As more and more businesses are adapting to the pandemic by tapping into the digital economy, the digital infrastructure for such moves will continue to evolve to meet these demands.
IDC Vice President for worldwide research Rick Villars explained in an IDC blog the essence of having a digital infrastructure. “Built on a cloud foundation, it focuses on ensuring ever-faster delivery of innovative infrastructure hardware, software, resource abstraction, and process technologies to support the development and continual refinement of resilient digital services and digital experiences.”
Villars wrote that it is likely that companies that brought such new technologies onboard took years to do so, “and even then, only in limited deployments and locations and with increases in operational complexity.” According to him, businesses are developing such services to “deliver modern and increasingly automated customer/work experiences and intelligent business operational systems”. These will “depend on early access to innovative but resilient and trusted technology at the physical, logical, and data levels.”
Villars listed three KPIs for businesses’ IT teams and infrastructure ecosystem partners:
IDC research vice president for infrastructure systems, platforms, and technologies Eric Burgener, meanwhile blogged about his list of the top 10 worldwide predictions for enterprise infrastructure for The IDC FutureScape: Worldwide 2020 Enterprise Infrastructure Predictions. Burgener wrote that as “more enterprises move to more data-centric business models, the nature of business competition is changing significantly.”
The predictions from the IDC FutureScape for Worldwide Enterprise Infrastructure are:
The changes in the way businesses operate, especially those in the digital and AI spheres are expected to come more rapidly—in part to ensure survival and continuity through the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes are expected to also take into account the recovery period that will follow once the pandemic is resolved.
Within this year, Villars expects that “based on lessons learned, over 80% of your competitors will put a mechanism in place to shift to cloud-centric digital infrastructure twice as fast as before the pandemic.” By 2023, he expects businesses to “depend upon digital infrastructure as the underlying platform for all of [their] IT and business automation initiatives, everywhere.”
Villars also blogged that, “by 2024, more than 80% of your competitors will overhaul relationships with infrastructure providers across the ecosystem to better execute on a digital strategy that enables ubiquitous deployment of resources and far greater automation of IT operations.”
He explained that “IT teams must not rely solely on well-established models for acquiring, deploying, and operating siloed technologies of computing, storage, and network systems and software. Digital infrastructure is not just bought, deployed, maintained, and replaced. It is a set of ubiquitous, self-regulating, cloud-centric resources that are consumable anywhere but are centrally governed.”
“Digital infrastructure does not just reside in your central enterprise’s or your cloud service provider’s datacenters,” he added. “It includes the assets and resources in locations, such as network multi-access edge computing nodes (MECs), campuses, and metro colocation facilities that deliver enhanced customer experiences, embed intelligence/automation into business operations, and support ongoing industry innovation.”
Villars also observed that the most significant change a business and its IT organization can consider comes when “digital infrastructure is the growing automation of IT operations.”
Intelligent automation, he wrote, will enable businesses to move their infrastructure operations teams “away from reactive monitoring, service request, ad hoc provisioning, and remediation strategies. By building on intelligent, autonomous operations, you can deliver greater levels of workload portability, consumption-based usage, and support for highly dynamic agile applications while keeping a handle on costs and security compliance.”
The pace at which businesses transition to cloud-centric digital infrastructure “depends upon a commitment to new key performance indicators for infrastructure,” he said. “You need to set a digital strategy that ensures quick deployment and effective operation of the underlying resources. The end state is the infrastructure that is always optimized, resilient, and self-regulating and enhancing.”