When we started our TechnoVision trend series more than a decade ago, we coined the concept of Invisible Infostructure as a visionary illustration of where infrastructure eventually would evolve into: rich in its ability to capture and process the data of a hyper-connected world, yet completely seamless and virtually undetectable.

Well, guess what. It’s happening right now.

And in 2018, infrastructure will become even more invisible:  essential infrastructure capabilities turning into easy-to-consume commodities, instead of difficult-to-use specialties. Indeed, software is joyfully eating the infrastructure world as we know it, moving more and more hardware-entrenched capabilities into easy-to-use-and-understand software layers.

It is the year of Digital Twins, in which we get serious (and physical) about creating near-real copies in our systems of people, things, concepts and even entire businesses. Indeed, IoT increases the ability to sense the world, driving the need for more innovative infrastructural capability. Fog and edge technology allow for a top-class customer and employee experience, regardless of location and need for responsiveness.

It is the year in which radical automation will increase speed, quality and value for money (just look at Litbit’s DAC, an AI-driven co-worker). And with the next generation of Artificial Intelligence kicking in (HPE doing quite nicely here and so is Pure Storage), machines learn to predict what should be done next, allowing people to focus on real value add rather than executing repeatable, semi-manual tasks or repairing what could have been avoided.

It is the year in which VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) technology is used to proactively manage—in real time—remote, fully unattended data centers that host the utility platforms for all your digital solutions.

Well. That is, if you are still dealing with data centers—virtual or not—in the first place. Because, functions. Serverless computing —enabled by the likes of AWSMicrosoftGoogle, and IBM, is decisively gnawing the relics of infrastructure as we once used to know it.

I wish you a trouble-free, energetic, highly digital 2018. All of that on top of a powerful, rich IT infrastructure that you hardly even notice. Like all good infrastructures should be.