IT's next moves: Adaptiva forecasts 2017 surges in enterprise Win10 adoption and cloud software deployment

The next year will bring an increased emphasis on technologies that drive productivity and efficiency for IT.

Business leaders are increasingly becoming dependent on enterprise IT personnel to boost productivity at every level within a company, while keeping costs down and their data safe. With more devices being used by enterprises to stay connected and a stronger reliance on technology throughout all departments, even sales, HR and customer service which historically haven’t leveraged technologies to boost productivity, IT has their hands full. On top of that, faster software release cycles and increased security threats add to the demands that today’s IT professionals face.    

This broadened role increases the pressure on enterprise IT personnel to do more with their current infrastructure and rapidly deliver technologies to a global workforce. As businesses try to keep pace with today’s fast-paced, data-driven economy, IT departments are often put on the front lines to deliver innovation throughout their organisation. The next year will bring an increased emphasis on technologies that drive productivity and efficiency for IT, so I predict we’ll see a surge in Windows 10 adoption, software deployment via the cloud, unified endpoint management, and security automation. Here’s what I see coming up in 2017: 

2017 will be remembered as the year of universal enterprise Windows 10 adoption 

Windows 10 quickly capitalised on more than 20 per cent of the consumer software market with downloads on 400 million devices in 15 months—breaking adoption records for both Windows 7 and 8. However, enterprise migration is slower as companies evaluate the cost and complexity of moving onto Microsoft’s newest operating system. According to Adaptiva’s 2016 Windows 10 Enterprises Adoption Survey, many enterprises (41 per cent) have gone so far as to actively resist the move by using software to prevent or disable Windows 10 installation.

That’s all expected to change in the coming year as over half of those survey takers (64 per cent) plan to make the switch within the next 6 months. I anticipate this exodus will be voluntary, but I expect Microsoft to keep the ball rolling if the pace loses its steam, which may include bold steps to reduce support for Windows 7/8/8.1 or promotions that sweeten the pot with Microsoft Azure and Office 365 to get reluctant IT departments to switch.

Forty per cent of software deployment will go through the cloud by 2018

“More than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years,” Gartner says. Software deployment, which has traditionally been immune to the draw of the cloud, is primed to flip the switch. We will see a surge of enterprises on this trajectory between now and 2018 as they convert from traditional on-premise server infrastructures to the cloud for deploying software. 

These new technologies will make deployments easier, automatic, and less impactful on companies’ networks. This is supported by our own recent Cloud Adoption Survey, which showed 40 per cent of the 300 IT respondents plan to use the cloud for software deployment in the next two years.

In 2017, a few industry giants will emerge to define the holy grail of unified endpoint management

With an increasingly mobile workforce and an ever-growing list of devices leveraged to do their jobs anytime from anywhere, companies must find ways to embrace Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) usage in the workplace. With all the buzz in 2016, it’s clear IT departments want a unified endpoint management model to improve efficiency by supporting software distributions and security updates to all devices (whether a laptop, tablet, mobile phone, or wearable) from a single interface. 

With the endpoint evolution in full swing, I foresee only a select group of industry giants will demonstrate they have what it takes to keep up with the pace of change. As top Client Management platforms continue their integrations with top Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) platforms, watch for a couple of key players to emerge who will be capable of truly delivering on the vision for unified endpoint management in the near term.

Cyber defence will become the name of the game as enterprises use automated security solutions to thwart attacks in real-time

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, data breaches have increased by 15 per cent in 2016 compared to last year with more than 29 million records being exposed. Gartner adds it’s only going to get worse as “the continuing evolution of the 'hacker industry' and its use of increasingly sophisticated tools — including the same advanced technologies available to enterprises — significantly increase the threat potential.” 

The cost of cleaning up after just one of these cybercrimes can easily exceed $4 million, according to IBM and the U.S.-based Ponemon Institute’s 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study. Even if they can foot the bill, a company’s reputation may never heal. I’ve seen it happened first-hand and enterprises are paying closer attention, increasingly looking to stop these attacks where they most often occur – on their employees’ PCs. 

Expect enterprises to fight back by implementing automated solutions that identify and resolve endpoint security issues in real-time without manual intervention. To safeguard their data, companies will seek out adaptive security architectures that can identify security issues and react immediately with defensive actions.  

Looking to automation solutions across a wide variety of areas, including Windows 10 and endpoint security, will provide IT personnel in 2017 with the assistance they need to keep up with the pace of innovation, whether it’s accommodating their own company’s business strategies or exploring different technologies to make their teams more productive, connected and efficient.

 Jim Souders, Chief Operating Officer, Adaptiva
Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chief Operating Officer Jim Souders is responsible for overseeing operations at Adaptiva to support the continued success and rapid customer adoption of the company’s market-leading smart scaling systems management solutions. Jim has more than 20 years of experience in multi-stage company evolution and development.