Hitachi Vantara: 4 Key trends that IT will embrace in 2018

|December 15, 2017 0

The adoption of Internet of Things (commonly referred to as IoT) platforms will dominate enterprise IT strategies in 2018, alongside a number of other areas, says Hitachi Vantara, as it unveiled its key business and technology trends for Asia Pacific in 2018.

Here are some key IT and digital transformation trends identified by Hubert Yoshida, chief technology officer, and Russell Skingsley, chief technology officer Asia Pacific for the Asia Pacific technology market in 2018.

Object storage gets smart
Enterprises started their digital transformation this year but the first problem that they ran into was the ability to access their data. Data is often locked in isolated islands that make it costly to extract and use. These islands were built for purpose and not to be shared, and many contain data that is duplicated, obsolete or no longer used because of changes in business process or ownership.

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“Data scientists tell us that 80% of the work involved in gaining analytical insight from data is the tedious work of acquiring and preparing the data. The concept of a data lake is alluring, but you can’t just pour your data into one system, unless that data is properly cleansed, formatted and indexed or tagged with metadata so that the data lake is content aware. Otherwise you end up with a data swamp,” commented Skingsley.

While object storage can store massive amounts of unstructured data and provide metadata management and search capability, the ability to be context-aware is missing. Object storage now has the ability to be “smart” with software that can search for and read content in multiple structured and unstructured data silos and analyze it for cleansing, formatting and indexing.

IT will adopt IoT platforms to facilitate the application of IoT solutions
IoT solutions deliver valuable insight to support digital transformation and are rapidly becoming a strategic imperative in almost every industry and market sector. IT must work closely with the operations side of the business to focus on specific business needs and define the scope of an IoT project.

“Building IoT solutions that provide real value can be difficult without the right underlying architecture and a deep understanding of the business to properly simulate and digitalize operational entities and processes. This is where the choice of an IoT platform and the choice of an experienced service provider is important,” according to Yoshida.

“Enterprises should look for an IoT platform that offers an open, flexible architecture that simplifies integration with complimentary technologies and provides an extensible “foundry” on which to build a variety of industry applications that companies need to design, build, test, and deploy quickly and with minimal hassle,” added Skingsley.

Containers enable movement to the next level of virtualization 
Container-based virtualization is the latest virtualization technology that will gain wider acceptance in 2018. Considered a new generation of virtual machines (VMs), which abstracted an entire device including the operating system (OS), containers consist only of the application and all the dependencies that the application needs.

Enterprises are migrating and developing new applications with containers in order to be competitive in today’s market that is defined by agility and efficiency.

Yoshida adds, “Containers are lightweight, in that they do not need a dedicated OS for each container, which helps to reduce costs. Their open configuration also means that they can run on numerous platforms and they allow applications to run isolated from one another, resulting in greater security. Monolithic applications can be written as micro services and run in containers, for greater agility, scale, and reliability.

Extension of agile methodologies across the enterprise
Digital transformation is all about efficiency and working together to drive faster and more relevant business outcomes. This is why more information technology organizations are adopting agile methodology.

IT organizations have a legacy of siloed operations with server, network, storage, database, virtualization, and now cloud administrators passing change notices back and forth to deliver a business outcome. In fact, many would argue that IT was more focused on IT outcomes and not business outcomes.

“Even when data centers used technology to create shared data repositories to break down the data silos, the different functions were still focused on their own objectives and not on the overall business objectives. Now with cross functional teams using iterative agile sprints of two to four weeks, IT can focus on relevant business outcomes and deliver it more efficiently,” said Skingsley.

“Agile provides us with a nimble approach, where small cross functional teams, with a clear direction and strategic milestones, can iterate through short sprints to ensure alignment across the board, communicate effectively, and focus on problem solving and achieving our common business goals,” said Yoshida. He also noted that 2018 will see more enterprises move to agile and DevOps in software development, with agile methodologies being used across the enterprise.

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