Five Key Availability Predictions For 2018
Availability becomes increasingly important as businesses continue to increase their reliance on digital technologies and heavy dependence on the Internet. Applications, and even consumer-facing services, are now shifting to cloud and hybrid models as companies realize that in-house IT, once tasked with running an Exchange server and maintaining desktops, lack the tools and specialist expertise to keep these systems running.
Downtime causes losses of about $896,000 per week for a company with roughly 10,000 employees. Dun & Bradstreet has demonstrated that more than half of Fortune 500 companies experience a minimum of 1.6 hours of downtime every week. The direct losses are substantial, but also imply a heavy risk of losing customer trust. This is much harder to quantify, but nonetheless presents a challenge to customer retention and affects a company’s top-line growth. In other words, any form of unplanned application downtime can be dangerous to business success.
The best way to prevent downtime and eliminate these losses is to adopt a series of best practices that help you to achieve high availability for your service or application. Here are some availability predictions to keep your business up and running.
Cloud Replication Hits An Up-Turn
Business continuity for digital services has been a significant focus for every executive over the past decade. Enterprises no longer just offer digital services, they ARE the digital services which they provide. Down time is not acceptable. This recognition has led to highly available designs running on virtualized infrastructures. However, many of the natural disasters around the world in 2017 have raised the concern that single data center design is not sufficient. This concern, coupled with the cost of running active-active configurations across multiple data centers, will cause an exponential growth of replication to the cloud for the purposes of failover. The cloud has always provided excellent return on investment for variable load services, and disaster recovery is no exception. This will lead to hockey stick growth of cloud replication to fill a critical business need in 2018.
Emergent Growth of Data Recovery Automation and Orchestration
As an extension of cloud replication, many organizations will realize that recovery time objectives (RTOs) are very much dependent upon the orchestration and automation of recovery. Having a backup of the data, or replicating the data to a cloud provider is not sufficient to maintain minimal RTOs. This will cause forward thinking enterprise and service organizations to focus on orchestration and automation as an essential component of business availability. These test plans will be designed, tested, documented and run on a regular schedule to provide attestation of the readiness for data recovery. However, data recovery automation will not cross the chasm into mainstream adoption through 2018.
Data Ownership and Privacy Rights will gain Board visibility
Recent years and high visibility data breaches such as Equifax have increased security concerns to the Board level. However, in 2018, the pending enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and customer privacy concerns will will raise the visibility and focus on data ownership. It will no longer be sufficient to depend upon SaaS services to ensure customer privacy, or for existing security implementations to enable data ownership and privacy rights. End users and customers will demand the right to be forgotten, the right to be informed of data breaches, and the right to withdrawn consent. These demands will put a focus on data ownership and privacy rights. In 2018, we will see a distinct set of controls and Board level visibility on this emerging area of compliance.
Bi-Directional Cloud Workload Migration
It is impossible to engage in the IT industry and to ignore the noise and marketing on cloud. Every CIO and IT administrator has had some level of engagement and pressure to both investigate and implement cloud services. The past 5 years have caused the cloud IT conferences to surpass the size of on-premises conferences. Cloud vendors tout the eventual migration of all workloads to cloud, while virtualization and hardware vendors speak of multi-cloud.
In 2018, we will see significant one-way migration towards cloud in one specific area: Software as a Service. The simplicity of SaaS services such as corporate email systems, collaboration, HR, CRM and payroll will lead to a one-way cloud migration. From a cost, efficiency and expertise perspective, it no longer makes sense to run these SaaS services on-premises. However, IaaS workloads will see a mix of migration both to and from the cloud. Many enterprises will quickly learn that migrating enterprises services to the IaaS cloud increases cost while delivering minimal additional benefits when the workloads are not variable. Leveraging the cloud as a business tool rather than a destination will lead to the re-patriotization of workloads after an initial trial. This bi-directional IaaS movement will continue through 2018 as the enterprise discover and put a renewed focus on where and why cloud adoption is most appropriate.
Increasing Focus on Data Enablement
Data protection and data security have been a core focus of every IT organization for the past several decades. This has always been a cost center and expense for the business that has been driven by compliance and regulatory pressures. However, in 2018, we will see in increasing focus on how this same data content can be turned into a business enablement asset. Investigation into data use for development operations, patch testing, analysis of data sets through machine learning and other emerging techniques will lead to data being used for positive business value rather than solely as an insurance policy for negative outcomes. Data enablement will drive business value and cause the enterprise to re-evaluate existing storage models.
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