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2016's top trends in enterprise computing: Containers, bots, AI, and more

Blair Hanley Frank | Dec. 22, 2016
It's been a year of change in the enterprise software market.

Containers are going mainstream

The container revolution powered along in 2016, with companies continuing to develop tools that help with the creation and deployment of applications that run inside lightweight, portable environments smaller than traditional virtual machines.

One of the key advantages of containerized applications is that developers can work with them on a personal computer before they're deployed on server hardware. Containerized apps can then be moved without modification and still keep all their dependencies intact.

It's a way to improve the reliability of the end product and also increase efficiency. Containers also help with the creation of microservices applications, which use a bunch of independent services to comprise an app, rather than building a monolithic bundle of functionality.

This year, Microsoft launched Windows Server 2016, which supports containers running its operating system, in addition to more traditional ones running Linux. The release means developers used to working with Windows Server can containerize their existing apps or develop new ones in a familiar environment.

IDC expects that enterprises will be driven to containers because of the benefits they provide around infrastructure optimization and efficiency. The overwhelming majority of containerized apps are traditional enterprise apps that have been shifted into a container, according to a report by the analyst firm.

The mix between migrated traditional apps and microservices apps will continue to shift to the latter. But IDC expects less than half of containerized enterprise applications to be microservices-based by 2020.

If there’s one great thing about the current state of enterprise computing, it's that there is no shortage of improvements coming down the pipe.


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