Infrastructure-as-a-Service has had a profound impact on the IT department and businesses at large, especially in the past few years since companies have begun to use multi-cloud approaches to their technology management. The provisioning process, best practices of management, maintenance requirements, capabilities and functionality, IT service delivery models and more have all changed significantly in a relatively short period of time.
It is worth noting that, for all intents and purposes, these transformations have been highly advantageous for the average business, and this progression is moving even further toward an optimal situation as the years go on. This does not necessarily mean that there are no challenges being faced in the public and private sectors, but rather that the options available are expanding rapidly to give leaders plenty of opportunities to specialize their approaches in accordance with specific needs and objectives.
What's more, the reliance upon managed service providers has worked to improve prospects for a wealth of businesses, as leveraging various tools from different vendors and having the maintenance taken care of externally improves efficiency in many situations. Infrastructure has been a major focus given the massive changes to corporate requirements and general IT trends impacting the average firm, and IaaS is looking to be the ideal choice of the future.
In the coming years, more evolution is bound to occur across the IT community and especially within the cloud computing arena. Given the more recent transformations that have taken place, it is clear that the solutions will likely be more affordable and powerful in the future. Businesses that have not yet embraced IaaS and other cloud services should certainly consider doing so soon, as maintaining a competitive edge will be increasingly difficult without these technologies in place.
The price drop
Gartner recently reported that IT spending is actually moving on a downward trajectory this year compared to 2014, but that this was more of a product of the strengthening of U.S. currency that took place in the past 12 months. According to the researchers, IT spending is expected to drop by roughly 5.5 percent this year, which would translate to $3.5 trillion expended upon technologies globally.
Interestingly, Gartner found that while evaluating the global marketplace in terms of American dollars showed a decrease, constant currency was perhaps a more accurate gauge in this regard, with growth being pegged at 3.1 percent by that measurement.
"We want to stress that this is not a market crash. Such are the illusions that large swings in the value of the U.S. dollar versus other currencies can create," John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner, affirmed. "However, there are secondary effects to the rising U.S. dollar. Vendors do have to raise prices to protect costs and margins of their products, and enterprises and consumers will have to make new purchase decisions in light of the new prices."
Perhaps not surprisingly, the analysts believe that communications services will be the hottest category in terms of spending, while IT services, devices and data center assets round out the top four. All of the categories, when measured against U.S. currency, are expected to drop, but will still remain high compared to a few years ago.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that while this particular analysis did not include research related to the cost of IT services, other studies have shown that cloud, unified communications and other assets are becoming far more affordable as the years progress. One of the main reasons behind this has been the increasing intensity of pricing wars between some of the largest IT and UC service providers to gain greater engagement among current and prospective clientele.
Put more simply, the provisioning of new devices and equipment, as well as software and other services, is likely still balanced and perhaps even working on an upward path today, but the lower prices translate to fewer expenditures among private and public sector entities.
The database question
Databases are critical aspects of corporate infrastructure today, and must be developed and managed in a way that improves the accessibility and security of information in one fell swoop. Alongside networks and other components of the infrastructure, databases have been a focus due to the more progressive trends in IT today, such as the Internet of Things and big data.
Forbes recently explained some of the complexities many organizations are facing when trying to modernize and improve their database provisioning, management and optimization strategies, as well as the popular methods to navigate the challenging landscape. According to the news provider, NoSQL databases have become far more common in the grand scheme of infrastructure management, especially as they are more flexible than traditional models.
Diversification has not stopped there, though, as companies push for more progressive and unique database arrangements to closely align their investments with specific objectives and needs. The source pointed to Column Families, Document, Graph, Key-Value and XML frameworks that are a bit more adequately prepared to handle the challenges of big data than traditional database setups or older SQL models.
Big data is not only one of the more progressive trends in IT, but one that has completely transformed the ways in which companies make decisions, govern their information and manage intelligence. Simply put, legacy systems and other forms of traditional IT are not all that well-suited to the demands of big data, as advanced analytics demand much more fluid infrastructure capabilities for higher storage requirements and agile network bandwidth capacity.
At the end of the day, IaaS remains as one of the more critical models for infrastructure management in modern business, as the cost savings, seamless user experiences and much higher levels of flexibility are tough to compete against. Companies can effectively bolster their IT performance by provisioning IaaS and modern database services in a flexible model from reliable service providers.
This will help to reduce the strain of new trends in a more proactive and comprehensive fashion over time, thus optimizing the ebb and flow of IT service management and delivery.