Gartner’s David Cappuccio thinks these ten are the top trends that will impact data centers over the next few years. Some (like non-stop demand, Software Defined Infrastructure, and Internet of Things) aren’t surprising, but look at some of the others. Here’s what he says:

Non-stop demand – Demand for IT resources increases continuously. Average annual growth rates (AAGRs) are currently 10% in server workloads, 20% in power demands, 35% in network bandwidth, and an astonishing 50% in storage.

Business units treated as technology startups – Individual business units are bringing in their own mobile applications and cloud services, even using their own devices. IT needs to collaborate with them from the start to achieve a better business outcome.

Internet of Things – The IOT will include over 20 billion connected devices by 2020. IT faces the challenge of storing, correlating, and reporting an ever-growing volume of real-time data from a multitude of new sources.

Software-defined infrastructure – Software-defined storage and software-defined networking (SDN) are new ways to automate, orchestrate, and operate enterprise IT. This can bring fast, flexible infrastructure reconfiguration from a single location while enhancing workload performance and network traffic behavior under open standards.

Integrated systems evolution – The data center trend of converged infrastructures (CI) has already gained considerable traction and is expected to gain even more. CI platforms are continually evolving to provide better performance, power, efficiency, and manageability, but the expense means that senior executives will be deeply involved in their selection.

Disaggregated systems – Traditional data center hardware exists as complete subsystems containing a power supply, processors, etc. within single boxes. Disaggregated systems modularize these building blocks, which can then be racked as needs dictate. Getting more memory currently means buying more boxes and duplicating unneeded components. With disaggregation, it means plugging another memory module into the rack.

Proactive infrastructures – Today’s analytical tools supporting data center infrastructure management have been evolving, moving the organization from a reactive state to a proactive one. Eventually, they will evolve to proactively prescribe changes necessary for desired outcomes.

IT service continuity – Business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) are merging into a single integrated function, “IT service continuity.”  Service continuity relies on multiple sites with increasing intelligence to forecast potential disruptions and dynamically shift workloads between them.

Bimodal IT – IT juggles two simultaneous operating modes: first, maintaining traditional process- and procedure-driven production, and; second, exploring new technologies. Production can be disrupted by new technologies, but both modes can and should coexist if run separately. Acceptance of new technologies will find IT adopting processes and procedures to manage them.

Scarcity of IT skills – There is a shortage of IT professionals with the skills needed to carry IT forward in the face of increased complexity, greater support demands, end user requirements, shorter development times, and shrinking budgets.