The digital era presents huge opportunities for organizations in the Asia-Pacific region: those that can successfully navigate digital transformation have the potential to leapfrog global competition. IDC predicts that APAC organizations will spend over $375.8 billion on digital transformation-related activities this year. Adoption of IoT (Internet of Things), data analytics, AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning) and robotics continue to rise as more organizations invest in technology that can help meet customer demands for immediate information and services.
Businesses across industries are looking to adapt and transform their IT strategy to keep up with customer expectations and remain at the forefront of innovation. From refreshing the organisational structure to implementing new technologies to enhancing infrastructure, businesses are continuously seeking to significantly improve agility and efficiency.
As business leaders, how can we ensure successful IT transformation? The answer lies in three game-changers – DevOps, containers, and Software-Defined Infrastructure (SDI).
DevOps: Breaking down development and operation barriers
DevOps is transforming the world of software development and deployment. It is an IT concept that aims to break down the barriers between the Development and Operations teams that have traditionally operated in silos. The concept is sound: if software developers and operations professionals can work more closely together then building and deploying applications can take less time, cost less, and can be more effective and reliable. The key factor is that integration of development and operations teams can speed up the deployment of new functionality, bringing ideas to market sooner and with greater frequency.
One of the early adopters of DevOps was Facebook, and this approach has enabled the tech giant to continuously develop, improve, integrate and test its applications rapidly. The platform serves over two billion users globally and DevOps is key to helping them meet customer expectations and improve user experiences.
The APAC DevOps market will grow at a compound annual rate of 20.2 percent between 2017 and 2023. Businesses looking to be more responsive to customer needs should adopt DevOps to promote internal collaboration and more closely align their whole software development process to business objectives and customer requirements.
Containers: Faster, lighter and highly versatile
Often working hand-in-hand with DevOps, containers are a way of taking virtualization to the next level of efficiency. They are self-contained and isolated environments that include everything that the code enclosed within them needs to run independently. Simply put, businesses can break down an application into independent, loosely coupled features that can be delivered faster, updated more frequently, and run using containers.
Kubernetes is the de facto container management system worldwide and CIOs consider it to be the gold standard for container management – particularly when it comes to supporting DevOps within their business. Kubernetes groups application containers into logical “packages” for simple, fast management and discovery. It also automates the deployment and scaling of containerised applications. By leveraging a packaged Kubernetes platform that runs either on-premise or in the cloud, businesses can now deliver software products and services rapidly, frequently and at scale.
The application container market is estimated to surpass USD 2.7 billion by 2020. Furthermore, SUSE’s research revealed that 27 percent of organizations are already running containerized applications and that 44 percent plan on using them within the next 12 months.
SDI: Future of the data centre
Software-defined infrastructure (SDI) is expected to go vogue in near future, with 95 percent of organizations believing that it is the future of the data center. Data centers have traditionally been built using hardware architecture that are too rigid and slow to respond to the needs of dynamic modern applications. By contrast, SDI focuses on software innovation over hardware, offering a more flexible and responsive data center architecture.
Compute, networking and storage capacity is provided in dynamic, easy-to-use pools of resources that are quickly deployed and easily managed, based on the needs of the workloads or users. IT teams now have freed up resources to focus on creating and managing new services and capabilities.
From startups to Fortune 500 companies, the costs associated with the administrative tasks of setup and configuration maintenance are significantly reduced. Businesses no longer need expensive proprietary hardware because advanced functionality and automation are delivered by software.
Delivering IT transformation
Successfully delivering IT transformation involves business strategy, people, processes, tools, investment and a host of other factors. However, simply knowing what needs to be done isn’t enough.
SUSE’s research shows that DevOps, containers and SDI dovetail as critical elements in the transformation strategy for most businesses. All three have been around for some time. Cloud computing and SDI are well into their second decade, while DevOps got its start way back in 2008, and Linux containers were first available that same year. All the ingredients are there; the real secret to IT transformation success is how to bring all the elements together successfully to get the job done. The good news is that APAC businesses are ready and raring to get started.