2018 Predictions: What to Expect in Application Platforms

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Technology vendors will productize and operationalize key application platform components through pre-assembled toolchains and pipelines to ease configuration complexities.
  • Traditional MEAP solutions are being enhanced and repositioned to address advanced app development requirements, including mobile, web, IoT, and chatbots.

In 2017, IT operations played a greater role than ever in the application development and deployment process, albeit amid extreme configuration complexity. The prospect of advancing modern app development through new architectures that better support the DevOps model and need for continuous integration, continuous delivery (CI/CD) was certainly part of vendors’ messaging throughout the year. However, deployment complexities were prevalent, stunting the potential of emerging platform services. Continue reading “2018 Predictions: What to Expect in Application Platforms”

SD-WAN Value Blog, Part 1: Evolving the WAN to Drive Customer Experience Transformation

J. Stradling
J. Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • SD-WAN gives managed service providers opportunities to drive customer loyalty and move up the value chain.
  • Staying in one place is no longer an option in the managed WAN services segment.
  • An agile network is essential for enterprises wanting to be the champions of great customer experience within their specific segment.

Moving Up the Value Chain

SD-WAN offers managed service providers considerable opportunities to drive loyalty from clients as well as offer multiple layers of value-added products around data center and cloud, WAN acceleration, applications performance management, and firewall security. In fact, these are already table stakes in the market today. Many physical appliance-based network features and functions are increasingly becoming available as software-defined network services, in the form of more unique and BYOD-style VNFs being part of expanding menus. Continue reading “SD-WAN Value Blog, Part 1: Evolving the WAN to Drive Customer Experience Transformation”

Note to Computer Science Students: Quantum Computing is the Future; IBM Announces Landmark 50 Quantum Bit Computer

C. Dunlap

What’s the future in computer science and technology? Quantum computing of course.

Industry giants including Google and IBM are getting revved up over quantum science for its ability to massively speed cloud computing systems and bring staggering intelligence to new cognitive applications.

Technological advancements in the decades-old science are proving a crucial turning point for evolving quantum science into quantum reality. IBM’s recent announcement of a quantum milestone–a quantum computer that handles 50 bits (qubits)–shores up its quest to achieve quantum supremacy. A newly commercialized 20 qubit cloud system with unheard of levels of superconducting capabilities will entice the best of the best industry and academic minds to design advanced apps and literally go where no man has gone before. Continue reading “Note to Computer Science Students: Quantum Computing is the Future; IBM Announces Landmark 50 Quantum Bit Computer”

What Will the Enterprise Data and Analytics Market Look Like in 2018? In a Word, Practical

Brad Shimmin – Research Director, Business Technology and Software

Summary Bullets:

• In 2017 the enterprise data and analytics vendor community emphasized opportunity in the cloud and the democratization of data. What will 2018 bring?

• We expect to see a shift in focus towards quality, to solving problems such as data governance, and putting AI to work within tactical business workflows.

What does the coming year have in store for the enterprise data and analytics marketplace? Sometimes, the best way to predict the future is to look at the past. To that end, here’s what we predicted for 2017 back in December of last year.

• IoT success will ride on pre-built data models and packaged software
• Smaller players will drive cognitive software innovation
• Vendors will prioritize self-service data integration, prep and management
• Vertical markets and specific use cases will fuel data-as-a-service adoption

For the most part (aside from predicting that AI would come from smaller vendors), the year played out as anticipated with a distinct emphasis on direct business outcomes and the broad adoption of analytics among business users. How will these trends move forward? In short, we don’t expect to see grand speculation and rabid investment in unproven ideas. Yes, we’re looking at you blockchain! Continue reading “What Will the Enterprise Data and Analytics Market Look Like in 2018? In a Word, Practical”

In 2018, Data Center Technology Will Become Smarter, Hybrid, More Distributed, and Easier to Consume

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • In 2018, rising enterprise demand for hybrid cloud solutions will fuel new and expanded partnerships between traditional infrastructure vendors and hyperscale public cloud providers.
  • Vendor initiatives will target the challenge of managing workloads across hybrid and increasingly distributed IT environments, along with ways of simplifying the procurement, deployment and consumption of IT.

2017 saw a growing recognition that private cloud technology is both a realistic and desirable way to manage enterprise workloads, and can be used more efficiently through effective integration in conjunction with public cloud services. A common theme during the year’s industry events was envisaging and enabling multi- and hybrid cloud futures. At the same time, in 2017, data center infrastructure vendors from Cisco and Dell EMC to IBM and HPE continued to transform their solutions and services businesses. These transformations were a response to enterprise digitalization initiatives and recognition that in the future, IT will be hybrid, and must be able to span the full spectrum of enterprise locales from the cloud to core data centers to the network edge. In 2017, individual vendors went through quite different transformation processes: in addition to launching new solutions, technology companies acquired and integrated new businesses, and forged alliances with one another and with hyperscale cloud providers in order to fill out their portfolios. These developments were all driven by a competitive push to help enterprises modernize their traditional data center environments, capitalize on the benefits of hybrid cloud, and expand their ability to handle growing volumes of data at the edge of their networks. Continue reading “In 2018, Data Center Technology Will Become Smarter, Hybrid, More Distributed, and Easier to Consume”

The Chess Dominance of Google’s AlphaZero Teaches Us More About Chips Than About Brains

Brad Shimmin – Research Director, Business Technology and Software

Summary Bullets:

• How did a computer algorithm like Google’s AlphaZero manage to learn, master and then dominate the game of chess in just four hours?

