O’ Infrastructure, Where Art Thou? The odyssey towards a truly invisible IT infrastructure is ongoing. The cloud, a signpost of increasing ‘invisibility’ is the default choice with a diverse range of deployment options.
Plain acceleration has given way to a focus on value extraction, sustainability, industry contextualization, technology debt removal, and security, all while maintaining operational resilience. A software- and AI-driven, nearly autonomous supply chain is key to that, providing an approach to deal with both the scarcity of skilled experts and excess energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
But IT infrastructure also expands its reach, integrating Operational Technology and ‘things’ at the edges of central IT, showing that “Infostructure” never was a spelling mistake.
The cloud is increasingly the only IT infrastructure platform that provides the required quality levels, availability, elasticity, and evergreen sustainability.
Our latest Digital Mastery research shows cloud services are projected to more than double by 2023, growing at a five-year CAGR of 32%. For new solutions, cloud is the de facto choice. This shift to on-demand IT comes with a diversifying range of deployment options – involving multiple providers and locations, including regional sovereign clouds. The latter – according to Capgemini’s recent research – will be adopted to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards, reducing exposure to extra-territorial laws and providing a trusted, safe environment for data.
An infrastructure platform must be high-performing yet agile, resilient yet evergreen, robust yet cost-effective, secure yet user-friendly. Satisfying these demands requires an evolution of infrastructure platforms with cloud and automation at its nucleus, supported by ‘All Ops’ principles (such as DevOps, DevSecOps, DataOps, MLOps, ChatOps, NoOps). Software-driven configuration and execution, standardization, and simplification technologies such as containers, AI-driven intelligent automation, plus built-in cybersecurity and reliability, all add to an autonomous, self-healing equation that relies less on scarce, skilled resources.
These features all come in industry clouds, where pre-packaged – yet fully configurable – data and solutions are being developed for a specific sector. These industry clouds deliver speed to market, industry best practices, and a fast track to lessening the weight of existing, unsustainable, and aging IT landscapes.
But there’s more to achieve. Our recent Sustainable IT research found that only 43% of executives are aware of their organization’s (often considerable) IT carbon footprint. So intelligently optimizing the use of available IT assets – and recycling or upcycling them whenever possible – not only brings cost benefits and agility, but also raises the corporate ESG score. This perspective needs to be integrated in a ‘FinOps’ approach in which both technology and business stakeholders work together to find the optimal balance between the benefits and (financial/sustainability) concerns of a cloud-based IT infrastructure.
Finally, as our latest Digital Mastery research report shows, 62% of organizations are already implementing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in their operations. And no longer is it just the Intelligent Industry realm in which innovations at the ‘edge’ drive new business. Operational Technology fuses with Information Technology everywhere, creating an all-encompassing “Infostructure” that provides new networking, compute, data, events, application services, and devices securely. Invisible or not: that is an infrastructure platform with innovative business potential.
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