Oct 16 2018
Data Center

The Future of IT Bends Toward the Flexible

DevOps and software-defined data centers will rise over traditional team structure and tech to make way for more agile operations all around.

The only constant is change, and this applies even — perhaps especially — to IT operations.

This is according to Gregg Siegfried, research director of cloud and IT operations at Gartner, who spoke with BizTech about how the Internet of Things, edge computing, cloud and more are necessitating and facilitating the move toward more scalable and agile operations both inside and outside the data center.

The most dramatic of these predictions is that the data center will disappear completely, with Gartner forecasting in a recent report that by "2025, 80 percent of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data center.” This is opposed to just 10 percent that have shuttered data centers today.

While the prediction isn’t a given, what will likely drive the change away from traditional data centers is the constant evolution in enterprise computing toward distributed digital infrastructures that can provide the flexible operations that companies need.

“We don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but there are many, many factors working together there. All we know is that a change is going to take place,” says Siegfried.

But even if the data center sticks around, as some believe it will, it’s likely shift to a software-defined data center infrastructure, which can deliver a “more uniform provisioning of resources in the data center,” Siegfried says.

In a software-defined data center, “you can move your workloads more elastically across a cloud provider as well as the data center, and you have a kind of uniform view of resources,” Siegfried says.

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DevOps Match Tech Flexibility with Team Agility

All these changes in tech must be met simultaneously with changes in IT team structure, however. This need is likely contributing to the rise of DevOps, a term melded from “development” and “operations,” which mirrors the team structure: a collaborative operating model where software developers and IT operations administrators work together.

This new model allows more evolved software products and services to reach customers more quickly.

“You start out with the agile product development, whether you’re using a scrum or something like that. But you’re extending that agile methodology into the operations, so we’re allowing them to participate equally with the developers, and you get more of a shared success model there,” explains Siegfried.

Each DevOps model is different and tailored to an organization’s needs. And for those who are willing to dig in with the mindset of incremental improvement, it can be hugely beneficial for products in the long run.

“What we’ve seen is it allows the products to get out a little more incrementally, a little more quickly and tested more thoroughly. And you may end up with a more quality product,” Siegfried says.

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