2017 Expert Predictions

Accudata’s Experts provide their top recommendations for keeping up with the pace of change in 2017. From the top security concerns and trending technologies, to business insights and hybrid cloud deployments, they’re covering it all.

“With the primary public cloud providers, such as AWS and Azure, continuing to add additional Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings and the addition of more Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions, the ability to leverage public platforms as an extension of the company’s existing infrastructure is becoming easier, and is harder to ignore.  Additionally, public cloud providers are providing a range of services to help drive customers to Managed IT service models. They offer hybrid infrastructures with services that allow traditional IT departments to implement shared infrastructure models, making them more agile.

Finally, IT consumption has transitioned from a user/desktop model to a more collaborative model. The need for IT organizations to be flexible and agile is no longer an option, but an expectation. The public cloud helps provide choices that did not exist before, allowing IT to move at a much faster pace.”

Russell Moore, Solutions Architect


“The attack landscape is ever-changing and constantly evolving.  Security without a strategy leads decreased ROI on investments and increased TCO.  It is important for companies to understand the common attack vectors and why they are common.  According to NSS Labs, SSL secures 25% and 35% of Internet traffic and according to Gartner, 4 out of 5 companies do not have an SSL strategy.  Now that you’re aware of these statistics, know that hackers are also well informed of this “perfect storm”.  51% of attacks in 2016 have been encrypted and it is expected by the end of 2017, this will increase to near 100%.  An SSL decryption strategy utilizing solutions such as F5’s SSL Orchestrator is key to adapting to this threat vector and give companies’ network security infrastructure a chance to effectively do its job while maintaining performance and scalability.  Also consider other common, highly effective attack techniques such as phishing attacks (i.e. Business Email Compromise) and social engineering.  According to a report from PhishLabs, phishing remains the easiest and most productive attack vector used by criminals, both novice and professional.  Again, being aware of these attack trends should influence your companies’ security strategy and open your eyes to the importance of next generation email security solutions such as Proofpoint and the value in security awareness training for employees.  ‘Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy,’ Sun Tzu.”

Alex Vasquez, Solutions Architect


“With access to the ‘low hanging fruit’ of IoT devices, which are typically attached to the Internet and not built with good security measures in mind, bad actors will have the capability to deploy DDoS attacks en masse – some of which we’ve already see in 2016. This is a given in 2017, and systems will need to be developed to better handle these types of attacks. Specific to DDoS, F5 Silverline and other hybrid solutions are great options to mitigate this risk. But, in general, EVERY aspect of a company’s environment needs to be built and maintained with security in mind. That is why Accudata’s Secure By Design methodology is engrained in each and every client engagement.”

Mark Kinnear, Solutions Architect


“Enterprise networks are undergoing significant changes. With added complexity and fundamental shifts in traditional network design, infrastructure groups have been challenged to adapt their networks to new automated technologies that deliver services on demand. Digital Network Architecture (DNA) is about transforming your networking environment to utilize software solutions that provide rapid threat response and containment on the network, and can also automate complex tasks instead of configuring one device or solution at a time.

DNA also provides enhanced analytics (beyond just up/down status), and can be used to diagnose and resolve networks issues instead of manually tracking problems. You can also provision network devices without ever having to physically touch them, and create an underlying work flow for event management. When these tools are properly utilized, you will never have to wonder if someone is responding to an alert or the status of a new device’s implementation. The network has a wealth of information that, if harnessed, can provide in-depth insights into application performance and user behavior – allowing you to adapt the network to the needs of the business.

With recent wireless technology advances like WAVE 2, we are seeing moves to use utilize wireless AC as a primary form of connection. These performance insights become even more critical as the healthcare, manufacturing, and retail industries adopt these tools and technologies. Giving these organizations the ability to collect consumer and/or productivity insights allows them to improve the customer experience and gain an important competitive edge.”

Jason Fackrell, Solutions Architect


“Consumers are finally gaining confidence in the security and usability of as-a-service solutions. We’ll finally start a huge acceleration of public cloud (Azure + AWS) consumed as the primary method of IT services. Most businesses will be looking for assistance in implementing reliable identity-as-a-service solutions, like Okta, and of course, migration services to make the transition seamless. 2017 is the year of making the cloud mainstream in business.”

Thanh Nguyen, Data Center Practice Manager


“Storage trends continue to evolve rapidly:

  • All flash arrays continuing to become more relevant this year as the cost continues to go down with manufacturers offering flat maintenance renewals and included controller upgrades after 3 years
  • Backup-as-a-Service and DR-as-a-Service will gain market share as IT shops want to get out of this business, increasing reliability and decreasing costs.
  • Hyperconverged will continue to grow in market share with more adoption as companies invest in technologies that are right-sized for their environment – paying for only what they consume today and giving them the flexibility to scale out linearly.
  • Secondary storage (Cohesity) is becoming a hot top now as we start to talk to our customers about its capabilities.  Backup, archive, file services, test/dev, and cloud tiering are all important IT services that companies can take advantage of and wisely spend their money for the rapidly growing data requirements.

It’s imperative that IT leaders stay creative and think outside the box to keep up with the pace of change in Data Center technologies. Be sure to understand what you currently own, optimize it, and understand how it can be integrated with new technologies to stay ahead of the curve.”

Vid Sista, Practice Director

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