Gartner Predictions for IT – Next Five Years

December 6th, 2012 by

Down By The Water

The 31st annual Gartner Data Center Conference kicked off Monday in never-boring Las Vegas.

In true Gartner style, the first keynote by David Cappuccio, VP, Chief of Research, focused on trends and the big picture, asking and answering the question of “What Will Happen to IT in the Next 5 Years.” For anyone paying attention, the major trends should not be a surprise – hybrid cloud adoption, big data, operational complexity, etc. But what was surprising was a few very specific predictions – rooted, one has to assume, in all that time Gartner analysts spend talking to their Fortune 1000 customers.

First to set the scene, there is the consumerization of IT, i,e.,we all expect to be able to access everything, all the time, from any device, from anywhere. To put some numbers around the scale of what this really means for IT teams to support, in the last minute, here’s what was sent/accessed/performed:

  • 100,000 tweets
  • 2+ million Google searches
  • 204 million emails sent
  • 61,000 hours of music on Pandora
  • and more…

Prediction #1
By 2014, 30% of organizations using SaaS operations management tools will switch back to on-premise solutions due to poor service levels

Prediction #2
By 2014, market consolidation displaces up to 20% of the top 100 IT services providers

Prediction #1 is surprising – from the perspective of tools vendors in our space apparently doing a lousy job of offering IT Management-as-a-Service. When we dug into this a bit more, it turns out much of this came from a certain vendor (you could probably figure out who), and it wasn’t so much service level – availability of their application – as it was misalignment of expectations and reality. Hmm, this sounds familiar – people not getting the value out of an operations management tool that they expected to get out of it all along. This story is much too familiar, and one of the reasons ScienceLogic started out in the first place.

David threw out many drivers for organizational disruption:

  • significant growth in IT complexity
  • real time support
  • faster change cycles
  • shorter development timelines
  • end user driving IT
  • reduced budgets
  • cloud services
  • skills shift

Boiled down, everything is getting more complex and speeding up, and by the way, you’re expected to support it all with less resources. : )

Prediction #3:
By 2015, big data demand will generate one million jobs in the Global 1000 but only one-third of those jobs will be filled.

Big data is the number one search term on David didn’t spend a lot of time on this – there are many sessions that will go into more detail, in particular for the financial services industry. Instead, he segued into talking about Hybrid Cloud Services – which are composed of services from multiple providers, meant to increase capacity or capability and reduce cost but without a doubt, they will also increase complexity. Not everything is going to the cloud. But in the end, no matter where IT services go, IT will be responsible for end user availability/access.

Prediction #4
Through 2014, employee owned devices will be compromised by malware at more than double the rate of corporate-owned devices.

What this really exemplifies is the trend towards more operational complexity. According to Gartner, 70% of IT time is spent against keeping the lights on, and 18% on changing the light bulbs – only a small percentage (12% by these calculations) remains to be spent against innovation.

David went on to discuss something near and dear to my ScienceLogic heart:

Currently, IT is organized vertically in boxes. But virtual data centers and operational complexity require IT to build an organization structure that looks horizontally. Problems must be owned horizontally to cope with the complexity of things. IT professionals will need to stop being an expert in just one space and instead be pretty good in a bunch of spaces. (My note – this is what we have been saying for years. It lies at the heart of why our product is delivered the way it is, as a pre-integrated set of management/monitoring functions that is designed to help organizations break down the unnatural silos, data and functional, that exist in IT organizations. This is the ScienceLogic big differentiator vs every other tools vendor out there. End of plug.)

And a few final numbers to throw at you. Here’s the projected average annual growth rate (AAGR) that we’re going to see in IT Demand from 2013-2015:

  • Network bandwidth – 35% AAGR
  • Storage capacity – 50% AAGR
  • Power costs – 20% AAGR
  • Server workloads – 10% AAGR

Just throwing more capacity at this type of IT demand will not work (by the way, this doesn’t even address how much everything speeds up on top of the growth). IT will need to optimize capacity in news ways using virtualization, of course, but all data de-duplication, bandwidth prioritization schemes, and policy-based infrastructure utilization.

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