With only a couple weeks left in 2015 it’s time to start looking ahead to what next year has in store. Let’s be honest—most of us have already mentally checked out for the holidays anyway, so it’s already 2016 for all intents and purposes. I spoke with a handful of industry experts to get some thoughts on what we have to look forward to in 2016.
Let’s just jump right in:
- Log Management will play a larger role
According to Christian Beedgen, CTO of Sumo Logic, log management will emerge as the most underrated opportunity for IT. “Thinking about log data may seem too far in the weeds for most tech industry professionals. However, using analytics to monitor, manage and gather insights from logs will be the only near-perfect way to make sense of the increasingly complex and cloud-based architectures.” Log management isn’t exactly new or cutting edge, but Beedgen believes that 2016 will see more vendors trying to move into the log management space, and more organizations trying to use log management to make sense of their big data mess.
- Business leaders will demand better insight
On a similar note, Rick Fitz, senior VP or IT Markets for Splunk, believes that analyzing data and metrics will also play a role from a business strategy perspective. “In 2016 we will see data science demystified, moving from Ph.D. to MBA, with easier ways emerging to consume, analyze and correlate machine data. As business leaders increasingly go digital, this will result in greater “digital insight” into engagement, satisfaction, competition, effectiveness, response, revenue and other business goals.”
- Sharing economy will transform IT
Companies like Uber and AirBnB have transformed entire market segments. The sharing economy has changed the way businesses engage customers and deliver services, and that includes IT through aspects such as cloud services, microservices, APIs and more. Fitz predicts, “Next year this ‘Uberfication of IT’ will turn into a ‘Balkanization of IT,’ driving stakeholders to demand better insight, governance and control of federated technologies to integrate adoption, usage, monitoring, security, cost control and more across shared services.”
- Enterprise DevOps will grow rapidly
The DevOps revolution has taken IT and app development by storm in recent years, but most of the traction has been in startups or smaller businesses that have more freedom to shift gears and embrace new concepts. Enterprise adoption has been growing, but at a much slower rate. Andi Mann, chief technology advocate for Splunk, said, “In 2016 we will see rapid acceleration of DevOps with 50 percent or more of large businesses finally adopting ‘Enterprise DevOps’ — a pragmatic, scalable approach to adopting the culture, process and technology changes at the heart of DevOps.”
- The singularity approaches
OK. That may be an ominous over-statement. In a nutshell, Sumo Logic’s Beedgen claims that the line between machines and humans will continue to fade. The foundation of this is automation—leveraging technology to perform mundane or routine tasks and sift through mountains of data exponentially faster than a human can. As artificial intelligence evolves, though, the scope of what can be automated expands as well. “In automating processes, a human can today wield the power of a legion of operators with a single hand,” stated Beedgen. “Likewise, machine learning will increasingly be adopted for its usefulness in augmenting human understanding of complex interaction and large data sets by uncovering the unknown unknowns.”
- Automation and analytics will improve IT service health
DevOps and microservices have transformed many areas of development and IT infrastructure, but many organizations still rely on decades-old monitoring tools, arcane metrics, and specialized admins dedicated to managing the cumbersome process. Splunk’s Fitz thinks that is getting ready to change. “In 2016, IT analytics will be liberated as easy-to-use dashboards will correlate all sources of service health—legacy tools, APIs, mobile apps, Web logs, wire data, containers and more—while predictive analytics will automatically respond to prevent quality issues.”
- DevOps is here to stay
From the point of view of DevOps practitioners or companies that have adopted DevOps tools and practices, this may seem both painfully obvious, and yet still be good news as well. Christian Beedgen predicts not just that DevOps is here to stay, but that the importance of DevOps and the sphere of influence affected by DevOps will expand. “Increasingly, DevOps will permeate all manner of businesses that rely on information technology to compete. Bimodal IT (the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery) will become the equivalent to “private cloud”—the last forced resistance of the old guard. Both will be forgotten in a short number of years, as public cloud and lean and agile processes dominate the businesses that still compete.”
There you have it. Now you can enjoy your holiday break in peace and come back in 2016 with an idea of what you have to look forward to in the year ahead.