2017: A New Year with new projects?

2017: A New Year with new projects?

I’m not big into new year’s resolutions. Too often they are just words that we never act on. When you stop and think about it, the dawning of a new year is just another day on the calendar: December 31 turns into January 1. Big deal, right?

While we as individuals may scoff at new year’s resolutions, IT shops across the world make plans for the new year, building out a list of projects they intend to deliver in 2017. I have been taking note of some of those projects as I talk with customers and study the market.

Here is a sampling of what I am hearing as top IT resolutions for 2017.

Use more Linux

Linux use is on the rise and there are many projects that are well suited to Linux deployment. Of course, Linux has been a mainstream enterprise platform for a long time now, but there have been some holdouts. One of the notable holdouts was Microsoft. Under the leadership of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, all that is changing. Microsoft recently joined the Linux Foundation and they have published that nearly a third of all cloud servers on the Azure cloud are running Linux VMs. So Linux matters to Microsoft.

DBAs are excited too because SQL Server is coming to Linux. In fact, the public preview has been available for a couple of months and SQL Server excitement is building to levels not seen before. A lot of shops have a mix of SQL Server and other historically lower-cost, easy-to-use platforms like MySQL. Those DBAs appreciate the features of SQL Server and would love to standardize on SQL Server, but until 2017 they could not do so without giving up Linux. That’s going to change and that’s why 2017 will mean that DBAs will use more Linux.

Be more secure

Unless you live in a cave with no internet access (how are you reading this blog!?), you have heard of the many public security breaches to hit enterprises in 2016. That won’t change in 2017, but what will change is that companies will take security more seriously and invest more in solving these problems. Hackers (criminals) have not stopped at stealing credit card data or shutting down services with DoS attacks, but have now moved on to ransomware, where a corporation’s data is literally held hostage until the hackers are paid. How will companies handle this in 2017?

IT departments will increasingly realize that it’s not enough to secure their network and their systems. They need to secure the engine that delivers their precious data, the database platform and the database itself. In 2017 we’ll see an increase in IT teams that look for database-specific solutions to these problems. These teams will implement ongoing active security monitoring of the database environment while developing the type of compliance reporting necessary to prove to auditors that their data is more secure in 2017.

Embrace the cloud

Most enterprise companies have used private cloud and cloud infrastructure-as-a-service for several years now. However, most companies have remained cautious in terms of adoption of cloud databases in 2016. These services, also known as DBaaS, provide the greatest potential business benefits of cloud for data teams. A properly designed DBaaS strategy will significantly increase the flexibility and growth potential of any enterprise while keeping costs in line with the business in a way that is simply not possible in traditional deployments.

In 2017 we will see IT departments rise to embrace these cloud services. Instead of implementing them reluctantly to satisfy a CXO mandate, the database teams will voluntarily increase the number of workloads deployed to cloud DBaaS as they come to realize the many benefits and learn to overcome the unique challenges of these services. More DBAs than ever before will seek to learn the ins and outs of cloud databases, and leading services such as Azure SQL and Amazon RDS will see the number of databases grow by unprecedented levels. To make this a reality DBAs will look to existing DB management vendors to provide tools that simplify the transition to the cloud while addressing its unique security concerns. The combination of full-featured cost-effective cloud services and an ecosystem of solutions that help manage this next generation of databases will make 2017 the year that teams move from resisting the cloud to embracing the cloud.

What does your 2017 look like?

How do you see these three priorities ranked in your IT resolutions for the new year? What challenges do you think need to be addressed? Sound off in the comments below.

Happy New Year!