The past year saw businesses taking affirmative action, keen to harness the wealth of data within their organizations and learn from it. A key priority for many was the optimization and management of multicloud environments, coupled with the need to embed security as a foundation.
David Meads, vice president, Middle East and Africa, Cisco, expects to see these trends evolve throughout 2019:
1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will become “everyday.” Reports of driverless cars and “human-like” robots have garnered widespread attention, but this will still be a year in which AI-ML will assist human functions, rather than replace them altogether. In order to apply AI-ML, businesses must have the appropriate infrastructure and curation processes in place to house their data.
2. The internet is expanding in ways we could not have imagined.
Year-on-year network growth has resulted in more IP traffic than ever before. Communities have been brought closer together by improved forms of digital communication. As the internet continues to develop, what is connected to it is also changing: Wearable tech, home appliances and automated vehicles.
3. Growth in visual media will drive dramatic bandwidth demands.
The new year should see more application of VR in businesses, from demonstrations and virtual “test drives,” to the assessment of products and real estate online.
4. Mobile connectivity will continue to grow.
Increasing demand for speed and reliability is paving the way for 5G. Unlike 3G and 4G, the changes will not merely be incremental. 5G is set to revolutionize connectivity in terms of speed, feeding both corporate and consumer demand for efficiency.
5. Blockchain will continue to see new and innovative uses.
As blockchain is becoming an essential element in the majority of AI and IoT offerings, we predict that all major cloud service providers will have deployed blockchain commercially by the end of the year. From being used to validate minerals in products from conflict-free sources, to operating virtual microgrids that enable residents to buy and sell green energy directly to and from their neighbors — the possibilities are endless.
6. Businesses will increasingly need to rethink their network.
A strong and secure digital infrastructure is vital for today’s public and private networks. Organizations now need to be able to enable any device, from anywhere, at any time, across multiple domains. Independent networks must now be united in a single multi-domain architecture.