VDI Adoption Gains Momentum

Finding a cost-effective and reliable way to manage end users in the branch office has become a priority for many organizations. A growing number of organizations view the centralization and management of branch environments through desktop virtualization as an effective approach to streamline desktop and application management while improving security, meeting regulatory requirements, and increasing flexibility and productivity. As virtual desktop performance improves, more enterprises will consider it.

8.      Advances in SaaS Leads to Better Integration & Workflow Services

Today, enterprises have predominantly adopted monolithic SaaS suites. In 2013, we’ll begin to see value-added SaaS integration and workflow services to create more of a dynamic environment that offers real-time management of end users, application components and IT environments such as multiple or distributed cloud platforms.

9.      Big Data Leads to Federation

Big data is driving an analytics movement in the network. More organizations will look for ways to consolidate as well as looking to invest in federation solutions, especially those that are cloud-based, to abstract, gather, transform and combine internal and external data from different physical locations and storage types into a consistent format.

10.  Scalability Continues to Concern Enterprises

We will see unprecedented levels of data, traffic, users and devices in 2013. Factors including consolidation, video, cloud, DR and organic growth, will drive enterprises to better allocate bandwidth, prioritize traffic and address latency.

Transforming IT into a modular and scalable provider of cost-efficient IT services will not happen overnight. But advances in virtualization, networking, and analytics are ripe for allowing IT to take the next steps to navigate challenging economic times and achieve business-like operations.

Dormain Drewitz, Solutions Marketing Manager at Riverbed Technology,  joined Riverbed in 2011 after spending over 5 years as a technology investment analyst, closely following IT software companies. She’s written and commented extensively on technology trends like cloud computing and desktop virtualization. Dormain holds a B. A. in History from the University of California at Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @DormainDrewitz.



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