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Digital Transformation is sweeping through every industry, and those who don’t embrace it could be left in the cold—think Borders bookstore or Blockbuster Video. Naturally, channel partners are anxious to play an integral part in modernizing customer infrastructures and shaping businesses, however, identifying where to focus is key. Keep reading to get a handle on the shifts this year will bring, and where you should invest in 2018 and beyond.

 

Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Strategies Will Gain Momentum

The cloud drives digital transformation, but it’s unlikely your customers will utilize a single cloud provider in 2018. They will mix and match public cloud providers, and maintain on-premises infrastructure for applications that simply aren’t good candidates for the cloud, such as those with unique architecture or compliance requirements. In fact, IDC predicts that by 2021, enterprise spending on cloud services and infrastructure will be more than $530 billion and over 90% of enterprises will use multiple cloud services and platforms.[1]

 

Nevertheless, working across multiple clouds offers challenges such as lack of consistent operations, complexity, and risk to name a few.. Therefore, our vision to enable your customers to work with any app, any cloud, and any device—seamlessly—is the driving force behind our strategy. With VMware Cloud Foundation™ we simplify multi and hybrid cloud infrastructure by enabling a consistent architecture and providing the same set of tools to manage, secure, automate, and operate on any device or cloud. What’s more, we’ve extended our familiar VMware on-premise deployment to the public cloud, and we partner with several cloud providers, such as IBM Cloud, Rackspace, AWS and others. Learn more about our multi and hybrid cloud solutions by visiting our website.

Containers Will Become Mainstream

Clear the decks. 2018 is underway and containers are gaining momentum in the data center. As a matter of fact, in 2017, the container orchestration project, Kubernetes, was the most-discussed repository on GitHub[2] and it’s quickly becoming the new standard for container management. Plus, according to IDC, containers will continue to infiltrate the enterprise. Apps will shift toward hyper-agile architectures, and over 95% of new microservices will be deployed in containers by 2021.[3]

Why containers? Working hand-in-hand with multi-cloud strategies, containers and Kubernetes guarantee consistency of apps no matter where they’re deployed while eliminating dependencies on underlying infrastructures. What’s more, there’s exciting news for those in the IT channel. We’ve teamed up with Pivotal and Google to deliver Kubernetes-based container services for multi-cloud enterprises and service providers. Coined as Pivotal Container Service™ (PKS), we deliver a comprehensive solution for deploying and operating production-ready Kubernetes on VMware vSphere® and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Refer to our Cloud-Native Apps blog to learn more about how you can take advantage of our solutions for container management.

The IoT Will Continue to Explode

Life before robot vacuums, connected thermostats, and other smart devices is hard to imagine, and beyond these common consumer applications, the IoT fuels our smart cities, monitors our environment, and even detects anomalies in our bodies. Gartner forecasts that by 2020, IoT technology will be in 95% of electronics for new product designs.[4] That’s a huge uptake.

As the Internet of Things continues to explode, management of IoT devices will be top priority for your customers. Plus, security is a big concern. As an example, one of the largest cybersecurity attacks was a result of the Mirai botnet virus, which targeted poorly protected IoT devices that used their factory default credentials. This attack paralyzed Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, CNN and a myriad of other sites in 2016. IoT disruption in the data center is inevitable, and your customers will need tools to onboard, manage, monitor and secure the IoT from the edge to the cloud. We address these challenges through the VMware Pulse IoT Center.

AI Will Transform Work

2017 was the year that artificial intelligence broke through barriers and emerged as technology that can’t be ignored. But fear not—it’s not made up of intelligent machines like HAL from the Space Odyssey series. It’s transforming the way we work and live today in profound ways. As we move into 2018 and beyond, and computing becomes increasingly advanced and economical, Gartner predicts that the ability to use AI to enhance decision making, reinvent business models, and remake customer experiences will drive the payoff for digital initiatives through 2025.[5]

For example, today, AI is emerging in the cybersecurity space because of its ability to analyze vast amounts of data. To illustrate, machine learning has made its way into VMware products, such as VMware AppDefense, which protects applications running in virtualized environments through automated threat detection, response, and remediation of security events and malicious activity.

What’s Next

These transformative technologies may be the key to setting yourself apart as we move into 2018 and beyond. Be sure to stay apprised of updates from VMware – tune in on March 7 to hear the next important milestone in the VMware Cloud strategy.

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Sources:

[1] IDC, IDC Predictions Provide a Blueprint and Key Building Blocks for Becoming a Digital Native Enterprise, https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS43185317

 

[2] Github/Octoverse, The State of Octoverse 2017, https://octoverse.github.com/

 

[3] IDC, IDC Predictions Provide a Blueprint and Key Building Blocks for Becoming a Digital Native Enterprise, https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS43185317

 

[4] Gartner, Gartner Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 and Beyond, https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartner-top-strategic-predictions-for-2018-and-beyond/

 

[5] Gartner, Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018, https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3812063