As we look forward to 2023, modernising IT and data infrastructure is expected to be a prime focus for businesses on their digital transformation journeys, as they look for ways to maximise scalable success. The past 12 months have revealed those influential trends expected to define the approach required to maximise the value of data across many industries and types of businesses.
Analysts at Gartner have completed research into IT infrastructure, operations and cloud strategies. What they have discovered is that infrastructure and operations leaders play a critical role as businesses work to transform and enhance capabilities, improving customer experience, developing staff and skills, and building resilient and sustainable platforms and systems.
In this environment, managed services have rapidly increased in popularity, with providers expanding and specialising services in response. According to Gartner, key needs driving demand include the need to have an ‘anywhere business’, with a distributed yet centrally governed infrastructure, the ability to embrace disruptive technologies while also ensuring operational security and stability, and increased pressure to offer engaging user experiences.
Outsourcing becomes the norm, data-focused managed services spike in popularity
This increased cost pressure, combined with the ongoing talent shortage, have resulted in outsourcing IT services becoming the norm. According to the Equinix 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey, 65% of Australian IT decision-makers view a shortage of personnel with IT skills as one of the main threats to their business. Companies opting for managed services reduce pressure on their people while also managing spend. Instead, they can focus on the initiatives that will deliver value for their businesses, without sacrificing performance, security, and the stability of the data that they’re trying to collect.
Across the board, data is an area that businesses can realise notable value through entering a managed services agreement. Most companies now understand the concept of data as an asset, but many are still struggling to unlock its true potential to create new products and revenue streams. This is where outsourcing the management of big data comes into play.
Companies that collect and store their data in a managed service will effectively free up valuable time, allowing them to focus their efforts on innovation rather than keeping their data services running. Managed services enable a business to take raw data, apply context and analytics, and enable data-driven decision making.
Essentially, once businesses understand their data, they can build a virtuous cycle of new revenue streams that can generate new data and drive more customer value. In addition, tapping into established managed services allows businesses to shift their focus to innovation and develop new products with their datasets, creating additional value that can be extracted from the different ways that their data is connected.
Specialist industry cloud platforms and platform engineering
Cloud has changed the world, and the way we build applications and continues to do so. When it comes to managed services, providers are also enhancing their offerings, moving into more specialised solutions. The move towards specialist industry cloud platforms is expected to not only empower businesses, but also drive more open source adoption, especially in relation to managed services – after all, it doesn’t make much sense for specialist cloud businesses to run on proprietary software. The true value of these industry cloud platforms is in delivering deeper industry expertise, that is, the next layer of fabric in delivering hyper-specialisation technology.
Within Australia, the healthcare sector is one industry where we are seeing this specialisation emerging, with the digital health record a great example of this trend in action. New tools are being built on top of existing technology to provide industry-specific cloud solutions. This is another building block that will enable businesses to build high-value services for health professionals and, ultimately, consumers.
This is also linked to the growth in organisations outsourcing platform engineering. This describes establishing dedicated platform teams to curate and build internal platforms with composable components and reusable services. This specialist skill can build capacity for open source data products, increase optionality around cloud providers, and enable development to move faster. It can result in reduced costs – especially when compared to other options and can help boost revenue streams while remaining secure and compliant, with less risk and downtime.
At Aiven we’re excited to witness how managed data infrastructure, and open source technology, is enabling businesses to do more with their data, realising improved efficiencies, generating more revenue, and executing data-informed strategic policies.
About the Author –
Troy has over 20 years of experience with cloud and open source technologies. During that time, he has witnessed hundreds of businesses plan and execute digital transformations, realising the benefits that public cloud technologies provide. As an ex-software engineer and product manager Troy is passionate about the value that managed cloud technologies bring to a team who are striving to create solutions in an ever-changing landscape of technology. Today Troy leads the Aiven Solution Architecture team for the APAC region.