2017 Predictions from the Hurwitz Team

2017 Predictions from the Hurwitz Team

Last year we predicted that it would be a year of consolidation and a time for businesses to absorb emerging technologies. We think that this trend wil continue.

This year we are digging in around seven different areas. Each area will have three predictions from our impressive analyst team. It is a lot to look at but we are hopeful that you will find these predictions interesting and insightful. We want your feedback. Engage in a dialog with us in the new year.

Getting the job done in 2017

The focus for 2017 is on getting the job done. Therefore, the key trends will be around pragmatic ways of implementing emerging and innovative technologies in a way that delivers fast, predictable, and well-managed solutions. It may not sound sexy but the pressure is on businesses to deliver differentiated services to customers faster and more effectively than ever.

We have divided our 2017 predictions into seven areas:

DevOpsMaking DevOps the way to continuously change and manage applications to support business change

Analytics & CognitiveTransforming data in new ways so that data can be used to transform the customer experience, leverage data to augment the ability to develop solutions to problems that have been unsolvable in the past.

Hybrid Cloud Providing the appropriate delivery models to satisfy customers

IoT Leveraging IoT data to deliver game changing results for industrial businesses

Servers & StorageMaking infrastructure scale to the needs of the business

SecurityCreating environments that are well protected with advanced security and governance

Social BusinessBringing Digital business into a new level of maturity will change how businesses interact with their best customers.


What our analysts have to say:

Dan Kirsch on DevOps

DevOps began as an experiment – fusing development organizations with operations. Now many organizations have adopted DevOps to help meet the increasing expectations of both internal business users and end-user customers. Below are our 2017 predictions for DevOps:

Prediction #1. As IT organizations move towards an IT as a Service model, a marketplace of tools for developers supported by standardized APIs will change the way developers must collaborate with IT operations. IT organizations will need to support the requirements of the business or business units will continue


Prediction #2. Containers and micro services are beginning to become a pervasive approach to developing and deploying more flexible and agile applications.  We expect a micro services industry to emerge in 2017.


Prediction #3. Open source vendors will have to move from a support model to a solutions creation model if they are to survive. Too many open source vendors are unable to gain enough revenue to sustain themselves in a highly competitive market. We expect those that only provide support without a significant ecosystem of partners and solutions will not survive the year.


Dan Kirsch on Analytics & Cognitive

Just a few years ago, analytics experts and data analysts were trying to convince business users that predictive analytics could be trusted. The market has shifted and now C-level executives and asking how analytics can be applied in nearly every part of the business. Below are our 2017 predictions for analytics and cognitive computing.

Prediction #1. The emergence of embedded analytics into a broad array of applications will significantly impact the growth of the standalone analytics tools market. Increasingly analytics are being built into increasingly more business and consumer applications. Embedded analytics allow users to make fast data-driven decisions without the need to run complex queries, seek assistance from data analysts or move to a separate BI / Analytics application. Therefore, vendors of standalone tools will have to move to an industry focus to differentiate themselves.


Prediction #2. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms are becoming pervasive across both horizontal and vertical applications. The initial impact will be subtle (i.e., better targeting of customers). The significant impact will come from cognitive solutions that provide breakthrough solutions to difficult problems in vertical markets such as healthcare, manufacturing, and finance.


Prediction #3. The role of the chief data officer is going to become an increasingly strategic in companies. These professionals will be in charge of driving digital transformation as companies realize that data is the only way to take on emerging threats.



Judith Hurwitz on Hybrid Cloud

While it is clear that the cloud market is maturing. Customers are beginning to understand the use cases for public versus private clouds in a much more pragmatic way than only a few months ago. We are seeing public cloud vendors moving to offer their cloud services on premises. We are also seeing private cloud vendors branching out to public clouds.   We expect to see a lot of change in hybrid cloud in 2017


Prediction #1. Businesses are considering private cloud services that are not connecting to the internet because of security fears. 2017 will be a year of contradictions and fear. Companies with sensitive workloads will decide to disconnect from the internet through a private cloud appliance.


Prediction #2. While security has always been the top issue for companies moving to the cloud, a larger percentage of businesses will select vendors based on their security infrastructure. This could be the year of hybrid cloud security.


Prediction #3. Finally, we will see a large number of hybrid cloud management solutions hit the market. As more businesses increase their reliance of a variety of

cloud based infrastructure, platform, and application services, the need to understand what and how various services are used will be a demand. Management will expand to cost considerations and capabilities based on the use case.


Judith Hurwitz on IoT

While sensors and its semi-structured data has been around for decades, we are finally getting to the point where IoT data is being coupled with high power clustering technologies such as Spark and scalable converged systems. Applying advanced analytics in maturing tools is beginning to turn a collection of data elements into a sophisticated data analytics platform that can be applied to real solutions to pragmatic problems. We expect to see a slew of solutions ranging from smarter traffic, to smarter factories, and smarter device management. Given this evolution what do we expect to happen in 2017?


Prediction #1. Our first prediction for IoT is that the growth will be in industrial sector rather than the consumer sector.


Prediction #2. We expect to see a huge number of startups focused on real time data for the IoT market. These startups will primarily focus their attention on the Spark Framework as the foundation for offerings.


