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Why IT infrastructure approach needs modernising

The freedom and flexibility to develop applications rapidly using diverse platforms will put IT infrastructure teams under increasing strain

The ease with which software developers can build new cloud-based software will create future headaches for IT teams responsible for infrastructure and operations.

By 2025, 70% of IT infrastructure teams will be unable to support the business, according to analyst Gartner.

Its research also predicted that only a quarter of IT Infrastructure leaders would have teams with the right skills and working practices to support the requirements for IT operations needed within the next two to three years.

Speaking at the Gartner IT infrastructure and operations conference in London, David Cappuccio, a research vice-president at Gartner, warned delegates: “The infrastructure you have today won’t support the needs of business tomorrow. Infrastructure is everywhere. You don’t want to be in the datacentre business, you want to be in infrastructure. But IT must be faster, leaner and a lot smarter and less costly.”

The challenge for business is that there is a shift in what IT infrastructure means from a business perspective, given the freedom of developers to choose their own IT environments, Gartner vice-president, Bob Gill, said. “We are being asked to provide agility, but diversity is also going up. You start to lose control. Business needs a sense of reuse with centralised control,” he added.

Ross Winser, a research director at Gartner, urged delegates to rethink IT governance and reinvent the way IT operations and infrastructure management is run. “We need to rethink governance. One-size fits all won’t cut it,” he said.

According to Phil Dawson, a research vice-president at Gartner, 50% of the data generated will be outside the corporate datacentre, generated by internet of things (IoT) applications and edge computing devices.

Pointing out the challenges IoT and edge computing will present to IT infrastructure, Dawson said: “How do you manage that data? How do you back it up? If you move it back to your datacentre, do you have enough network and storage capacity? What is all this data doing to your storage budget?”

Looking at the changes in skills and culture required by IT infrastructure teams, Katherine Lord, a managing vice-president at Gartner, said: “The hero culture no longer works. How do you reward people? If you want people to collaborate, you have to start rewarding them differently.”

Rather than look to replace the top infrastructure engineers with people with the same skill set, she said: “Diversity is one of the best things you can bring to the table. Rethink how you hire. Find great talent to take you to 2020 and beyond.”

Read more about IT infrastructure management

  • Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst says enterprises can take a leaf from DevOps and build modularity into their technology infrastructure to prepare for the forces of digital disruption.
  • This article is part of a series to help IT ops professionals learn DevOps by building a home lab. In the second step, Git version control allows ops to manage infrastructure as code.

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