Over the past year, organisations have adopted an increasing number of new technologies to improve their daily business operations. This adoption is primarily driven by digital transformation and often addressed by moving to a hybrid IT approach, leveraging cloud, and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service. Combined with the sustained growth of mobility, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT), these technologies and their business benefits will remain top of mind in 2017.
“Organisations should not consider these technologies in isolation,” says Stuart Mills, regional director, Australia and New Zealand, at CenturyLink. “The availability of managed services strongly influences the uptake of cloud and hybrid IT models, and both factors impact the enterprise’s digital transformation journey.”
Three major technology trends will come to the fore in 2017, says CenturyLink.
1. Digital transformation with hybrid IT
Enterprises are moving from the awareness stage to the adoption stage when it comes to IT, in order to better adapt to digital disruption. More organisations are choosing hybrid technology as their infrastructure of choice to deliver transformative results. According to Frost & Sullivan, the majority of APAC organisations see the strategic role of IT as achieving growth momentum and digitally transforming the organisation.In 2017, more businesses will move towards a blend of in-house and third-party hybrid IT services for data centre, security, cloud and application services. This will help organisations drive agility, modernise their technology environment, and maintain competitiveness without over-commitment to CAPEX.“We will also see increased demand for application services and predictive analytics that can be combined with on-premise infrastructure to help businesses scale at will. In addition, there will be a greater uptake of software-defined everything, to help overcome in-house IT skills gap challenges and assist in digital transformation,” Mills says.
2. Cloud as enabler for business
In 2017, more organisations will look to cloud infrastructure and services to enable growth and digital transformation. There will be large scale migration to cloud-based platforms, particularly as managed services providers (MSPs) deliver more holistic solutions to help reduce the challenges in the cloud for businesses, including security, loss of data control, and uptime issues.
Stuart Mills said, “For the channel, 2017 will bring more opportunities through the cloud. Organisations should look for partners that can white-label cloud solutions to enable their business. White-labelling lets end users consolidate their cloud operations and services through one IT partner. With cost reduction being a key driver for cloud deployment, it will also help channel partners reduce time and costs associated with developing their own cloud. Furthermore, it will support end-customers looking for a cloud platform that can be provisioned quickly and easily.”
3. DRaaS: a new solution to an old problem
Businesses know that the capital costs of conventional disaster recovery can be enormous, particularly if a company chooses to operate a dedicated remote data centre in addition to its on-premise set up. In 2017, Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) will be widely deployed as a reliable solution to this old problem.
“DRaaS will be very popular for businesses deploying cloud services to assist in their flexibility, scalability, and business transformation,” Mills says, “It costs less as the cloud infrastructure is spread between multiple subscribers and the replica servers that reside in the cloud platform are only activated when a disruptive event occurs.”
Organisations must account for the impact of technologies like IoT and the growth of big data and mobility in 2017. By considering hybrid IT, cloud and DRaaS businesses can better equip themselves to embrace changing technologies, maximise existing IT investments and ensure market competitiveness.