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Node4’s Answers to Gartner’s Top 10 Trends 2019

Steve Denby

Head of Sales Enablement

Trend 1: Serverless computing:

Want to develop and deploy without ever having to worry about provisioning and managing servers yourselves? Serverless computing, and function platform as a service (FPaaS), allows you to do just that. Their biggest USPs are rapid scaling and highly granular billing.

10% of IT organisations already use serverless computing. This trend will become mainstream between 2020 and 2022

Node4’s Answer: To benefit from serverless computing, you will likely require a hybrid configuration merging co-Location, IaaS and public cloud, serverless architecture. As hybrid cloud experts, we will be happy to get you up to speed on the benefits of serverless computing.

Trend 2: Artificial intelligence (AI) impacts

By 2022, AI will make businesses nearly $3.9 trillion globally. Hardly surprising since it enables businesses to do more, do it faster, grow infrastructure, and keep teams lean. The critical timeframe for this trend is between 2021 and 2023.

Node4’s Answer: Node4 has the expertise and solutions to make AI a reality. WAN capabilities, excellent peering between tier one carriers, public cloud providers and SAS applications mean we are ideally placed to help any organisation prepare for their AI journey.

Trend 3: Network agility (or lack of?)

Network teams have focused hard on increasing availability, with great improvements, but now, the focus must move to operations performing at a faster pace. As cloud maturity stresses the network, and the scale of ‘things’ and endpoints grow, networks must adapt to support these needs.

Node4’s Answer: The critical time to develop network agility is now. It’s time to focus on applications and services and provide real-time optimisation to ensure fantastic customer and employee experience. Node4 offers the very best SD-WAN technology with advanced security and monitoring to ensure that applications are secure and performant.



Trend 4: Death of the data centre

Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will shut down their traditional data centres. In fact, 10% of organisations already have. Not everything will be going to the cloud, but IT leaders do need to think about where current and future workloads are best placed.

“Organizations need to create environments that house more agile infrastructures both on-premise and in the cloud. The critical time frame for which is 2021 to 2025.”

Node4’s Answer: Node4 has a 15-year pedigree in building and operating both data centres and cloud infrastructure as a service platform. We have an expert team of virtualisation architects and project managers to help plan and execute data centre migrations, whether they be physical to physical, physical to virtual, virtual to virtual or any to hybrid.

Trend 5: Edge computing

Edge computing allows workloads to be located in closer proximity to the customer to solve a specific business problem.

Studies show that web-facing companies lose customers after just two seconds of slow loading time. Edge computing reduces latency and will become more popular as businesses catch on. The critical time frame for this trend is 2020 to 2023.

In scenarios when edge computing is needed, it’s imperative to ensure the right level of security and management for patching and updates.

Node4’s Answer: Node4 offers a managed service for on-premise equipment such as servers, routers, switches and desktops, which integrate into our managed MPLS or SD-WAN services. Together these provide a cohesive solution for edge-based computing requirements.


Trend 6: Digital diversity management

Digital diversity management is about identifying, discovering, managing and monitoring the explosion of diverse assets and technologies in today’s modern digital enterprise.

These days, we have almost too many options regarding where to host or build our applications. This creates both opportunities and challenges.

Challenges linked to this trend include analysis paralysis, maintaining an accurate inventory, and avoiding exponential wastage. The critical time frame for this trend is 2020 to 2025.

Node4’s Answer: Two of the biggest areas to look at are data loss prevention and 360-degree security. Node4 offers a full suite of services that help our customers stay in control of their data and keep it secure.

Trend 7: New roles within I&O

I&O is increasingly taking on the role of supporting cloud services, requiring skills in aggregation, customization, integration and governance. A big challenge with cloud services is exposure to unexpected costs. In order to optimize costs and simplify complexity, capabilities to broker, support and govern many new types of services must evolve. The critical time frame for this trend starts immediately — in 2019.

Node4’s Answer: Node4’s N4Stack team provides specialist support to customers navigating digital transformation into public cloud services. Our scaffold concept helps you build a footprint in public cloud while minimising risk of overspend on metered services. We also offer cost analysis and ‘get well’ planning for organisations struggling with an existing environment where costs are not under control.


Trend 8: SaaS denial

Despite SaaS being a preference for many organisations, most IT professionals are still focused on delivery and support of IaaS and PaaS solutions. “I&O leaders need to gain insight into SaaS from a security and compliance perspective and offer the enterprise integration and service delivery capabilities that their business expects.” The critical time frame for this trend is 2019 to 2021.

Node4’s Answer: Moving to SaaS applications can create challenges around performance, data integration, compliance and backup/archiving. Node4 has a long history of supporting customer migrations, through private network peering to SaaS or public cloud, managed desktop support services and managed SD-WAN/MPLS. When delivered correctly, SaaS provides excellent performance and removes the complexity of traditionally hosted (IaaS/PaaS) databases and application stacks.

Trend 9: Talent management becomes critical

Historically, IT staff have been organised vertically, based on the technology stack they manage. Organisations still need depth of technical expertise, but also now demand better collaboration from people who can work horizontally across teams.

Getting people to think beyond their stack is a challenge, given that the traditional model paid them to be an expert in it. IT leaders must adapt their cultures and get people out of their bubble. The success of hybrid infrastructures depends on the talent behind them.” The critical time frame for this trend is now.

Node4’s Answer: Cultural shifts take time. Now more than ever, it is true that buying in the right skills from a managed service partner, such as Node4, removes the huge overhead of infrastructure maintenance and retaining the right skillset. As you grow and adapt your team to deal with working in a horizontal model looking after Azure services, Office365, software as a service and hosted telephony or collaboration tools, you need to understand how to keep everything aligned and running smoothly.

Blog-Gartner_Global Infrastructure

Trend 10: Global infrastructure enablement

;As an organisation’s customers and suppliers grow to span the globe, I&O leaders must deliver infrastructure everywhere. The question then becomes: How can I&O leaders enable this within a realistic budget?

Becoming digital at scale raises the bar for I&O teams and their partners. Leaders need to identify the right partnership strategy to surround themselves with an ecosystem of capabilities and support.

“Pick your partners wisely, as they will play a large role in helping to evolve and scale your organisation’s’ infrastructure moving forward. Avoid surrounding yourself with a B team.” The critical time frame for this trend is 2020 to 2023.

Node4’s Answer: One of Node4’s greatest strengths is our flexibility. Through our wholly-owned services in the UK, we operate end-to-end services that are supported by our own SLA’s. We then partner with global carriers and data centre providers to extend customer environments into new territories as they grow and open new offices. Node4 offers hosted application and telephony for UK based businesses that need to expand overseas.