3,673 things to watch in 2016

27 cats picture that will amaze you, 13 things your bank doesn’t want you to know – the web is full of important numbers. My 3,673 is also misleading – it’s actually 3 key trends to watch in 2016:

1. Enterprise spend will be directed to software development and data landscape transformations (surrounded by improved security) as businesses seek new capabilities to gain value from their data and customer/system interactions.


  • This evolution implies more complex, heterogeneous data landscapes (at least in the medium term) leading to higher integration complexity.
  • Simplicity will be sought to manage both legacy and well understood core applications in order to free up management time and cost for investment elsewhere.
  • Expect bold moves by large enterprises.


2. PaaS and SaaS will accelerate – Loosely coupled; they are both highly business outcome focused. The shift that DevOps brings will require change in technology, process and organization in both businesses and IT service providers


  • Expect to see new engagement models emerging; especially the use of Innovation Labs to test and prove results quickly. PaaS is real, and enterprise ready. Many flavors are available. Azure, Cloud Foundry, Force.com will all be making gains. Likewise SaaS is mainstream and enterprises are willing to commit at scale (e.g. Salesforce.com) – industrializing across the Enterprise**
  • The growth of PaaS and the demand for invisible infrastructure needed by PaaS and DevOps.  As companies look increasingly to the need for agility and the promise that taking a DevOps approach brings, the expectation is that infrastructure has extremely high levels of automation and security, is well governed and policy driven – industrialized and low touch.
  • The infrastructure, data and insights are out of direct enterprise control; the need for integrated platforms that can manage and automate data governance, process integration, security and compliance will grow significantly.
  • Approaches to federated analytics across disparate data sets will emerge.
  • A holistic and wide reaching integration strategy is needed for FY16.


3.     Data Fabric Evolution – A consequence of the significant shifts in data monetization is the need to significantly augment, evolve and transform the underlying data fabric of the enterprise to support these new models:

  • Big Data is real; we will see larger scale rollouts of industrialized** data and analytics substrates as companies transform their data landscapes. Financial Services, Retail and Consumer Products organizations will be the big movers.
  • Physical storage and compute are now commodities; converged infrastructure is still in growth mode and will be cost pressured. Software defined networking is still emerging but will be proven in greenfield deployments.
  • Public/private/hybrid cloud is here and a valid choice for many applications – but is not yet ubiquitous nor even the right choice for every workload.


  • Expect increased levels of abstraction at each layer of the data fabric – providing the ability to manage, control, govern and secure the OS, compute, memory, storage, backup, recovery and network deployment with a policy driven approach. Maturity varies from full blown Software Defined Data Center to storage or compute layer virtualization. Public cloud integration must be a given.
  • Expect rapid innovation as technology vendors seek to gain and maintain control of the virtualized data fabric control planes*** – as the hardware below increases in commodity (and choice).

Though I may be wrong and it might all be about those 27 amazing cat pictures. Happy new year…


** By industrializing, I mean rolled out at scale and in production for core business use cases rather than POC/pilot/fringe or non-core use cases.

*** Control plane – I use this to describe the horizontal layer of control needed to manage heterogeneous technology services that have high technical commonality but differing underlying technologies. e.g. a storage control plane that will abstract and manage across NAS/DAS/cloud and present as a common governance and control pane to the enterprise.

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