What Will IT Look Like in 2016?

As Dion Hinchcliffe of ZDNet so thoughtfully laid out in his recent article on the ?Big Five? IT trends of the next half-decade, some generational technology shifts and new influences will reshape IT as we know it over the next five years.  All of this presents great opportunities for companies to leapfrog their competition by embracing change and reinventing IT.

I love this infographic Dion made to depict today’s five major changes to the computing landscape:

The Big Shifts in Information Technology - Cloud, Social, Mobile, Consumerization, Big Data

New enterprise software vendors, like SnapLogic, have a prime opportunity to cater our offerings to exactly these emerging expectations.  We call this the Business Internet, and it’s all about making business software as innovative, easy to use, and even as fun as consumer technology: leveraging new devices like the iPad, offering more hosting and access options like Cloud and Web browsers, embracing the app store model, and facilitating social business and big data initiatives.

Dion’s list of trends is right on point, and each of them clearly demonstrates how critically important timely, trusted data is becoming within every organization.  For example:

  1. Next-gen mobility: IT departments of the future will give their employees secure access to all kinds of internal and external data on any device they want, and the IT managers themselves will have better options for managing their environments remotely using these same devices.  To make this possible, companies? data services must be easily discoverable and callable from all applications.
  2. Social business / Enterprise 2.0: I couldn’t agree more that companies leveraging social media are seeing real business impact, but the challenge for these companies is connecting all that social data with their enterprise applications in a way that helps them be even more responsive and agile.
  3. Cloud computing: While there is universal recognition of the benefits of cloud computing, most people seem to focus their concerns around its reliability.  In my opinion, that issue is minor compared to the challenge of extracting business data from cloud-based SaaS applications and fluidly connecting it with social media data and legacy applications on the ground.  This element of cloud adoption cannot be overlooked.
  4. Consumerization (CoIT): Making business apps more intuitive should be a priority for every vendor and IT person today, we should all also embrace more consumer-centric apps for business purposes.  Data integration and data services can be valuable tools in bringing more and more new and disparate solutions together by providing shock absorbers, filters, and buffers that ensure consistent data quality and access no matter how many apps a business brings in through its IT department or elsewhere.
  5. Big Data: Dion makes a very important point about the difficult issue of moving the enormous datasets that enterprises now posses into and out of the cloud quickly enough. Few companies have actually solved the problem of processing all this data, let alone conquered the challenge of connecting disparate sources in the cloud and on the ground, and then decoding data into real-time, decision-ready information. This is no easy task, but companies who figure it out and can find ways to easily leverage tools like Hadoop MapReduce within their connection fabric will have a big advantage over their competition.

We’re excited to see more and more of the IT departments we work with already preparing for the ‘Big Leap’ Dion mentions, by fundamentally transforming their IT strategies.  Rather than relying on cumbersome stacks of enterprise applications to run their business, IT leaders are employing a new kind of loose coupling to create a collection of services built, borrowed, or bought, that meets their exact technology needs.  This flexible approach is enabled by next generation application and data integration, and results in greater business dexterity for a sustainable competitive edge.

What steps are you taking to evolve your company’s IT strategies over the next five years?

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