IT Crystal Ball

What’s hot, what’s not, and what never will be?  The Kardashians may be the barometer for teenage fashion trends, Apple may set the bar on things like wearable gadgets, and festivals like SXSW may determine what you will be listening to for the next twelve months.  But where are things going in the exciting world of IT?

By the time something becomes a trend, getting on board just means hopping on the bandwagon. If you’re looking to get a head start and lead the charge, you want predictions.  We sat down to chat with a couple of our in-house experts to discuss what they see emerging as 2017’s hottest IT trends.

Jonathan Butz is a VertitechIT Executive Project Officer, a senior level strategic counselor to healthcare institutions nationwide, and a former healthcare business strategist for VMware. Mike Machulsky, our Executive Vice President of Sales, has developed technology solutions in a variety of industries including healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, and education over the last two decades.

So what can you expect for the year ahead? Here's what they had to say.

  1. Security, Security, Security: 70% of global CEOs say Security is a Top 3 business priority. “Digital transformation initiatives and hasty public cloud implementation is adding further stress to IT teams and security stewards. Owning 50 different IT security products doesn’t cut it,” says Machulsky. “Investing in holistic, layered security practices to connect and protect does.”
  2. Software-defined Everything: The numbers are in, the pilots are done, and the platforms are successfully deployed in businesses great and small. The most cost effective on-premises platforms rely on a resilient scalable commodity node-based architecture with essential services abstracted in software. “If you are not evaluating and deploying hyperconverged options, you are spending too much,” Butz explains. “If your application vendors are opposed to this model, you may need new vendors.”
  3. Cloud Readiness: “More and more services are being consumed off-premises from SaaS to IaaS, and new offerings such as MicroServices are rapidly emerging from dominant Cloud vendors,” says Butz. “The operational challenges of architecture, security, and governance remain, which require new skills and new organizations to support successful transition.”
  4. Organization Alignment: Silos are going away. The traditional functional disciplines are barriers to innovation and progress. “It’s time to build cross-functional teams that foster innovation by their very nature, with teams dedicated to Application and Infrastructure Lifecycle phases: Innovation/Architecture (analysis, design), Engineering (integration, change), and Operations (monitoring, break-fix),” says Butz. “These teams provide a natural career path for junior staff, enabling growth by putting multiple disciplines together under common leadership. Organizational alignment will mean there will be a team perpetually tasked with assessing the new, and designing the next.”
  5. A Secular Shift in Computing Architecture: “The rapid adoption of cloud computing, IoT devices, artificial intelligence / machine learning, and augmented reality are driving the rise of the specialized processor and the decline of the CPU,” says Machulsky. Nvidia is the Graphical Processor Unit (GPU) market leader – their GPUs are in use by every public cloud vendor, several auto makers from Audi to Tesla, and a myriad of IoT applications. GPUs are only one form of the new breed of “non-CPU.” ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) are built for one purpose and are in vogue with many tech heavy-weights; Google has developed a speech recognition ASIC named “Tensor Processing Unit.” Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) can be programmed, offering more flexibility than ASICs. “Microsoft is leveraging ASICs more than any other organization on the planet for their cloud offerings. The CPU is not EOL yet; but you better understand how to leverage the cutting edge IT offerings powered by specialized processors,” he explains.

As we trudge on through the remainder of 2017 and beyond, are you going to wait and jump on the bandwagon, or will you be a trend-setter?