This ebook, based on the latest ZDNet / TechRepublic special feature, explores how data center automation is powering new levels of agility and digital transformation. The role of the traditional on-premises data center has been changing for years, as enterprise workloads have made an exodus to the cloud, and more recently to the edge of the network, in pursuit of benefits including cost savings, better performance and greater flexibility. According to analyst firm Gartner, 10 percent of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data center by the end of 2018 -- a figure that's expected to rise to 80 percent by 2025. Cisco, meanwhile, predicts that by 2021, 94 percent of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centers, with just six percent processed by traditional data centers. Still, for the next few years at least, there will be plenty of enterprise data centers housing workloads that, for whatever reason (technical, economic, security or compliance, for example), have not migrated to the cloud.
As organizations attempt to read their digital transformation tea leaves this year, many are simultaneously looking for the best ways to execute once they're ready. That's because digital transformation, a top priority in most organizations this year, now centrally involves the cloud, where the vast majority of IT is swiftly moving. But for large organizations, moving to public cloud is a rather delicate and highly fraught step that requires challenging-to-realize shifts in culture, control, operations, and most of all, platform. As a result, large enterprise vendors like Microsoft, IBM, and SAP -- the three current old-guard standouts, along with ascendant cloud-native firms like Salesforce -- have been investing in the next-generation of IT technologies that are likely to carry their customers into the future, betting they'll be where customers have to invest next. The message here is clear: The cloud is the doorway through which the future of enterprise technology lies.
Last year Forrester predicted that cloud computing would radically accelerate enterprise transformation everywhere. After a decade of powering small and medium business success -- and giving disruptive companies the tools and technologies they needed to compete head on with the world's largest firms -- cloud was poised to drive significant enterprise change in the very firms being disrupted by innovative startups. In 2018, cloud computing has indeed become a must-have technology for every enterprise. Cloud is no longer a place to get some cheap servers or storage. Cloud computing is now shorthand for how companies turn amazing ideas into winning software -- faster.
"Forrester has declared 2018 as cloud computing'Go Time!' Enterprise CIOs can't sit on the fence any longer and wait for competitors to leverage cloud platforms to create new customer-obsessed apps and insights. Cloud is no longer about cheap servers or storage -- cloud platforms are the digital transformation engines driving the best customer experiences.
Technologies such as 5G, IoT sensors and platforms, edge computing, AI and analytics, robotics, blockchain, additive manufacturing and virtual/augmented reality are coalescing into a fertile environment for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which is set to usher in what's often described as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. Here's how analyst firm IoT Analytics sees the relationship between the broader IoT and the IIoT/Industry 4.0 sector: This ebook, based on the latest ZDNet / TechRepublic special feature, explores how infrastructure around the world is being linked together via sensors, machine learning and analytics. In this brave new world, supply chains will have end-to-end transparency thanks to sensors, data networks and analytics capabilities at key points. All other things (trade barriers, for example) being equal, parts and raw materials will arrive just in time at highly automated factories, and the fate of the resulting products will be tracked throughout their lifetimes to eventual recycling. Similarly, 'smart farms' will combine emerging IIoT-related technologies into integrated high-resolution crop production systems based on robotics, big data and analytics.