In 2017, business became digital. In 2018, digital transformation will go into overdrive, as leaders face pressure to reduce costs while meeting dizzying speed, security, and quality objectives. The winners in 2018 will be the leaders who successfully orchestrate and manage the multi-cloud environments that will define tomorrow’s digital business.
With that in mind, below are BMC’s predictions for 2018:
- Multi-Cloud is the new reality – be ready for it: Most companies are preparing to deploy multi-cloud technologies at scale in 2018, but few are ready to effectively manage and secure a more distributed virtual infrastructure. Our research shows that 40% of IT leaders don’t even know how much their organizations are spending on public cloud. The good news is that 80% also acknowledge that managing multi-cloud requires new approaches, such as using AI and machine learning. 2018 is the year businesses will start gaining speed resulting from multi-cloud practices.
- Digital Transformation accelerates: Digital Transformation has been a buzzword for the past few years, but how many companies have really gone through a redefining transformation? Or are they just optimizing their core IT assets and bringing in new innovations to enable speed and agility? In 2018, true transformation takes hold and accelerates, not just changing businesses but redefining entire industries to fundamentally alter how they reach and serve customers, partners and employees, and deliver new customer experiences.
- GDPR is the Mandate of the Year: We are less than 6 months away from the GDPR compliance deadline on May 25, 2018, and practically every company will be held to GDPR requirements for data privacy in the EU. The penalties for non-compliance are steep: up to €20 million, or 4% of global actual revenue. Companies which are not protecting private data are setting themselves up to fail. Companies that are GDPR-compliant can focus on the areas they need to be successful without having to worry about financial impact and, more importantly, offer reassurance to their customers that their private data is secure.
- DevOps and Security come together: There is no area in the development lifecycle more primed for automation than security and compliance. GDPR compliance requires the adoption of “state of the art security technology” for configuration and compliance checks, not only for data centers but for services in the public cloud as well. With more extensive governance and testing on the horizon, DevOps and Security teams must work together and automate as much as possible. In 2018, the two teams will start overcoming organizational barriers and deliver more integrated and secured outcomes.
- The biggest security breach is yet to come: This seems like a bold prediction, but consider that two of the four largest breaches in history occurred in the last 15 months, and the largest in history (Yahoo!, with 3 billion user accounts hacked in 2014) was finally reported in 2017. The exponential amount of data being produced (2.5 quintillion bytes per day, according to IBM) means that each year will potentially bring bigger security breaches. Organizations that assume a proactive security posture in the face of a bigger attack surface brought by multi-cloud and the IoT will be better protected from the next big hack.
- AI becomes real in 2018, and it won’t be a sudden revolution: This year we will start to see implementations of AI and machine learning for very repetitive and routine tasks in industries such as shipping, retail, and IT. Whether ordering a burger or streamlining IT service tickets, some parts of our lives are about to get easier, but the amount of data generated daily now outpaces the ability of teams to make sense of it using existing approaches. Don’t expect an overnight revolution of the machines but rather a gradual introduction of new approaches with some bumps in the road. Machine learning is maturing quickly, and some great tools are already available for IT processes, for example.
- Automation becomes more critical: Self-healing monitoring tools, business-aligned performance dashboards, and quality real-time data will make automating operational processes more achievable than ever in 2018. According to BMC survey research, 73% of IT decision makers believe businesses that do not embrace IT automation to achieve the larger digital business strategy within the next five years will cease to exist in 10 years. Automation takes on increase importance with multi-cloud services, which will only scale when core change and configuration management processes are automated.
- The role of the CIO will continue to evolve: Many CIOs have already taken on larger, more strategic roles to ensure the success of digital business. In 2018, the role of the CIO will continue to evolve from a service provider to a growth and value leader, as greater pressures are put on organizations for centralized governance to manage speed, costs, and security in a multi-cloud world. IT organizations need to go back to the drawing board to apply core planning skills and analytics to more effectively align multi-cloud environments to business goals, and many CIOs will assume those leadership responsibilities.
- Employee Voices Define Digital Workplaces: Digital business requires new skills, new organizational models, and a new level of partnership between IT and business. To be successful, the experiences of the employee must be heard directly through their voices and should influence the overall digital workplace vision, which must be clear enough to set a direction yet flexible to innovate on and adapt. Don’t just look for the next employee experience gimmick – 2018 will require listening to employees and taking action based on their input to create an environment for them to do their best work and be most productive.
- Mainframes will attract millennials: BMC’s 12th Annual Mainframe survey reveals that attitudes about mainframes continue to evolve, with 69% of respondents aged 30-49 viewing mainframe as a growth area and millennials under the age of 30 being very enthusiastic about the future of mainframe. Mainframes are critical core IT platforms that serve as the backbone of digital business, and that’s got a “cool” factor. With baby boomers retiring from the workforce in large numbers, mainframe management is just one example of where new skills and talent may fill a vital and unexpected role that is desirable and beneficial for everyone involved.