- SD-WAN is mainstream. This is important, because it shows the influence that ONUG has had in getting vendors to better address how businesses link their headquarters with branches, suppliers and partners, making it easier, faster and cheaper.
- Second-level problems are pointing to maturity and deployments. In academic environments one can wax about “the way things should be” but in production environments you find out “how things should really be”, including all the warts and pitfalls. This is a positive sign that the solutions are actually being deployed in production environments, not in test vacuums.
- Analytics is becoming more of an issue. Beyond everything being connected, everything is now reporting health and status. This is what a business can use to fine tune and optimize everything from manufacturing processes to marketing. But businesses still have to collect and analyze all of that data, there is no “easy button” here.
- Complexity is a given. Three years go everyone said SDN will make things easier. Now companies are finding out that to gain the flexibility of SDN and open networking there will actually be more complexity. Which is why I predict that automation will be the next front in this war. The more complex things get, the more automation a business will need to offset the complexity.
- People are going to make the difference. Nobody in IT has the right skills today. Over and over, in almost every session, the call for more investment in developing people was made loud and clear. 3 years ago SDN was seen by some as a job killer, now it might actually become a résumé enhancer.
- Hybrid cloud is going to be critical. I hosted a panel on hybrid cloud (and have also recently written about it), and it is clear that there is high interest in this topic. While there are plenty of different definitions of what hybrid cloud actually means, it’s clear that almost everyone wants some kind of answer. And now.
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