The march towards IT as a service

A few weeks ago at our annual partner conference NetApp Insight I made the prediction that by 2017 everyone who works in IT will have to think like a service provider. Whether you work for a company that is offering IT as a service to your customers – the set of customers who write you checks – or you work inside an enterprise, and provide IT to the company who writes your paycheck, you’re in the service provider business. And delivering IT as a service requires different thinking.

In 2013, this prediction will become more true and will drive increasingly revolutionary thinking.  On top of this people-centric change are several technology revolutions that are challenging incumbent thinking and shredding traditional best practices.

Below are a few technology predictions to look for in 2013 as we make the march towards IT as a service. I invite you to share your thoughts on what trends you see shaping the IT industry next year:

Big and Bit Players Will Jump into the All-Flash-Array Market with Both Feet

The year 2013 will be another big one for solid-state technologies. Flash will be applied broadly to accelerate a wide range of workloads, from virtualized servers and desktops to online transaction processing (OLTP) to file services. Organizations will continue to integrate the use of flash into every area of the storage architecture, from cache at the host level and in storage arrays to all- flash arrays. Next year will be a milestone year for all-flash arrays. The big storage vendors will be out in force, announcing the fruits of acquisitions or the results of homegrown initiatives. The battle will be where it always is: getting the most bang for the buck. But, as flash increases its enterprise penetration, performance alone won’t be a differentiator and questions about product and company readiness for enterprise deployments will dominate. Software integration, currently an afterthought, will bubble up to the forefront and implementation decision criteria will focus dually on performance gains and data management. Additionally, as the focus on NAND flash reaches fever pitch, other solid-state storage technologies will enter the picture.

In-Memory Computing Will Create a New Class of Transpredictive Apps

Few technologies are poised to make such a dramatic impact on the IT landscape as in-memory computing. This topic will be on the lips of CIOs around the world as more data is generated and businesses want to take action on this data to make real-time decisions. SAP® HANA will generate high interest as an example of a new class of combined OLTP/analytics platforms. Interest in NoSQL technologies will rise as customers seek lower-cost alternatives to deal with big data analysis and processing data from the ‘internet of things’.   CIOs love the concept of being able to integrate transaction and decision support platforms that have traditionally been very distinct.