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2014 Predictions, Part 2: How I See IT Changing

So, last time, we talked about security. I had some great feedback from you. This time, let's talk about some of my other predictions at length: flash storage, DaaS, desktop virtualization, big data, and how the role of IT will start to make significant changes.

Flash Arrays
The storage industry will wrestle with all flash arrays in 2014 with new players like Cisco entering the market and existing players introducing or improving their all-flash arrays. There is room for consolidation here, so I expect to see HP in particular make an acquisition. When the dust settles, hybrid arrays will be the winners but all-flash technologies will dominate the storage world.

Desktop-as-a-Service
The VMware acquisition of Desktone and the Amazon introduction of Workspaces will no doubt make 2014 the year of DaaS. It will lead to some serious conversation and then some time between 2015 and 2016 we might start seeing enterprises looking at DaaS as a serious and possible deployment method. Before that happens, it will require some other aspects of the technology to improve, specifically remote protocols and bandwidth availability.

I also cannot imagine that Citrix does not get in on the DaaS momentum without an acquisition of its own. What I see is Citrix leveraging its GoTo brand with GoToMyDesktop and possibly GoToMyApps. The latter is built around an HTML5-based technology for delivering Windows applications, after all. While Citrix's strategy so far has been to develop products and enable ISVs and partners to build solutions, it makes no sense to pass on recurring revenue in such a large market segment, so I expect Citrix to make an acquisition for DaaS and to either build or acquire an HTML5 technology for Windows apps in the cloud. I am aware that Citrix supports HTML5 access to apps, so they'll either build on this technology or acquire something to make it happen.

What about Desktop Virtualization?
Yeah, what about it? Personally I think desktop virtualization has matured from a technical perspective and the cost is very realistic and competitive, and all the road blocks that were in the way have for the most part been removed. There is always room for improvement and as always desktop virtualization is not about just VDI, or just RDSH or just application virtualization. It's about all of them and delivering to the user the right resource depending on the form factor, the location, and the connection type that users are connecting from.

I think Citrix in general is very much on the right track with XenDesktop 7 and more specifically with Project Avalon. Citrix definitely has the right approach and should continue to build on it.

IT Department Restructure
Here's one prediction I am excited about: In 2014, IT management will finally start to take a serious look at the current siloed structure and begin to make the corrective changes to position resources for the transformation that is happening in terms of cloud services, mobility, security and big data analytics. The storage, networking, virtualization and compute silos will start to converge into a datacenter role especially as Software-Defined-Everything starts to become a reality.

This change in IT department structure is part of the transformation to the new IT department, one that is built around enabling and servicing the business, as opposed to the current perception that IT is a burden on the business and is a cost center. This change will also open the way for automation and orchestration in the environment, something that IT has been slow to adopt due to the fact that you have to have all the different players' consent on the tools to use, the functions to automate, and so on. Everyone is in job-protection mode -- as companies reorganize departments and give clear direction to what is to be the company mission moving forward, we'll see rapid technology adoption especially around redundant tasks.

IT Broker Services Build-Out
Vendors will release products that allow IT departments to become brokers. Here, I am talking about the ability to have one enterprise-wide resources store that can aggregate local applications and resources with external resources, cloud and others and present them in a meaningful way. This is more than just the current self-service portal and app stores. What I'm envisioning is brokerages that will allow departments to branch out and include things they can't provide today.

In-Memory Database Adoption
Big data analytics is a trend that will be talked about for a very long time. I'm a fan and a big believer that big data analytics will change the world. Next year, we will start seeing big data analytics move from concept to implementation and value extraction. What I also predict is that the adoption of in-memory analytics and processing will significantly increase as we start to deploy and leverage big data analytics. I expect the major database vendors will innovate products specifically geared towards in-memory which is a requirement in order to generate the real-time analytics that businesses will be looking for.

The year 2014 will definitely be cornerstone for big data analytics, cloud and social with a security wrapper that will lead the conversation for years to come.

Did I miss anything? I would love to hear your thoughts on what else we could potentially see in 2014, please share in the comments section here.

Posted on 12/17/2013 at 3:46 PM


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