Gartner kicked off its Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit last week with a top 10 list of the most significant emerging trends that will impact data centers and information technology used by businesses and government from now into the next four or five years.
The list was presented by Gartner Chief of Research Dave Cappuccio in a keynote address, in which he explained there's often a cascading effect as one trend such as employee mobile devices and cloud use affects others such as help desk operations.
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The top 10 trends are:
1. Consumerization and the tablet: Widespread use of tablets, such as the iPad, and other mobile devices in business isn't seen as replacing the traditional computer desktop entirely, but the tablets trend will bring about "more specific applications to do specific things," Cappuccio noted, and "the days of monolithic suites" of applications seems to be going away because of it. Companies using them, including for BYOD (bring your own device) use, should recognize there's a lot of unmanaged storage in tablets and smartphones they should be managing.
2. Infinite data center: The movement toward smaller size but greater density in data centers, combined with a trend to analyze performance per kilowatt, is leading to energy management as a newer type of discipline, even for "moderately energy-intensive organizations," by 2017, said Cappuccio, where a focus on energy-management information systems is apparent.
3. Resource management: Virtualization of servers is well along but businesses still haven't gotten the maximum performance benefits they can get in workload management. And water use as a coolant in data centers is another trend to know about. He said data center information management vendors should be evaluated to see if they can bring anything to data center resource management.
4. Mobility and the personal cloud: "The whole concept of PCs is going away," said Cappuccio, noting that employees, who today often carry multiple mobile devices, may want to use some of them under BYOD conditions in the enterprise. Not only should enterprises immediately evaluate BYOD for their own situations, and consider a "self-service culture for users," but acknowledge that mobility is going to have a cascading effect on how internal physical infrastructure is built -- or not built at all -- in the future.