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Power Systems 2020 Trends

Steve Gessner looks back at 2019 for the Power Systems platform and what clients should expect in 2020.

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In my role of IBM Systems Market Development and Insights (MD&I) manager, I interact daily with client and market feedback as well as key trends and directions that impact the market and our clients. My team's job is to keep tabs on the key areas of the market that will drive the biggest impacts in the future. Here’s a look at what 2020 holds for the IBM Power Systems* market. 

After a historic 2018 for IBM Systems hardware and infrastructure and the expected 2019 slowdown, in 2020, the market will return to a more “normal” pace. 2018 saw historic growth of more than 30% year over year. In 2020, the market will have adjusted to a slightly higher spending pattern, with infrastructure outlay expected to grow single digits.  

The Next Steps for Cloud

With many companies on a stated hybrid strategy, hybridization of multicloud and traditional environments is expected to intensify as firms continue to balance and shift workloads to accompany business requirements and optimize investments. Repatriation of public cloud workloads to private clouds (on- or off-premises) is expected to continue.

As the core technology to facilitate workload mobility, containerization technology adoption will increase substantially. While a variety of container technologies are available, by the end of 2020, standard usage patterns will emerge.  

Finally, cloud native application redesign will continue and grow as firms finalize their strategies around cloud. The quality of the underlying infrastructure for running containerized, hybridized and native environments will become an obvious pain point as 2020 progresses.

Development of AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning

More artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled workloads (business and IT operations) and their supporting infrastructure will move from workbench to production during 2020 as tools for AI mature, and, more importantly, enterprises bring internal and external resources together to understand the nature of AI deployments. 

A critical point here will be the required infrastructure for production AI workloads. Firms will increasingly discover that the test platforms either on-premises or in the cloud may not be adequate for full deployment. This could signal another round of infrastructure refresh to support these workloads.

The Movement to the Edge

The hyper growth of Internet of Things (IoT) devices continues to drive infrastructure to support these devices, whether these are drones inspecting crops in the Midwest or plant floor devices monitoring product quality in Stuttgart, Germany. They’re all gathering reams of data that increasingly require analysis in real time at the “edge.” 

Edge compute and storage systems support IoT environments that increasingly require AI. Latency requirements mean data cannot be shipped back to the central data center or public cloud for processing. So, compute and storage technology are moving to edge to support these devices on a large scale. The market growth for edge and near-edge compute and storage is double digit. This trend will continue and intensify.

XaaS on Premise

Demand will increase to transform on-premises, data center environments to an “as a service” model. All vendors (both cloud service providers and non-cloud providers) will respond with offerings. This will make billing easier and bring broad based cloud-like consumption models to premise computing environments. 

We expect these trends to impact the market, our customers and our business in 2020. I fully expect that you’ll see these trends as well. 

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