Dimension Data will ramp up its digital efforts in 2017, as the ICT solutions provider responds to growing end-user appetite for digitalisation.
“Today, there’s no such thing as a digital strategy - just strategy in a digital world,” Dimension Data CTO, Ettienne Reinecke, said.
Reinecke said digital is about building “truly customer-centric business models” on IT including the network, data centre, applications, and other infrastructure - which may be on-premise, or cloud based.
“And while the digital age is creating a degree of uncertainty for some organisations, it’s also opening the doors to exciting possibilities and ushering in an era of infinite potential,” Reinecke added.
Reinecke said ownership and access to data - and metadata - remains a core focus for the ICT solutions provider in 2017 and beyond.
“In the year ahead, control and ownership of data and metadata will emerge as a point of discussion - and indeed contention,” Reinecke added.
“That’s because data and metadata are the ‘gold dust’ that allow organisations to glean rich insights about customer behaviour.
“In addition, metadata allows organisations to identify specific behavioural patterns, derive business intelligence, and make informed business decisions.”
As a result, Reinecke believes organisations are becoming increasingly protective of metadata, and wary of who has access to it.
“Organisations don’t just want ownership and control of their data for compliance reasons: they want it to perform analytics,” Reinecke added.
“We expect that this will trigger some interesting discussions between businesses and their cloud providers.
“For example, where are the boundaries with respect to ownership, especially around metadata. We foresee this issue resulting in a bit of ‘push and pull’ among the various parties.”
According to Reinecke, other focuses for Dimension Data in 2017 will centre around utilising intelligence to combat cyber security, while taking advantage of augmented reality, the Internet of Things and emerging data centre technologies.
“Cyber crime is big business,” Reinecke explained. “Over the last few years, cyber criminals have been re-investing much of the ill-gotten gains into developing more sophisticated capabilities, using more advanced technologies.
“Despite ongoing innovation in the cyber security industry, much of the effort remains reactive. Cyber security will become more predictive, rather than proactive.”
From an augmented reality standpoint, Reinecke said machines are now being embedded in the workspace for tomorrow.
“A new generation is starting to show up at work, and they’re not millennials, or even Gen Z: they’re machines,” Reinecke added.
“And it won’t be much longer before holographics, augmented reality, and virtual reality begin to move from B2C into B2B.
"Also, over the next two to three years these technologies will drive a fundamental transformation of the workspace.”
Delving deeper, Reinecke believes the Internet of Things is delivering on the promise of big data, with projects going through multiple updates in a single year.
“And the Internet of Things (IoT) is largely the reason,” Reinecke added. “That’s because IoT makes it possible to examine specific patterns that deliver specific business outcomes, and this has to increasingly be done in realtime.
"This will drive a healthier investment, and faster return in big data projects.”
Meanwhile, Reinecke said container technology stands tall as the "new disruptor in the data centre" and a key enabler for hybrid IT.
“In 2017 we’ll see more widespread adoption of containers, but the transition to a fully containerised world will take few more years,” Reinecke added.
“In addition, we’ll see increasing adoption of network function virtualisation (NFV) when cloud-enabling existing networks, and for new networks to be architected with hybrid cloud in mind.”