Global organizations are expected to spend $1.2 trillion on digital transformation technologies in 2017, according to IDC. And going forward, this investment will grow to the tune of 18% a year, reaching $2 trillion in 2020.1
All this spending will no doubt have a huge impact on how businesses transform their workplaces and engage with customers. However, earlier this year the Harvard Business Review wrote that “CEOs feel pressure to find and deploy the right technology as fast as their budgets will allow.”2 The reality is that business leaders often struggle to accurately predict exactly how their industries will be disrupted—preventing them from making investment and technology decisions accordingly.
In digital technology, trends move fast and the choices are endless. But transformation doesn’t have to mean shooting in the dark. Business and technology leaders can gain an advantage—if they can identify the lasting trends that will have the greatest impact on their businesses, workplaces and customers in the years ahead.
That’s where we come in. Here are six of the most important trends that will likely be shaping your investments in IT transformation over the next few years. They are:
Trend No. 1: The Multi-Cloud World
Different customers and business units each have different needs. Should they all be using the same cloud providers and platforms? So far the answer is no. We are seeing teams across business independently choosing different cloud platforms and providers to best suit their individual needs. Enterprises can accept this—but only if they can exert more control by formulating explicit multi-cloud strategies to best leverage and coordinate multiple cloud providers.
Trend No. 2: The Changing Security Landscape
We’re seeing more sophisticated, coordinated and targeted attacks, such as WannaCry and Petya. Companies have to be more vigilant and aware of where threats may be coming from, exacerbated by the rise of cheap and insecure internet-connected consumer devices such as digital thermostats and home security cameras. Cloud companies have done well in building a strong foundational level of security, but the rise of the multi-cloud environment adds new complexity. Business and IT leaders should rely on managed service and managed security providers to stitch together their multi-cloud security.
Trend No. 3: The Rise of “Serverless” Architecture
The term “serverless architecture” is a bit of a misnomer—obviously there will always be physical hardware beneath all the layers of virtualization and abstraction—but the trend itself is very real. Serverless compute refers to services like Amazon Web Services Lambda and Microsoft Azure Functions that allow you to run code without provisioning or managing servers. The ease of use and cost-efficient pricing models of these services will accelerate development cycles and enable the Internet of Things (IoT) market to grow even faster.
Trend No. 4: The End of Moore’s Law
Business and IT decision-makers can no longer count on Moore’s Law—the doubling of computing power every year since the invention of integrated circuits. The limitations of silicon performance will be felt in a number of areas. Organizations will turn to the cloud as an alternative, leveraging machine learning applications that run on public cloud platforms and custom silicon. Which brings us to …
Trend No. 5: Machine Learning
Machine learning is the science of getting computers to find hidden insights without explicitly being told how to do so. In the past decade, machine learning has given us self-driving cars, sophisticated speech recognition and a better understanding of the human genome. The next step will be demystifying big data on legacy database platforms such as SQL and Oracle, but even more so on off-premises clouds, as IT teams seek to leverage higher performance, on-demand storage systems.
Trend No. 6: IoT In Your Home
More and more of the devices in our homes and cars will be connected. IoT will provide more information about consumers, and it will create the possibility of new efficiencies for companies in a wide range of industries—retail, healthcare, entertainment, marketing and social media, to name just a few. The IoT also has the potential to alter consumer behavior and expectations and accelerate workplace transformation.
As noted by the Harvard Business Review, “CEOs need a holistic view of the digital threats and opportunities facing key parts of the business, and a way to link them to an overall vision for how digital is reshaping the competitive landscape.” Being aware of the key trends shaping your digital future, such as the IoT, the multi-cloud world and the others described here, is critical to shaping an overall vision for business transformation. For more information on how to turn your vision into reality, please visit Rackspace at https://www.rackspace.com/professional-services
1 “IDC Forecasts $1.2 Trillion in Worldwide Spending on Digital Transformation Technologies in 2017,” IDC, Feb. 23, 2017
2 “To Lead a Digital Transformation, CEOs Must Prioritize,” Harvard Business Review, Jan. 2, 2017