The world is in a constant state of flux. Nothing, especially when it comes to technology stands still. This statement is somewhat of a given, we know that, however, if you stop to think about the way IT impacts nearly every aspect of your life and how much it has changed it in even the last 5 years, you may be somewhat surprised. Everything has changed, from:
- The way we connect with each other (email, instant chat, Facebook, twitter, SMS, VoIP)
- The way we work (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, the internet in general)
- The way we store our memories (Dropbox, Private clouds, Micro USB)
- The way we use our money (EFTPOS, BitCoin, PayPal)
- The way businesses look to use data to understand their market (CRM tools, Marketing automation)
- The way records can now be accessed across the world in seconds (Virtual clouds, Private clouds, Hybrids)
- The way we listen to music (Streaming services shared across devices).
Whilst many of these technologies do predate the 5 year period mentioned above, what is immediately evident is that more and more, our technology is moving to shared environments and the way we live, driven by apps and access to what we need through data connected mobile devices. In fact, recent figures found that there are over 1.5 billion Web pages accessible, 450,000 iPhone apps, more than 200,000 Android apps, 10,500 radio stations, and some 5,500 magazines online.
more and more, our technology is moving to shared environments
With consumers and businesses moving more of their data to the cloud, there is a significant impact you may not have considered; all this data requires back end infrastructure capable of ensuring that the data, or files we need are accessible in seconds at the time we need them. This means more servers spread around the globe to support our needs, not only as primary devices, but with multiple redundancy servers established as well, for the cases where the primary storage is compromised or there is a power outage. In fact, with the increases in demand for hosted services, the virtualisation and cloud based industries are set to continue their accelerated growth.
Virtualisation: Some Facts and Figures
- By 2015 the growth of global data is expected to reach approximately 8 Zettabytes. From here it is expected to increase almost exponentially to around 35 Zettabyes in 2020
- According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud market is projected to grow 18.5% this year to $131 billion, up from $111 billion last year
- In Australia, increasing electricity costs will see the cost of operating servers go up. Currently, approximately 25% of the total costs can be attributed to electricity
- Year on year demand for data is accelerating.
- Network bandwidth demand growing at 35% and storage capacity at 50%.
- 68% of marketers plan to increase their spend on data spending, recognizing the importance of data
- Big server dependent businesses are increasingly looking for new, cost efficient and environmentally friendly ways to run their servers. An industry wide standard – Power Usage Effectiveness – has been implemented to measure how effectively servers are run.
Network bandwidth demand growing at 35% and storage capacity at 50%
Implications on IT Demand
As consumers and businesses alike comes to rely more on the digitised and interconnected world offered through mobile devices and hosted platforms, the implications for society are huge. Server space and platforms capable of driving efficiency are going to be of paramount importance. However, many other challenges exist which similarly need to be faced in the short term; achieving better operational costs, reducing infrastructure complexity, addressing the need for new skill sets, improving the security of virtualised solutions, creating better operational communication between IT departments and other core business units and determining how to improve monitoring and reporting.
These are definitely not problems which can be faced and solved overnight. Furthermore, as each one is solved, a new one will crop up in its place. As a business evaluating a third party provider, it is essential that you take the time to ensure that the company you are considering, are addressing many of these concerns and that they have not only the ability to solve the problems of today, but that they are willing to work with you to understand your future requirements and how they will tie in with the changing face of IT.