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Thoughts from Gartner Data Center Conference 2017

by Steve Pao – December 18, 2017

It’s easy to assume that most enterprises are using cloud when you live in Seattle, home to two of the three giant cloud services providers. However, spending a week at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas provided a more accurate assessment of the enterprise cloud adoption, and reconfirmed what we hear from our customers about the challenges they experience with cloud.

While enterprise IT is definitely thinking about cloud strategy, there still remain significant barriers to making cloud actually work for most businesses. Gartner breaks down the challenges of adopting cloud into the people, process, and technology.

People

What Gartner found from a poll of conference attendees was that lack of skills trumped security as the biggest concern with cloud. Security tends to be discussed more frequently as a barrier to cloud, but this poll revealed another important problem enterprises face in adopting cloud. Enterprise IT leadership believes they may require more training or third party services to help deploy cloud strategies successfully.

Another Gartner conference poll showed that attendees thought the top quality of digital era leaders was the ability to thrive despite uncertainty, followed by diversity mindset and collaborative-situational leadership.

Process

Interestingly, a Gartner poll showed that the most common backup fix planned in 2018 was to add on to existing solutions, and the second was the opposite approach: to completely replace existing solutions.

Over the next few years, Gartner predicts that half of organizations will change their current backup solution.

This prediction is somewhat reflected in the audience polls, with 22% of respondents predicting they will abandon their existing backup providers.

Technology

A Gartner conference poll revealed that hybrid cloud is the biggest datacenter challenge in 2017.

Interestingly, the challenges of cloud have driven the rise of edge computing. Edge computing eliminates key shortcomings of cloud, including latency, bandwidth, autonomy, and privacy.

However, Gartner’s Bob Gill argues that edge computing is not a competitor to cloud. Instead, enterprises can deploy both edge computing and cloud for a more complete data backup strategy.


My main takeaway was that enterprises are still struggling to implement cloud successfully, and that they are seeking help in the form of new solutions, services, and complementary strategies such as edge computing.

This is an exciting time in the enterprise backup industry. Enterprises are seeking new solutions to help them implement more effective backup strategies at scale. This means there’s an opportunity for startups like Igneous to step up and deliver innovative solutions to really difficult problems, as we’ve already done for our existing customers.

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