Modern Infrastructure Trends and Solutions Explained: Technology Practitioner Perspective

Modern Infrastructure Trends and Solutions Explained: Technology Practitioner Perspective

Taylor Grenawalt

Director,  Research & Insights

March 1, 2024

10 min

In a rapidly evolving digital and technological ecosystem, the modern infrastructure landscape encapsulates a spectrum of technologies, approaches, and frameworks designed to enhance the flexibility, scalability, and efficiency of IT environments and resources. The widespread adoption of modern infrastructure technologies has illustrated a collective move from traditional and rigid IT systems towards a future where IT environments are fluid, responsive, virtualized, and aligned with operational demand.  

The shift towards modern infrastructure represents a fundamental reimagining of how IT supports business operations and innovation. It's about constructing a digital foundation that is as resilient as it is dynamic, capable of adapting to the ever-changing market demands with agility. A technology practitioner’s role transcends the traditional boundaries of IT as they architect and facilitate ecosystems that support the rapid deployment and management of emerging technologies, applications, and services.

This transformation towards modern infrastructure is pivotal for enterprises looking to capitalize on digital opportunities. It represents a strategic pivot in IT management, where the focus shifts from merely maintaining IT systems to leveraging technology as a driver of business growth and innovation. As the architects of this new digital landscape, technology practitioners bear the critical responsibility of ensuring that the infrastructure not only meets the current demands but is also future-proofed against the unknown challenges of tomorrow. In their hands, modern infrastructure becomes the canvas upon which they craft a digital experience that is secure, efficient, and compelling, setting a new standard for operational excellence and competitive differentiation in a digital-dominated era.

What is Modern Infrastructure?  

Modern infrastructure technology represents a paradigm shift in how enterprises design, deploy, and manage their IT environments to meet the dynamic demands of the digital era. At its core, it embodies the principles of flexibility, scalability, and efficiency, leveraging advancements in cloud computing, virtualization, automation, and software-defined architectures to create a responsive and adaptive technological ecosystem. This infrastructure is no longer confined to physical hardware; instead, it encompasses the virtualized, service-oriented models that enable businesses to innovate rapidly and scale resources in alignment with their operational needs.

modern infrastructure trends

What are the Trends in Modern Infrastructure?  

The transformative advancement, development, and innovation that continues to take hold across modern infrastructure technology has been driven by three primary trends. The first is the imperative for efficient resource scalability and flexibility, enabling organizations to adjust appropriately to fluctuating demands and dynamics. Parallel to this trend is the rise of software-defined architectures, which have become fundamental in achieving the flexibility, efficiency, and automation needed in contemporary IT management. Finally, the momentum in SaaS-based stack-building strategies illustrates a growing drive to outsource infrastructure management to cloud-based services, allowing for a greater business focus on innovation and core competencies while achieving scalability and efficiency.

Efficient Resource Scalability & Flexibility

The critical need for resource scalability and flexibility has become more pronounced as enterprises confront increasingly complex, demanding, and dynamic digital workloads within a constrained resource environment. Modern infrastructure technologies have been driven by the growing enterprise need for dynamically scalable computing, storage, and networking resources, ensuring businesses can efficiently manage fluctuating demands, drive operational efficiency, and maintain competitiveness.  

Efficient and flexible resource scalability involves leveraging cloud computing, virtualization, automation, and other tools to create a responsive and intelligent IT environment. These technologies allow for the rapid provisioning and de-provisioning of resources to manage infrastructure components' access, usage, scale, and performance based on demand, severity, and other business factors. Modern infrastructure technologies will increasingly be designed with a focus on scalability and flexibility, two critical determinants in an enterprise's ability to navigate the challenges of exponential data growth, the proliferation of connected devices, and the fast pace of technological innovation.

Software-Defined Architectures

Software-defined architectures have emerged as the backbone of modern infrastructure, enabling enterprises to harness the power of flexibility, efficiency, and automation in managing their IT environments. These architectures allow for the centralized management of resources, resulting in improved agility, scalability, and operational simplicity. The shift towards software-defined solutions reflects a broader trend towards infrastructures supporting the dynamic and distributed nature of contemporary business operations, ensuring high-performance connectivity and robust security in an increasingly complex digital ecosystem.

