Great Scot! It’s the future…

(Image: Stockfresh)

21 October 2016

Paul HearnsPredictions are hard, goes the old axiom, especially about the future.

Well, if the latest round of predictions is anything to go by, we’ll soon live in a world without private data centres, where we talk more to machines than spouses and our lives are viewed through the prism of augmented reality overlays.

DC dodos
Starting with a 451 Research paper that establishes a threshold for the current environment where private cloud starts to give way to public cloud in terms of cost of operation, through to a Gartner prediction that private data centres will effectively disappear in the next four years or so, it seems clear that as the economics of scale, and manageability change, there will be less and less sense behind companies operating their own facilities.

Again, specialist needs, regulation, geographical concerns etc., may still apply, but even these will fade. As we reported recently, even heavily regulated industries are now begin catered for in the cloud, as Egenera has partnered with Odyssey Validation Consultants to offer a new compliant GxP Cloud Service, on the service provider’s Xterity Cloud platform, to serve highly regulated industries such as pharmachem and medical devices.

Pace of change
Within this context, we are seeing major change, but as evidenced from the recent itSMF conference, such change, even at a furious pace, does not have to be chaotic. Several speakers described continuous change and improvement as governable, through the likes of ITIL, Lean IT principles and improvements in collaboration through the more organisational use of the likes of Agile methodologies.

Andrew Humphrey of Autotrader characterised it beautifully, when he said “Agile was enabling us to dismantle bureaucracy, not just challenge it.”

And yet, within all of this is an underlying trend that seems so repetitious as to be tedious — organisations are failing on the basics of security.

New hack
This very morning, we are hearing of a hack on the popular self-build web site maker Weebly. It has been suggested that 43 million user details have been compromised, in an attack that dates from February of this year. This ties in with Ponemon Institute findings of recent years which suggest that 256 days is the average age of breach before discovery, with most breaches being discovered by third parties or law enforcement. In this case, a leak site seems to have been the notifier.

Added to this, is a general lack of awareness among organisations of impending obligations under new legislation, as shown by a Dell survey regarding GDPR, and while we appear to be hurtling toward a future of machine-led, public service driven architectures, we seem to be doing so in an all too familiar manner.

Perhaps the move away from privately operated DCs is a good thing insofar as it may actually change attitudes toward allowing larger service providers to take care of things for which their relative scale is better suited — namely, combatting the ever growing tide of intelligent malware and targeted cybercrime that threatens to derail the rosy future envisaged by the likes of Gartner et al.

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