Nov 28, 2019
December 19, 2018
Top Tech Predictions for 2019
Our annual round up of everything that is being predicted for the world of business tech during 2019 is here. We share our thoughts on these trends & how we think they will effect businesses during the year ahead.
Over the last few decades, the landscape for businesses has been shaped by a number of key trends, such as the large-scale move to cloud, which includes a lot more software-based services, applications & systems. This has had a knock on impact on connectivity, driving the need for faster, better performing and reliable connectivity. Cue SD-WAN or software-defined Wide Area Network, which uses software to make your network connections work smarter and faster, helping to improve resiliency.
Many businesses are looking at SD-WAN as an alternative to MPLS WANs, the seemingly natural next step in an era of software defined everything. In essence if your primary connection goes down, SD-WAN will intelligently manage your traffic in an ‘always on’ manner and seamlessly move services to run from other connections, without any downtime. Allowing employees to always access the right applications at the right time. After all, what is the point in having cloud services if it takes too long to get the information you need or you can’t access them because you’re offline.
All this has led to SD-WAN being a rapidly growing market sector, with Gartner predicting that spending on SD-WAN products will reach $1.24 billion by 2020, which is a massive leap from the $129 million spent in 2016.
Typically, when most people think of Blockchain technology they think of it in relation to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. However, in reality Blockchain offers security that is useful in many other ways. In the simplest of terms, Blockchain can be described as data you can only add to, not take away from or change, hence the term “chain”. Not being able to change the previous blocks is what makes it so secure. With the increase in digital ethics and data protection being promoted through GDPR, consumer interest in how their data is being used is only set to increase and businesses will be wise to respond to this demand.
Within health care, there has already been a move away from paper record keeping, but Blockchain offers additional opportunities to protect patient information and ensure that an accurate record is kept. In addition to storage, Blockchain also offers patients more access to and control over their own information.
As the use of Blockchain technology increases, so too does the demand for skilled professionals. A recent report states that Blockchain-related jobs are the second fastest growing category of jobs, with 14 job openings for every one Blockchain developer. Jobs are available at financial institutions, but also in retail and healthcare, and soon probably manufacturing as well.
Last year we discussed how Cloud computing had moved from a former trend to watch to a much more mainstream technology with major players including Amazon, Microsoft & Google dominating the market. Of course, the adoption of cloud computing is still growing as more and more businesses migrate to a cloud solution, but it is no longer the emerging technology. For that you need to look to Edge Computing.
As the quantity of data we’re dealing with continues to increase, the shortcomings of cloud computing have become more apparent. Edge computing is designed to help solve some of those problems as a way to bypass the latencies of connections in cloud computing and getting data to a data centre for processing. The word edge in this context means literal geographic distributions – i.e. is computing that is done at or near the source of data, instead of relying on the cloud to do all the work. For this reason edge computing can be used to process time sensitive data in remote locations with limited or no connectivity to a centralised location.
In those situations, edge computing can act like mini data centres, it doesn’t mean the cloud will disappear, it means the cloud is coming to you. It is predicted that edge computing will increase as the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices increases. By 2022, the global edge computing market is expected to reach $6.72 billion. As with any growing market, this will create job demand, primarily for software engineers.
A smart space is a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology interact in a co-ordinated and intelligent ecosystem. As technology becomes a more integrated part of daily life, smart spaces will enter a period of accelerated delivery.
The most extensive example of smart spaces is smart cities, where areas that combine business, residential and industrial communities are being designed as intelligent ecosystems. Belfast City Council’s Smart City Framework is just one example of this, which seeks to build on the strengths of Belfast’s digital sector and increase innovation & collaboration using funding for projects including networks for the use of IoT design & testing.
The pace of technological change can be overwhelming for businesses, and in particular the demand to always adopt the next big thing to appear ‘relevant’. Whatever 2019 brings, we like to think that our motto ‘making technology useful’ for businesses, stands firm. Whilst consumer tech does have a fashion element to it, we believe business tech has to offer strong operational gains in order for a company to invest their often-limited budget. We hope this guide will make your business more informed of the trends you may come across in 2019, so you can better assess if you have any operational issues that these may help to address.
We would like to end the year by wishing all our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.