Embracing software-defined infrastructure mitigates the financial and operational challenges associated with hardware dependencies and empowers businesses to embrace a more innovative, resilient approach to IT management. By reducing hardware inhibitors and cost barriers, organizations can efficiently adopt and adapt their infrastructure to leverage the latest technological advancements, ensuring they remain competitive and agile in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

SaaS-Based Stack Building

The trend towards adopting a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based stack building approach has gained momentum, driven by the dual pressures of labor and resource constraints and a growing emphasis on optimization and efficiency. By leveraging cloud-based services, businesses can significantly reduce the complexity of infrastructure management, lower upfront capital expenditures, and mitigate the shortage of skilled IT professionals. This strategic shift alleviates the burden on IT staff by outsourcing maintenance and updates, enabling a more dynamic allocation of resources towards core competencies and innovation.  

The pivot to SaaS-based stacks is symbolic of the evolving IT landscape, where the imperatives of flexibility, efficiency, and scalability are paramount in addressing the challenges and opportunities of modern digital infrastructure. This approach facilitates a streamlined operational model and empowers organizations to swiftly adapt and thrive in the face of the relentless pace of technological change and increasing digital demands.

What Kind of Modern Infrastructure Solutions Are There?  

Featured modern infrastructure solutions

Network-as-a-Service (NaaS)

Network-as-a-service (NaaS) revolutionizes enterprise network management by offering a cloud-based subscription model that replaces traditional, hardware-dependent infrastructures. This innovative approach allows businesses to scale their network services on demand, ensuring agility and operational efficiency without substantial upfront hardware investments. NaaS simplifies the complex landscape of network management by providing enterprises with access to advanced networking capabilities, including automation and centralized control, significantly easing the workload on IT departments. Emerging Technologies: Zenlayer, Nile, Ramen, Itential

Cloud Networking

Cloud networking integrates containers, microservices, and automation to foster a network environment that is more flexible and scalable and ideally suited for supporting cloud-native applications. By embedding these principles, cloud networking moves beyond traditional network management techniques, embracing a model that aligns with the dynamic and distributed nature of modern digital ecosystems. The advanced networking functionality offered by cloud networking technologies equips enterprises with the ability to ensure fast and reliable connectivity, manage complex network assets centrally, and implement sophisticated security measures and protections. Emerging Technologies: Prosimo, Alkira, Aviatrix, Drivenets

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is an approach to networking security that melds the capabilities of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) with an array of network security services into a cohesive cloud-based offering. This approach is designed to provide secure, optimized connectivity alongside a comprehensive suite of integrated security services underpinned by a zero-trust architecture. By leveraging SD-WAN, SASE optimizes traffic routing to reduce latency and incorporates VPN capabilities for secure connections over public networks, ensuring that users and devices enjoy secure and efficient access to network applications, data, and resources regardless of location. Emerging Technologies: Aryaka, Versa Networks, Lookout, NordLayer

Cloud Computing  

Cloud computing leverages remote servers and, increasingly, specialized processors hosted on the internet to process, manage, and store data, facilitating enhanced scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Cloud computing enables businesses of all sizes to leverage advanced technological capabilities without significant capital investments in hardware and software by providing on-demand access to computing power via the internet. This model promotes agility, allowing companies to rapidly deploy new applications and scale resources up or down based on demand. Furthermore, with the integration of specialized processors, such as DPUs and GPUs, cloud computing has continued to evolve and enable businesses to meet the growing demand and intensity of modern computing tasks. Emerging Technologies: Ampere Computing, Scale Computing, Salad, Graphcore, Rescale

Edge Computing  

Edge computing represents a significant evolution in data processing, bringing computational power closer to the data source. This shift addresses the limitations of centralized cloud architectures and is essential for technologies that require real-time processing, such as autonomous vehicles, smart facilities, and industrial IoT applications. By enabling data processing at the network's edge, edge computing delivers quicker response times, reduces latency, and enhances bandwidth efficiency, all of which are crucial for the seamless operation of IoT devices and applications. Additionally, it bolsters data privacy and security by processing sensitive information closer to its origin, thereby minimizing the need for data to traverse extensive networks to centralized servers. Emerging Technologies: GigaIO, Scale Computing, Fastly, StackPath, Blaize, ClearBlade

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage has become an integral cornerstone and foundational component of modern infrastructure strategies, offering enterprises a secure, scalable, and efficient means of storing and accessing data and resources. Moving away from traditional physical storage solutions to cloud storage has enabled businesses to access their data, files, and digital assets from any internet-connected device in any location, enhancing flexibility and mobility. In a decentralized, interconnected, and data-dependent technological environment, cloud storage affords reliable, flexible, and cost-effective data management, improving operational agility, collaborative efforts, and data security across workflows and functions. Emerging Technologies: Vast Data, Wasabi, LucidLink, DryvIQ, Buurst

