Three IT Trends That Are Making the Old New Again
Corporate tech environments are defined by the ebb and flow of IT trends. Up-and-coming technologies are often considered disruptive, with early adopters jumping on board while more conservative enterprises bide their time. But now, the cloud and other technologies hailed as disruptors have become ubiquitous, and once-popular trends that had fallen out of fashion are taking on new life, with companies discovering the value of more traditional tech approaches. Here’s a look at three IT trends that are currently making a comeback.
1. Tape Storage for Longevity
Five years ago, tape storage was on the way out. Why would companies bother with magnetic tapes when cloud backup offerings were available and flash solutions were coming down in price? But as noted by Virtualization Review, hybrid options began to emerge with virtual tape libraries that used front-ended tape systems to create virtual backups that were then copied to physical tape. And according to TechTarget, tape innovation continues unabated, with offerings that have one petabyte per solution now on the market, combining extreme scalability with reasonable pricing.
There’s also a more practical case for the new influx of tape storage: longevity. While excessive heat or moisture can damage tapes, they don’t require any power to maintain stored data. This makes them largely immune to power or internet failures. Despite the increasing reliability of the cloud, sudden loss of last-mile connections can put even smart businesses at risk of losing data access.
2. Data Center Divide
Enterprise IT needs modernization to succeed in the long term. Bulky desktops are replaced with slimmer machines and tablet-workstation combinations, older phone systems are supplanted by Voice over Internet Protocol solutions, and off-premise data center spending is on the rise. Data Center Knowledge notes that while new efforts such as the Modernizing Government Technology Act offer a step in the right direction, abandoning on-premise for entirely cloud-based solutions may not be the best way forward. According to IDC, more than half of enterprises are now considering a shift away from public cloud services back to private or hybrid data centers, a separate report from Data Center Knowledge notes. The rise of edge devices and networks makes control over data storage and security more important than ever.
3. Back to the Basics
One of the most interesting IT trends currently primed for corporate resurgence is dumb terminals. According to PC Magazine, these limited-capability computers were originally deployed in the mid-1960s and designed for a single purpose: connection to the mainframe. These terminals lacked more sophisticated functions and commands in service of total simplicity. They also offered security benefits; without internet access or internal network connections to other terminals, these purpose-built PCs were ideally suited to enterprise tasks.
Today, the terminals have become smart — data center-connected smartphones and tablets are everywhere — but the way users interact with these devices is eerily similar to their less intelligent predecessors. Users almost invariably access network resources through applications, and these purpose-built pieces of software offer a limited feature set while also ensuring a secure connection to corporate mainframes. Mobile solutions may be getting smarter, but app specificity is aligning these tech marvels with the original function of dumb devices.
Everything old is new again. IT trends such as tape storage, on-premises data centers and dumb devices have come full-circle, offering a second round of potential disruption to the tech market.