The future of cloud, data centres and edge infrastructure has been placed in the hands of infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams, with four major global trends this year likely paving the way for future innovations.
This is according to analysis from research firm Gartner, which claimed at its IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference in Sydney on 16 May that cloud teams are likely to focus their efforts on optimisation and refactoring cloud infrastructure in the future.
“Public cloud usage is almost universal, but many deployments are ad hoc and poorly implemented,” the firm said. “I&O teams have an opportunity this year to revisit hastily assembled or poorly architected cloud infrastructure to make it more efficient, resilient and cost-effective.”
The focus of refactoring cloud infrastructure, Gartner continued, should be on cost optimisation, with numerous ways to achieve this: eliminating redundant, overbuilt or unused cloud infrastructure; building business resilience rather than service-level redundancy; using cloud infrastructure as a way to mitigate supply chain disruptions; and modernising infrastructure.
New infrastructure is also expected to be a challenge for I&O teams in the future, which could include edge infrastructure for data-intensive use cases, non-x86 architectures for specialised workloads, serverless edge architectures and 5G mobile service.
As such, I&O teams need to take care when considering different options.
“Don’t revert to traditional methods or solutions just because they’ve worked well in the past,” said Paul Delory, VP analyst at Gartner. “Challenging periods are times to innovate and find new solutions to meet business demands.”
Meanwhile, data centre teams are set to apply a cloud-like as-a-service mentality to on-premises infrastructure, the firm claimed. In fact, Gartner analysis predicts that 35 per cent of data centre infrastructure will be handled with a cloud-based control plane by 2027. By comparison, this figure was under 10 per cent in 2022.
“I&O professionals should focus this year on building cloud-native infrastructure within the data centre; migrating workloads from owned facilities to co-location facilities or the edge; or embracing as-a-service models for physical infrastructure,” Gartner said.
The firm wrapped up its top four trends with skills growth and how the future’s successful organisations will make it their top priority in the present.
“Lack of skills remains the biggest barrier to infrastructure modernisation initiatives, with many organisations finding they cannot hire outside talent to fill these skills gaps,” Gartner said. “IT organisations will not succeed unless they prioritise organic skills growth.
“I&O leaders must make operations skills growth their highest priority this year. Encourage I&O professionals to take on new roles as site reliability engineers or subject matter expert consultants for developer teams and business units.
“Gartner predicts 60 per cent of data centre infrastructure teams will have relevant automation and cloud skills by 2027, up from 30 per cent in 2022.”
The firm’s take on skilling being necessary in the future adds to the chorus of experts and companies emphasising the need for a skills-based approach when it comes to IT roles, rather than education-based.