What does 2015 have in store for IT?
In many respects, it’s going to be more of the same in 2015 – a rapid and constant changing evolution rather than a sudden revolution, but with some potentially disruptive technologies emerging as well.
The revolution is already underway and is set to continue. The changes now taking place in the way IT is bought and consumed are fundamental and impact every area of the business. Mobility and the migration to the cloud will still be the main themes next year.
Many customers will take more apps, productivity programs and some specific solutions such as CRM into the cloud, but keep others on premise. The end of support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 in July 2015 will be the moment around which decisions with regards to what to keep on-site and what to use in the cloud will turn.
More mobile integration
With regards to mobility, many larger customers will seek to integrate mobile use much more with their IT systems, so they can have better control over data and usage. Other organisations may look to proliferation of lower cost mobile client devices and tablets to provide easier, cheaper, anytime-anywhere access.
The arrival of all-in-one converged reference architectures, with server, storage and virtualisation software pre-integrated is going to have an impact and with this, storage is likely to become a bigger area of focus. Clients who keep data on site will need more capacity and require faster solid state technology if available, while service providers such as ourselves will need tremendous scalability, resilience and capacity (which we improved on recently).
Getting more comfortable with the cloud
We’ll see a lot of focus on cloud and movement towards subscription services. We have seen Adobe make a lot of progress with the Creative Cloud for Teams and VIP as well as an increase in Hosted Exchange services and Office Applications.
All this points towards users becoming much more comfortable in using hosted solutions and the use of business apps in cloud is becoming much more accepted and mainstream. We have seen capacity in our datacentres double over the past twelve months alone. But while cloud uptake is increasing, on-premise software and solutions are not disappearing. In a lot of case we see clients using both consumption models and will do for some time to come.
The end-of-support on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is going to be a major event of 2105. There are conversations to be had around data centres, virtualisation and hosted services. There is a lot of choice, but with Azure becoming more prominent, there will be a lot of conversations about the platform of choice. Azure now, can run just about anything, including Linux, so you can out everything under a Microsoft platform. We envisage most customers to adopt a hybrid approach and make use of Azure for backup and DR and other core services.
CRM is going to be a real game changer in 2015. Microsoft’s latest CRM has a lot of features that were previously out of reach for small business clients and make it possible for them to achieve so much more in their marketing, sales and customer management by using social media and trend analysis.