DevOps: Accelerating Adoption - Faster, Better, Secure

Jennifer Thomson (Senior Research Director & Lead Accelerated App Delivery Practice)

Whether we like it or not agility, speed and sustaining enhanced customer experience are the mantras of the world in which we live today; organizations can choose to respond or inevitably find themselves fighting to stay afloat.

There is this stark realization that accelerated change is an absolute must across people, processes and technologies; every part of the organization must work faster and smarter. This drives increased adoption of DevOps practices by large IT organizations as the need for speed and higher-quality application development and deployment processes becomes an executive priority.

Close to three quarters of large European organizations have adopted – in some shape or form – DevOps. As a concept DevOps is great in principle, but in reality is difficult to execute on. As DevOps becomes more widespread and differentiated it becomes critical to understand how to reach the next level of maturity and truly create a DevOps driven organization. On this note check out IDC’s recently published DevOps 2.0 MaturityScape.

It is widely understood that DevOps enables a closer working relationship between dev and ops teams, but more importantly it demands collaboration with groups spanning QA & testing, security and architecture.  To some out there this suggests that DevOps is becoming everything – which in my view is correct –  DevOps works best when it integrates cross functional teams for the sole purpose of delivering high-touch customer experiences faster.

Enabling and accelerating DevOps is therefore a key topic of discussion; and within this automation, the role of QA & testing, and how to align on security driven DevOps are key considerations. There is increased experimentation and use of containers and microservices; and investments in hybrid cloud management, continuous integration/continuous delivery, automated code testing, application performance management become essential to support the creation of a DevOps driven organization. The trick of course is to understand what investments will best support the acceleration of your own organizations DevOps journey.

By End of 2018, 90% of IT Projects will be rooted in the principles of experimentation, speed, and quality.

While operational models and technology investment strategies are still evolving, we start to witness a widening gap between those enterprises in experimentation mode versus those that are well versed in the benefits and rapidly deploying DevOps to accelerate business change.

IDC’s DevOps Conference will guide you on how to navigate and accelerate the DevOps journey and is the perfect opportunity to learn more about this [often overhyped and rightly so given the benefits] topic, to network with peers and engage with innovative vendors not only to discuss but also to see how they can support and accelerate business change and transformation.

In anticipation of the Conference, and to give you some insights into the critical success factors in accelerating wider DevOps practice adoption we are hosting a complimentary webinar on March 16, at 2 pm GMT. Watch Jen’s invitation below and contact her for more info on this topic.

Top 6 Digital Trends Shaping the Health Industry in 2017

IDC Health Insights has just released a IDC Perspective: Western Europe Healthcare Sector: Key Themes for 2017. IDC Health Insights analyzes the key themes that will drive technology investment in the healthcare industry in Europe.

IDC outlines how our research, published under the European Healthcare Digital Transformation Strategies and the Public Health Technology Strategies programs, will help healthcare digital leaders increase the yield of technology investments and technology suppliers maximize the alignment of their solutions with the key industry pain points to improve their market shares.

In healthcare, 2017 will be the year of privacy and security across platforms to support further innovation. European Union (EU) member states will soon be mandated to comply with the rules that will enter into force in May 2018 with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR is a new regulation by which the European Commission intends to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the EU. This overall focus is also reflected in IDC's annual survey results in which security and privacy have taken the lead as the main business challenge of healthcare providers.

With the adoption of innovation accelerators such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and cognitive computing, cloud security and data management will also play a crucial role in the digital strategies of most healthcare IT, clinical, and business executives. New technology will enable new healthcare business models, making digital transformation a key theme. As a result, new security and privacy challenges will also appear.

With the focus on privacy, security, new business models, and adoption of new technologies and development of others, 2017 is the year of security and innovation. IDC Health Insights' research agenda will reflect this.

The following key themes are included in the research agenda:

  • Digital transformation
  • Security and data protection
  • Integrated care
  • Digital hospital
  • Cognitive computing
  • Internet of Things

Please reach out to IDC Health Insights for your copy of Western Europe Healthcare Sector: Key Themes for 2017


The Big Data opportunity in Ireland


As a key pillar of the 3rd platform Big Data has been earmarked by IDC as a major growth area in global IT for a number of years now. Already a $100 billion + market it is set to grow by around 50% by 2020.

So what is the situation in Ireland?  Prior to investigating this we thought it likely that the level of awareness would be good.  The Irish government’s Action Plan for Jobs of 2013 identified Ireland as having a competitive advantage in the Big Data area.  It had done a good job of promoting the country with substantial investments made to build the skills base and research capability that would allow Ireland to benefit “in term of jobs and growth from the global expansion of the Big Data sector”.