Prediction #3. There will be more and more attention paid to the security side of IoT given some of the opportunities for mischief – i.e. hacking into cameras and sensor based devices. While there will be few startups in the IoT security market this year, we will expect to see security offerings customized for IoT from established security vendors.


Jean Bozman on Hardware

Servers and storage vendors find themselves in a highly competitive marketplace, with many new entrants in the hardware marketplace selling systems at commodity prices. This dynamic is causing large systems vendors to offer built-in differentiated features, and to highlight their services for IT transformation. We are seeing more integrated systems that combine servers and storage into converged systems for quick installation, workload consolidation and IT simplification. We are seeing more systems with automation to speed deployment, improve IT flexibility and reduce operational costs. In 2017, the traditional categories of servers and storage are giving way to definitions based on system capabilities to support specific workloads.

Prediction #1. More servers, storage devices and converged systems (combining servers and storage) will go all-flash in 2017.

Flash-enabled systems – those using solid-state disks (SSDs) in place of hard-disks (HDDs) – will see rapid growth in 2017. Using flash storage in these systems will give them high performance and low latency, while reducing data-center space requirements. This impacts business workloads, databases and analytics, providing faster time to results than older hard drives using mechanical, spinning disks. In 2017, more systems will go “all-flash.” Drivers for the all-flash designs include: reduced price per storage device, increased durability and more converged or hyper-converged systems using flash storage.


Prediction #2. Management software will become a key differentiator for systems vendors.

Orchestration and management of workloads are the key software tools that make software-defined infrastructure (SDI) a practical option for enterprises. Offering customers an integrated platform, with virtualized hardware, advanced management software and automation, helps customers to transform their data centers and achieve greater IT flexibility and operational efficiency. In 2017, the prospect of gaining unified views of datacenter systems – and better IT staff productivity – will drive more vendor focus on easy-to-use management software.


Prediction #3. High Performance Computing (HPC) and analytics are converging – via a common infrastructure of Linux servers.

Inside enterprise data centers and cloud data centers, HPC and analytics are being deployed on the same infrastructure – usually running Linux on low-cost, scale-out servers. Many customers are finding that HPC data, such as weather data, can inform broader analytics workloads—improving the accuracy of business forecasts for retail store sales, oil/gas exploration, agriculture and manufacturing. By running HPC and analytics on the same hardware, IT personnel can manage both workloads, redirecting processing to available servers and storage. In 2017, more customers will find that leveraging HPC data in analytics brings better business outcomes.


Chris Christiansen on Security

For 2017, passengers on cybersecurity flights better fasten their seat belts low and tight because we expect severe turbulence. The 45th President of the United States (POTUS) is going to demand that technology firms cooperate with law enforcement and government intelligence agencies. This will set a precedent for governments worldwide, but their balkanized interpretations will be driven by unique social, political, and religious situations. IoT explodes as a target and a vector for security threats. In a dramatic reversal, public cloud will become a refuge for many enterprises and SMB that are out-gunned by their attackers and unlikely ever to achieve parity let alone superiority.

Prediction #1. The 45th POTUS explodes the cybersecurity market. Data security becomes critical as law enforcement and government agencies get carte blanche for internal and external mass surveillance. Privacy laws are Balkanized according to religious, social, and political beliefs by the US and other countries. Governments increasingly regulate encryption and source code. Major countries use social network profiling to control immigration, business licenses, job prospects, and social services.


Prediction #2. IoT drives an exponential growth in security threats. Consumer and surveillance cameras spawn record-breaking DDOS and DNS attacks. National security threatened as cyber war against critical national infrastructure heats up old and cold wars.


Prediction #3. Cloud becomes the secure refuge for companies worldwide. Next Generation (N2G) security radically alters infrastructure as appliances are virtualized and hybridized across private and public cloud-based data centers. Except at the high-end enterprise and carrier level, hardware becomes a Kleenex-like disposable. Many small business’ find security too difficult and expensive so they eliminate on-premise appliance and moves entirely to cloud-based managed and SaaS security services for predictable costs, lower risk, and better user experience.


Vanessa DiMauro, Predictions for Digital Transformation

The digital discipline is maturing and practitioners are becoming more accountable and more tightly integrated into the lines of business. The age of experimentation with digital is ending. There is a clear imperative to reach customers earlier in their buyer journey through online strategies. Below is what I foresee the future holds for marketing leaders, digital officers and community builders everywhere.

Prediction #1: A big shift toward selective customer intimacy

Companies are beginning to understand that all customers are not created equal. We predict al huge movement towards targeting digital strategies where there are campaigns designed to meet the needs and expectations of important customers. In 2017, we’ll see a dramatic rise in private customer communities, velvet-rope customer retention programs, and tiered social selling programs focused on “elite” customers.


Prediction #2: The end of acceptance of vanity metrics and unclear digital outcomes

Increasingly stakeholders expect digital transformation leaders to provide a clear return on their investment. While 2016 marked the dawning of digital accountability, 2017 will bring formalized accounting standards and practices for accurately measuring business across industries (think GAP analysis for Digital Accounting).


Prediction #3: Digital impact will become strategically integrated into core operations. It is now clear that digital campaigns have to move beyond “Facebook likes”. The focus for 2017 is moving to a digital transformation strategy that support the firm’s strategic directions.

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