Dateline Gold Coast, Australia, October 2015, at Australia’s largest IT event.

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This is a decisive moment. A digital wave is sweeping through every industry, organization and culture. There is no room to stand on the sidelines, no safe haven to ride out this disruption. Digital will continue to define and redefine business for an entire generation to come.”

- Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President, Gartner Research

 

Innovation, disruption and the challenges facing IT executives were all hot topics at this year’s Gartner Symposium, dominated by the topic du jour, “Bimodal IT”. Hyperbole aside, this translates to Gartner’s high level view that there needs to be two types of IT in today’s organistation :

1. Traditional (physical) IT – stable, robust, secure infrastructure designed to run legacy information systems

2. The NEW IT – designed from the ground up to bridge the “digital divide” between today’s existing IT infrastructure and the current needs of today’s business IT.

 

The New IT is obviously that geared towards the non-physical, ie virtualized, cloud-based and fully orchestrated, to support next-generation business initiatives in a dynamic and efficient way. Gartner’s guidance on the topic boils down to the recommendation that companies will need new organizations and (obviously) additional IT infrastructure to support both of these two operational modes.

Key recommendations : Gartner was strongly emphasizing the fact in many of their presentations that the new “Bimodal IT” will only be possible or successfully supported by those vendors who span both domains. So companies following this methodology – which seems to be pretty much everyone these days, especially in Australia – must look very carefully to their IT vendor list and make sure that they only choose those vendors who do what they need in all form factors – Physical, Virtual and Cloud. Obviously, significant economies of scale, TCO reductions and operational simplicity will result from a common provisioning, management and orchestration framework across all environments.

What a coincidence that F5 already supports this, via BIG IP, BIG IP VE, BIG IP Cloud and BIG IQ !

 

Technical Detail

The overall Gartner conference was divided into three streams – Business Outcomes, Leadership and Technology and Information, which to my mind contained the most interesting and relevant information for the Asiapac IT executive. The Technology & Information stream was again divided into streams that largely reflected the “legacy” and “new” streams of Gartner’s “Bimodal IT” theme :

- Renovation of the current IT core, in order to enable today’s IT executive to modernize, measure and manage a mission critical runtime environment and partner ecosystem that is high-performing, robust, efficient and responsive to change

- Architect the Digital Business – finding patterns and using practices to deliver scalable, safe and ethical digital business solutions, and thirdly

- Plan for the Digital Future – topics for the 3-5 year digital radar.

Within all the Technology streams, the topics of digital security and risk management were common themes. It was strongly emphasized that security is of paramount importance in the new digital / virtual / cloud era, and that a comprehensive and application-focused security approach is essential to reduce risk in these new hybrid private & public cloud IT architectures.

The focus on security again plays very strongly to the strengths of F5 – as the only Physical / Virtual / Cloud Full-Proxy architecture that sits in the data flow between all users and applications, wherever they are, we have the ability to enable secure mobile solutions, deliver user-focused security, protect the enterprise and ensure proper security for cloud-based IT services.

 

If Gartner’s “big ticket” predictions and recommendations hold true, 2016 should be a fantastic year for F5.