Vendor-led hype around advancements in network technologies are not necessarily a reality for businesses and IT Pros yet, according to SolarWinds.
Head geek at the network management vendor, Patrick Hubbard, said not everybody is jumping aboard the virtualisation, software defined networking (SDN) and Cloud bandwagon.
However, Hubbard admits a gradual shift taking hold in recent months, with cross-product support accelerating the advance of virtualisation in particular.
"We've also seen Microsoft become a serious player in this space, with the launch of Hyper V," he said.
The opportunity in this is that channel partners will be at the forefront in bringing these technologies to customers.
"Partners will be able to help tailor solutions that will address specifically be designed to meet customers' needs," he said.
Not enough manpower As for how SolarWinds head geek, Lawrence Garvin, would summarise 2013, he characterises it as the "year of the skills shortage."
Garvin said the shortage was particularly noticeable amongst Australia's IT and engineering graduates.
The vendor's IT Pros Survey from 2013 pointed at a potential skills gap thanks to increasing network complexity, with only 11 per cent of Australian IT professionals admitting that their higher education sufficiently prepared them for their current IT role.
For that reason, Garvin expect the divide between skills in senior and junior engineers to continue in 2014.
"Education and entry-level apprentice training across vendors, channel partners and customers will be key to bridging the skills gap, and ensuring that the industry has the right tools to combat growing network complexity," he said.
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.