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OIC speaker interview 5: Roy Illsley, Principal Analyst, Software – IT Solutions, Ovum

In the latest of our Ovum Industry Congress Q&As, Roy Illsley, Principal Analyst, Software – IT Solutions, Ovum, discusses DevOps, software-defined networking, automation and how these game-changers are impacting CIOs.

Roy-Illsley-112x1352014 for most organizations is a pivotal year, most of the world is emerging from the deepest recession in living memory, and when this is combined with the advances in technology the impact on the pace of change will be dramatic. The two-day event has a wide range of topics covered, but for me it is the role of DevOps and how it will lead the way with transforming the IT department. Ovum approaches DevOps from two different perspectives, both a developer and a service and operations background. Understanding how Michael Azoff sees the DevOps movement evolving will demonstrate that change is about more than just technology.

Ovum: What do you see as the coming trends in your profession/area of expertise, and how can you prepare?

Roy Illsley: From a data centre or infrastructure perspective 2014 is all about software defined, and the dichotomy of the movement towards a disaggregation of the computing infrastructure to more local compute and storage implementation to manage the data explosion, and the vendors’ development of new converged infrastructure devices. The software defined growth is the glue that will hold these two different approaches together in a single IT strategy. However, software defined is in a battle between the proprietary development and the open standards movement. CIOs must understand the desired future state for its organization in the value of IT and ensure that the correct deployment approach is used so that they can change and extract maximum efficiencies. Ovum believes this selection is the critical aspect and needs CIOs to have access to all the latest technical trends, but for these to put into a context of what they mean.

Ovum: What in your opinion will be the next big change in the way that we work and the way in which businesses engage with their employees – and specifically the way IT has to service their customers?

Roy Illsley: For me cognitive computing is the bridging technology like the value was between mechanical computing and the digital computing era. The difference is that cognitive computing is bridging to an as yet un-known computing paradigm.  As cognitive techniques become more widespread the need for faster ways to process data will see the limitations of the digital computers become exposed. For CIOs this shift to a world where automation becomes intelligent and UIs become intuitive is leading us towards a world where technology is just a tool that most business users are happy to interact with. IT department’s role will change and the skills needed will also change as the power of cognitive automation drives more efficient IT operations, increased service levels, and reduced IT costs. But just as Jevons paradox predicts this will see greater demand for IT services.

Join us at OIC next month where Roy will be chairing the Next Generation Infrastructure and Networks track of the event. Roy is also the lead analyst at Ovum’s newly-launched Next Generation Infrastructure Forum, taking place in London in September. Find out more here.