Digital transformation pressure, combined with pandemic-driven changes, will move us into a world where anything that isn't cloud is considered legacy, one Gartner analyst said.
The cloud, says Gartner, is going to be the centerpiece of new digital experiences. For businesses that means it's time to adopt a cloud-first approach, or risk languishing in an on-premise data center.
The changes that Gartner says are on the horizon will mean major shifts in the way the world does business over the next few years, the results of which Gartner said will be more than 85% of organizations embracing a cloud-first strategy by 2025, and 95% of new digital workloads being deployed on cloud-native platforms (up from 30% in 2021).
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Milind Govekar, distinguished research VP at Gartner, said that business strategy and cloud strategy will be inseparable in the near future, which was made obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic. "The cloud was able to demonstrate that you can continue to run your business globally, during a pandemic with minimum glitches, when employees have to shift to work from home practically overnight," Govekar said.
In short, expect cloud-native technology to be growing rapidly in the next few years, and practically everywhere by 2025.
Along with a shift in the types of infrastructure businesses use, the change will also affect IT teams and professionals due to changing business models that will "turn to a product-orientated operating model where the entire value stream of the business and IT will have to be aligned by products," Gartner said. That means new roles and responsibilities will be created, while other roles may vanish.
Expect low/no-code and SASE to grow rapidly, too
As the business world turns toward a product-based future, so too will applications shift from full-scale development to "application assembly and integration," Gartner said. By that, Gartner means that apps will be composed and assembled by the teams that use them, and not necessarily developers, which means low and no-code will grow greatly in the next few years.
"By 2025, 70% of new applications developed by organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020," the report said. "Low code and no code will be a force multiplier to accommodate the digital skills that business technologists have," Govekar said.
Secure access service edge, or SASE, will grow into a service indispensable to businesses, especially those with multiple locations or equipment in the field. By 2022, Gartner predicts that end-user SASE spending will reach $6.8 billion, up from $4.8 billion in 2021. Gartner is also predicting that more than 50% of businesses will have SASE adoption strategies by 2025, as opposed to less than five percent in 2020.
How can IT professionals prepare?
The idea that development teams are going to be replaced by low-code software and that existing IT skills will become irrelevant in the next few years is enough to give anyone pause to think about the future. Not so fast, though — jobs will transform, and people will have to adapt, but there will still be a need for skilled tech professionals, said Govekar.
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Instead of developing regular applications for internal or external use, developers will be used "for development of applications/capabilities that make use of the cloud native platforms and to develop hybrid cloud capabilities for business differentiation and/or for developing systems of innovation," Govekar said.
He also recommends that tech professionals spend some time learning about automation, APIs, scrum methodology, portfolio management, containers, site reliability engineering, system integration, machine learning and AI, data integration, application security, infrastructure as code and CI/CD. "These are just some of the skills that tech professionals will need in the next few years," Govekar said.
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