Object Storage

Object storage stands out as a forward-thinking data storage solution tailored for the era of big data and cloud-native applications. Characterized by its unique approach to data organization, object storage manages information as discrete objects within a flat address space. Each object encompasses data, a unique identifier, and extensive metadata, facilitating efficient data retrieval, management, and analytics. This architecture is particularly adept at handling vast volumes of unstructured data—ranging from images and videos to documents—making it an indispensable tool for organizations grappling with storing and analyzing diverse data types. Emerging Technologies: MinIO, Storj, Cohesity, Nasuni

Vector Database

Vector databases are emerging as a pivotal technology in AI/ML, offering a specialized approach to storing and managing high-dimensional vector data. Unlike traditional relational databases, vector databases organize data as vectors, each representing a collection of features and attributes through mathematical representations. This unique structure enables rapid and scalable access to numerical data, significantly enhancing the efficiency of computational tasks such as image recognition, natural language processing, and real-time analytics. Vector databases stand out for their ability to handle complex data types and large datasets with high performance, making them ideal for a wide range of applications beyond AI that require quick data retrieval and processing, including IoT and real-time analytics. Emerging Technologies: Pinecone, Zilliz, Vespa, Supabase

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI)

Hyper-converged infrastructure merges computing, storage, networking, and virtualization resources into a cohesive, software-defined platform. This integration simplifies and unifies modern infrastructure management, significantly reducing costs while enhancing scalability and performance. HCI marks a pivotal shift from traditional IT deployments, offering a streamlined solution that encapsulates the entire IT infrastructure into modular, easily manageable nodes. This modularity facilitates rapid scalability and ensures that organizations can adapt swiftly to evolving technological and business demands. Emerging Technologies: StarWind, DDN, Scale Computing, Vultr

Composable Infrastructure

Driven by virtualization and software-defined architectures, composable infrastructure allows for the dynamic allocation, management, and reconfiguration of compute, storage, and networking resources. By abstracting and virtualizing these resources, composable infrastructure allows enterprises to access compute, storage, and network functions and assets as services through unified management interfaces.  This streamlines the deployment and scaling of applications and services, significantly reduces operational costs, and enhances overall efficiency. Emerging Technologies: HashiCorp, Liqid, Quali, GigaIO, Vultr

If you’re interested in learning more about the various solution areas within Modern Infrastructure, visit the Platform where you’ll find valuable insights, funding overviews, and disruptors that can help you gain a better understanding of the subject. Check it out here.


As we stand on the precipice of a new era in digital transformation, modern infrastructure technology has emerged as the foundational bedrock for technological innovation, competitive differentiation, and business success. The evolution from traditional IT frameworks to a more fluid, adaptable, and virtualized infrastructure is a testament to technological advancement and a necessary response to the ever-increasing demands of the digital age. The convergence of various technological advancements, operational business pressures, and shifting market dynamics have paved the way for an IT ecosystem that is infinitely more scalable, flexible, and efficient, capable of supporting the increasingly complex and demanding needs of businesses.

Three primary trends drive the modern infrastructure landscape, collectively reflecting a strategic shift towards more dynamic, adaptable, optimized, and efficient IT management practices driven by the challenges of navigating complex, digital workloads in a resource-constrained environment. First, organizations are increasingly leveraging cloud computing, virtualization, automation, and other technologies to ensure scalable, flexible, and responsive IT environments that allow for the rapid provisioning and de-provisioning of resources. Next, software-defined architectures provided for further agility by enabling centralized management of resources, improving scalability and operational simplicity while ensuring robust security in a complex digital ecosystem. Finally, the growing momentum behind SaaS-based stack-building strategies illustrates an enterprise prioritization on reducing management complexity, lowering costs, and focusing on innovation and core competencies.  

Looking ahead to the future of the modern infrastructure landscape, we’re likely to see a continued progression toward specialized resources and deeper AI integrations explicitly designed to enhance security measures, operational efficiency, and functional effectiveness. In an environment characterized by an escalation in resource constraints and demands amidst increasingly complex workloads, infrastructure technologies will continue to be driven by a growing need for optimized efficiency and scalability. Alongside a move towards advanced and specialized computing, storage, and network solutions tailored for specific functions, the technology-dependent and disruptive environment will likely drive development and innovation focused on ensuring greater adaptability, resiliency, and reliability.  

Our Technology Practitioner Council brings together directors and managers in technology focused on specific sectors, including Modern Infrastructure. The Council meets quarterly to discover emerging technologies in the space and hear exclusive trends from our Research team. Interested in joining this esteemed group? Get in touch today.