What is the future of Infrastructure? If we have progressed so far – just looking back, say to 2012 – how much more progress will there be going forward? Have we not reached the peak by now? Convergence, senor technology, cloud and orchestration….surely the cupboard is empty by now? I think that this is just the start. Using a quote from Robert Goddard, the inventor of the first liquid-fuelled rocket: “It is difficult to say what is impossible; for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow”.

The next big step for infrastructure can simply be put as “growing up” and finally “coming of age” – to become truly invisible. The days where we had to meticulously design, construct and implement our own, unique and dedicated infrastructure are almost gone. Instead, we welcome an era that consumes it right from the catalogue. We use powerful, pre-defined services and workloads that support us like a truly hassle-free utility that satisfies any Business Technology objectives.

As noted in TechnoVision 2015, ‘invisible’ does not mean we can ignore IT. The infostructure is at the heart of the enterprise and as such it requires careful and appropriate consideration. It needs to provide secure and reliable access to application services and data that mixes old and new deployment models, and existing and innovative technologies alike. This will require nothing less than an orchestrated journey that can navigate a very hybrid reality for years to come.

The cloud clearly takes the lead in accelerating the innovation of infrastructure and so do the next generation of mobile, social, data and process technologies. Together they constitute a highly agile and secure 3rd platform (after the mainframe and PC platforms that we are so familiar with), bringing with them unprecedented opportunities for enterprises to grow without having to deal with the complexities of the underlying technology.

A large part of the infrastructure related drivers are directly related to the increased drive towards user centricity – to be able to work anywhere, anytime; the digital enterprise is a driver that overshadows main important business objectives – to reduce manual interventions to an absolute minimum and increase automatic, unattended or online services.

In addition clients will have to increase their market position whilst moving more and more into a “as a Service” model, covering an increasing global footprint. Digital/SMAC, Market Growth, As a Services and Ways of Working are so called “Business Outside-In Drivers”.

Next to these many clients have “Inside-Out Imperatives”. To retain market position and to make use of new capabilities clients have to keep up with latest versions. Information is key in the digital enterprise so effective integration is a key necessity.

Driven by the business changes and transformation clients have to have a clearly outlined and specified infrastructure strategy that details the infra related direction of travel. All these “Inside-Out Imperatives” have to fit into an overall TCO reduction (which can also be a cost avoidance approach) to ensure value for money.

Both “Business Outside-In Drivers” and “Inside-Out Imperatives” come with one overarching driver: cyber security.

More on invisible infostructure in Part 2.