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Top five IT predictions in 2016

John Roese, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, EMC | Jan. 5, 2016
John Roese, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, EMC shares some tech trends that will make the most significant impact in 2016.

As businesses move from simply building clouds to using them, it will become clear what the cloud is really about: facilitating the creation of business applications providing differentiated capability. In terms of the skills required, creating applications in the cloud is radically different to those IT teams currently have in place. This skills gap raises the very real possibility that cloud adoption could begin to slow.

Business cannot afford to let this situation develop any further. The ability to create cloud-native applications is quickly asserting itself as a key - if not the key - competitive differentiator for enterprises. In 2016, businesses need to recompose their ability to create software using the cloud tools of the future. This means re-training their IT teams or looking to third party developers to provide the necessary expertise.

Prediction 5: Flash will achieve scale... and businesses must prepare for the worst

This final 'prediction' is less of a prediction and more of a note of caution. As any storage veteran can tell you, when new technologies achieve scale, there are more often than not unforeseen issues that lead to industry-wide endemic failure. I am not saying that this definitely will happen to flash, but it is at the very least a possibility that businesses should consider as the technology starts to achieve real scale in the year ahead. 

The adoption of innovative technology always involves a certain degree of risk management and success often comes down to how well businesses can cope when this technology experiences teething troubles.

Over the last several decades, there has been widespread industry disruptions based on unexpected and widespread defects in CPU's memory chips, hard drives, switching silicon and almost every other area of the technical ecosystem. The key in these cases is to work with vendors who know the industry well and have worked through similar endemic failures in the past. For example, in 2010, EMC led the industry through the replacement of the majority of large capacity disk drives. This type of experience by your storage provider will prove invaluable if the worst-case scenario for flash comes to pass.

For 2016, our advice to businesses is to make sure they don't fall into the trap of assuming things won't go wrong. As with any part of business, planning for worst-case scenarios is always a good practice.


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