• AlphaZero’s mastery of chess stemmed from the sheer, brute force of Google’s AI-specific Tensorflow processing units (TPUs) – 5,000 of them to be exact.

“How about a nice game of chess?” With that iconic line of dialog from what is one of my favorite films, the 1983 cold war sci-fi thriller WarGames, nuclear war was narrowly averted by a machine (named Joshua) capable of teaching itself how to play a game. This week another machine, one of Google’s DeepMind AI offspring, AlphaZero, did something similar in that it took four hours to teach itself how to play chess and then proceeded to demolish the best, highest rated chess computer, Stockfish. After 100 games, AlphaZero racked up 28 wins and zero losses. So much for more than a millenium of human effort in teaching a computer how to play chess. But how was this possible? Was this a fair match? How did a computer algorithm like AlphaZero manage to learn, master and then dominate the game of chess in just four hours? Continue reading “The Chess Dominance of Google’s AlphaZero Teaches Us More About Chips Than About Brains”

GlobalData’s Newest MEAP Competitive Landscape Assessment Recognizes Leaders’ Innovation in Integration and ALM

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • The newest MEAP platforms are being repositioned to address modern app development issues as operations plays a larger role involving the leveraging of cloud services.
  • New advancements in AI, low-code tools, integration and API management, and serverless computing all play into DevOps’ need to abstract infrastructure complexities while improving management around app deployments.

Application platforms providers are repositioning traditional mobile platforms to address broader, modern app development including web, IoT, and chatbots. Vendors such as IBM, Kony, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, Salesforce, and Adobe are helping to drive this new era of app development in which modern applications need advanced platform services to respond to continuous integration, continuous deployment (CICD), a prospect which presents enterprises with boundless opportunities to improve businesses, along with extreme challenges. Continue reading “GlobalData’s Newest MEAP Competitive Landscape Assessment Recognizes Leaders’ Innovation in Integration and ALM”

HPE Discover 2017: Under Antonio Neri, HPE Will Expand Its Focus on the Edge and Intelligent IT

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• At its Discover event in Madrid, HPE communicated its vision and strategy and to an industry eager to comprehend the impact of Meg Whitman’s decision to step down as CEO.

• In addition to its goal of making hybrid IT simple for enterprise customers, HPE, under its incoming CEO, Antonio Neri, will strengthen its focus on IoT, what it terms “intelligent IT”, edge computing, converged OT control systems, and analytics.

For HPE, last week’s Discover event in Madrid was an opportunity to communicate its vision and strategy to an industry eager to comprehend the impact of Meg Whitman’s announced decision, the week before, to step down as CEO. In her time as CEO, Whitman oversaw the company’s transformation from a provider of traditional data center infrastructure to a business focused on enterprise cloud and hybrid IT solutions. This transformation saw the creation of HPE at the end of 2014, followed by a further slimming down of the company via the disposal of non-core businesses. At the same time, HPE acquired several new companies, including wireless-network infrastructure provider, Aruba Networks and all-flash hybrid storage array provider, Nimble Storage. Continue reading “HPE Discover 2017: Under Antonio Neri, HPE Will Expand Its Focus on the Edge and Intelligent IT”

OpenStack Sydney: Community Raises a Call to Action for Improved Integration with Non-OpenStack Technologies

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • The latest OpenStack Summit highlighted the need to improve integration between OpenStack and external technologies for managing containers and edge IT environments.
  • The November Summit also saw a change in the language that’s used to define OpenStack development initiatives, to focus less on projects and more on use cases such as containers and edge infrastructure.

News stemming from the November 2017 OpenStack Summit in Sydney, Australia, reflected the maturity of the OpenStack platform and the stability of its core technologies: Nova for virtual machines, Swift for object storage, Cinder for block storage and Neutron for SDN. However, the Summit discussions also reflected an acknowledgement of the limits of OpenStack and the need to ensure the stack’s integration with a host of additional technologies – including technologies for managing applications and containers and those that support the successful operation of edge IT environments. Continue reading “OpenStack Sydney: Community Raises a Call to Action for Improved Integration with Non-OpenStack Technologies”

Apple Business Chat: The Next Big Disruptive Force in Customer Service?

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

• Apple Business Chat will launch in 2018; it will allow businesses to add live support features that enable customers to communicate, utilize Apple Pay and more.

• Any iOS 11 user will be able to start a chat thread with businesses they find through Siri, Maps, Safari, and Spotlight search.

The Internet revolution has transformed the way customers shop, share their experiences and look for support. Websites, mobile apps, and social platforms shape the way customers do business. Different customers have different communication preferences and in today’s digital environment, many companies are recognizing this shift in customer preference and are implementing new technology to foster greater customer engagement.
Continue reading “Apple Business Chat: The Next Big Disruptive Force in Customer Service?”