2019 Data Center Predictions: The pendulum swings as customer demands reshape how infrastructure vendors do business

The cycle of complexity is back as infrastructure vendor portfolio transformations make digitization achievable

Moore’s law economics has reached a point where compute no longer constrains IT automation. Due to the miniaturization of electronics, distributed computing is taking place at the microprocessor board level, as evidenced by the rise of graphics processing units (GPUs) and the resulting hyperconverged infrastructures. As such, refresh cycles no longer consist of replacing old, standardized Intel servers with new variants. Now IT departments look at the cost economics of the traditional standardized servers against the increasing number of compute form factor variants coming to market as purpose-built edge compute instances.

As compute form factors proliferate, there has been a shift in the type of skills IT departments require. Manual taskwork becomes automated. Technical skills have to incorporate more software functionality to operate the various management control planes that can monitor, manage and dynamically provision an enterprise IT instance. Physical IT becomes less relevant based on abstraction, which allows for enterprise IT to reduce the number of primary suppliers. The margin protection for infrastructure vendors will come from the power and simplicity of the abstraction layer, be it PaaS or management, orchestration and provisioning.

The plot thickens when emerging technologies are placed on top of this evolving landscape. Cutting-edge capabilities and the growing need to secure environments are further adding to the complexity of IT infrastructure, as is necessary to achieve desired outcomes. Meanwhile, consumers want to reap the benefits of these emerging capabilities without dabbling in the complexities. Infrastructure vendors will undergo many transformations — in how they partner, in how they go to market, and in how they innovate — to maintain relevance in a rapidly evolving 2019.

2019 Predictions

  • In an increasingly open-source world, the power of partnerships grows stronger within hardware-centric vendor strategies
  • Innovation will be reimagined by infrastructure vendors, as R&D is shifted to address the overarching demand by customers to leverage their key IT vendor as a one-stop shop
  • Emerging infrastructure technologies reshape customer demands, placing increasing emphasis on new ways of computing and managing data

Register for TBR’s webinar The pendulum swings: Customer demands reshape how infrastructure vendors do business, Feb. 6, 2019.

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