Innovation, Cost, and Complexity In Tech Future

Innovation, cost, and complexity: competing forces in our shared tech future

Speaking at Schneider Electric’s recent partner event at their HQ, Le Hive, in Paris, Alastair Edwards, chief analyst at Canalys, looked to the future of technology, predicting that we are entering a new era of IT investment.  IT optimization, agility, and innovation, he argued, are driving interest in a range of technologies – from hybrid IT and automation to hyperconvergence, cloud, and edge computing – among others.

For those at the sharp end – the organizations investing in these technologies to bring new products and services to market – the opportunities are enormous.  But rapid change like this also brings major challenges, chief among them being cost control and the exploding levels of complexity. If that wasn’t enough, our collective focus on progress comes in the face of ubiquitous security risks and the fact that many organizations just can’t find or build the skillsets they need fast enough to meet their needs.

And that’s just where we are right now.  Looking ahead, Edwards examined how in just 10 years we have seen major new trends arrive and become established in the mainstream.  The 2010s were all about cloud computing – the next decade will see a shift in focus to computing at the edge.  In particular, hybrid cloud, public cloud and on-premises technologies will develop further – with on-prem in particular evolving to focus on latency, manageability, compliance, and costs.

“Microdatacenters” at the edge will replace traditional rack volumes at centralized datacenters as the area of explosive growth.  While today’s datacenters will retain importance as the place where data is collected, key vertical markets such as government, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, and agriculture will drive the creation of these edge datacenters.

Changing roles in changing times

This evolution in IT infrastructure also means that the traditional concept of vendors and channel partners will change. A shortage of technical skills in the channel is shifting customer focus toward pre-integrated solutions rather than piecemeal integration of disparate vendor technologies. This will be accompanied by continued growth in subscription business in the channel.

At the heart of all of this is the technology itself and its ability to support business needs in a distributed future.  As Jonathan Healey, from the Office of the CTO of Schneider observed, there are a range of challenges in delivering high availability in a hybrid world.  If both public cloud and on-prem need to be online for things to work, then true uptime is the product of the individual uptimes.  To illustrate, public cloud uptime of 99.6% multiplied by on-prem uptime of 99.2% yields actual hybrid uptime of 98.8%.  By its nature, hybrid is the sum of its parts and organizations will need to invest in technology which minimize pain points across the board to capitalize on this wave of change.

Hyperconverged infrastructure solutions like HC3 from Scale Computing are already matching the hybrid cloud and edge computing needs of many organizations. These systems, designed for simplicity, scalability, and high availability are small enough to meet the needs of the microdatacenters and scalable enough to meet the needs of growing business. These on-prem infrastructure solutions have already been evolving alongside the growing needs of present and future hybrid IT.

From our perspective at Scale Computing, looking to the future is a key part of our success. It is inspiring to work with partners and attend events with companies who have the same vision.  It also reminds us why we placed the objectives of reducing complexity and controlling costs at the heart of our tech philosophy.  We went into business to help deliver on this digital future and organizations should approach it with the confidence that the technology is out there which can balance the need to innovate against the imperatives of managing complexity and cost.

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