While we can’t be sure to what extent this has impacted Irish organizations we can report that Big Data features prominently as an IT investment priority in IDC’s recent IT Trends and Expenditure in Ireland 2017 survey.  In fact, Big Data came fourth on the list ahead of things such including mobility and cloud computing. This is significant because Irish organizations tend to adopt new technology after their peers in other countries.  However, if actual expenditure on Big Data in 2017 matches the level of priority that these organizations surveyed are suggesting it would put Ireland ahead in terms of adoption. Perhaps this is not surprising.  Many of the findings of the survey, conducted in October 2016, demonstrate that Irish organizations in both public and private sectors are embracing 3rd platform technologies to drive innovation.

So who is engaged with Big Data already? The survey shows that while large organizations (500+ employees) are leading the way, those planning to implement Big Data are from all size-bands. One industry that sees Big Data as a priority more than others in Ireland is manufacturing. However, manufacturing firms in In Ireland are still at a very early stage of Big Data implementation. Financial services firms are further ahead with 40% already ‘investing in new technologies in order to keep up with data growth’.  These are the two sectors where IDC sees the greatest level of global opportunity for vendors of Big Data products and sectors in the coming years. Also of great interest in the Irish context is the government sector. Just over half of organizations in this sector plan investment in the next two years according to the IT Trends survey.

If investment in Big Data in Ireland follows the pattern developing in the global Big Data market the biggest opportunity for IT suppliers will be in the IT and business services area. This will comprise more than half of the market by revenue. Vendors targeting this market must remember, however, that, according to research by Philip Carnelley of IDC, around 50% of Big Data projects are initiated by the IT function and aimed at improving efficiency. The other 50% are driven by business-specific issues such as the development of new processes, improved engagement with customers, many of the things we found were driving Big Data projects in Ireland in the recent IT Trends survey. To succeed in this market vendors must have the ability to address the needs and concerns of line of business managers as well as those in IT.

Definition: IDC defines "big data" as handling high data volumes (larger than your organization typically handles), high velocity (data with multiple occurrences per second), and high variety (incorporating social network data and other non-relational data).

For more information, see below how IDC can help your business grow in the Irish IT Market.

Big Data opportunity in Ireland

Ink versus Laser in the office, win, lose or draw?

Phil Sargeant (Program Director, Imaging and Hardcopy Devices and Document Solutions)

There used to be a time when inkjets were for the home, and lasers were for the office, and the lines were pretty much clearly drawn. Then consumer markets began to contract and the main players such as HP Inc., Epson, Brother and Canon realised they needed to focus on other markets to keep their inkjet production lines going.

Subsequently they introduced new ranges of business inkjets and actually began to see increased sales as their popularity began to take off. Although, some vendors such as Lexmark and Kodak decided against this plan and killed off their inkjet ranges altogether.

So as business inkjet sales are rising the battle lines between ink and laser are getting blurred especially when observing the highly competitive A4 market for the SMBs.  It is certainly a case that ink is increasing its penetration into these office markets, indeed they now count for over a third of all products being sold but on the other hand the laser manufacturers would say that two thirds of all products are still actually laser.

So which technology is the market edging towards? And which is eventually going to win?

In reality, despite the hype of the death of print, the European print market remains very substantial and so there is plenty of room for both technologies to co-exist. Some people certainly praise the values of ink whilst others can’t abide by it – and it’s vice versa for laser. In many cases it’s a love or hate scenario in a similar fashion that we see if in other technologies such as mobile phones, tablets or PC’s but the ink vendors are working hard to change perceptions.

Laser devices have been bought by all sorts and shapes of companies, whilst ink has primarily been reliant on the SMB markets, but, times are changing. Now there are new higher speed, higher specification models targeting a wider business and public sector audience who actually print most of the pages. These devices are certainly a threat to laser and there are many cases where ink has replaced laser in corporate accounts.

Ink cost issues and environmental factors have been mainly addressed and so it’s not a simple cost per page argument anymore especially as there are many ways of actually purchasing or leasing a printer or an MFP.  Choice has never been greater for the business user, but it could be said to be even more confusing with price plans and contracts now adding to the decision making process.

So who is in the best position? Well there are some vendors that have the cliché of the balanced portfolio with both ink and laser products, some appear to be veering more towards ink and others are wholly reliant on laser.  Certainly those with both are better placed to take advantage of future market developments.  Indeed, some manufacturers without ink products are certainly taking a serious look at this market.

From the vendor’s point of view in reality it’s all about the pages and the amount of money they can make from supplies as although the sales of business inkjets into offices may be increasing, the vendors and their partners need to be place them into environments that actually print.  Some laser vendors in the past have been guilty of obtaining great market shares through shipping thousands of low end laser devices, but invariably they were sold into offices where people printed few pages, so they made little money from supplies.

Although, from a customer’s point of view, it’s not simply a case of ink or laser hardware, it’s a question of the solutions, the services and the overall costs which will determine demand if inkjets are going to seriously tackle the Enterprises. The Soho markets are a little easier to engage with as requirements are simpler whilst the major SMB’s markets are getting smarter in weighing up their choices and the figures don’t lie, the amount of business inkjets being installed is a serious challenge to the traditional laser business.

If you’re interested in learning more about European Imaging and Hardcopy Devices and Document Solutions, please contact Phil Sargeant.