Happy December! First up, a recent survey finds that IaaS use nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016, and that enterprises are continuing to charge ahead with all kinds of cloud use. Multicloud use is already pretty well-established, with 72% of companies using between two and five cloud providers. We predict that staying on top of all these cloud instances and applications will be the big IT project for many in 2018. There’s also a useful roundup here of the big cloud providers and other companies working to make cloud management easier.
Avoiding cloud silos — just as IT teams have made strides in breaking down infrastructure silos — will be a hot topic in the coming year. As SaaS application adoption keeps growing, some of the sprawl issues of physical systems are now happening in the cloud and causing these cloud silos. Because cloud and SaaS apps are so easy to find and deploy, businesses may end up running various processes using multiple applications from multiple SaaS vendors. For IT, the big trick will be balancing a mix of the right apps, without wasting money or resources, so that the end user has a good experience. A recent Forrester report found that more than half — 52% — of software decision-makers say that SaaS app technology integration is a challenge.
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, we find ourselves in peak prediction mode for next year. One expert sees 2018 as the year of the WAN, as SD-WAN technology becomes mainstream. IDC predicts that revenues from SD-WAN will reach $2.3 billion next year, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 69% through 2021. One analyst sees the market as moving toward “SD-WAN 2.0,” where more of a branch office’s infrastructure is delivered through software. Of course, SD-WAN isn’t a cure-all, and you’ll still need to actually see user experience at those branch offices.
Finally, here’s a look at which pressures are weighing most on IT teams these days. IT pros surveyed at VMworld 2017 named performance as their top issue, with 38% naming it as the top challenge. Data migrations, with 36%, and budget, at 35%, were the other top difficulties. The results aren’t a huge surprise, considering what IT is up against these days. SaaS and cloud applications have changed entire infrastructures and budget models, and they’ve made IT’s tools and jobs more complex. We’ll continue to work on making IT’s job easier with modern monitoring.