Rise of 5G, multi-cloud, focus on data security and more: Enterprise tech trends to look forward to in 2020

With the digital ecosystem shifting to distributed computing, extended reality, and quantum computing, we need to introspect where does the business stand

Today, we live in a world where technology is redefining the way we work, live and play. Significantly, our future is quickly being reshaped by digital transformation technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and Edge Computing. Indeed, data management is going through profound changes, opening up countless opportunities. More so, as businesses are looking for comprehensive services and process thousands of scenarios, spanning considerations hinge on everything from central storage to frontier-edge computing.

As we step into 2020, here’s my take on the top five technology trends that will impact businesses, society, and the world.

AI and ML will get pervasive

Transformative technologies like Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning will gain traction in the year ahead. Industry insights indicate that the growing needs of businesses, government and nations will require more sophisticated, end-to-end, automated AI/ML solutions. This means we will see the emergence of automated platforms, effectively unlocking the strategic value of data while streamlining privacy, governance, and regulatory compliances.

With shifts to automation, the need to protect and better manage this data will intensify. Organizations will gear up to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. We also anticipate increased adoption of data platforms offering customized applications for specific tasks. However, a shortage of skilled talent in the industry could act as the biggest bottleneck for enterprises to manage data optimally in the AI era. This will push companies to scout for trusted partners who will help them unlock smart business insights by leveraging their data.

Servers inside a Google data centre. Image: Google

Servers inside a Google data centre. Image: Google

Multi-cloud is the new norm

Enterprises will move aggressively towards “multi-cloud” by deploying their application and workloads across multiple providers. Uncertainty about single cloud reliability, price-sensitive deployments, vendor lock-in, regulatory compliance, data sovereignty, governance, and resiliency will drive the high demand. Simplification of workloads and data portability will boost multi-cloud adoption, with automation at scale leading to more productivity.

The convergence of multi-cloud, cloud-native, storage and management will drive adoption of software-defined storage data protection and applications built on containers and micro services.
While cloud, multi-cloud and cloud-native applications are driving competitive edge for enterprises, data fragmentation will continue to create significant governance, security challenges, negatively impacting business outcomes. We will see increased demand for unified software-based storage and data management driven by efficiency, data sovereignty and governance challenges across disparate cloud environments.

The empowering “Edge Computing”

With real-time processing of complex data sets originating from billions of sensors, connected devices, wearables, smart appliances, and smart cities will drive data processing requirements at the edge. We anticipate more enterprises to extend cloud computing to the ‘edge’ to solve challenges driven by the highly distributed modern digital business applications. Need for single, simple, secure and scalable platforms will drive demand to seamlessly tap data across on-premises, cloud, or at the edge.

We expect edge computing to enable enterprises to reduce latency, drive faster data access and resolve regulatory issues like sovereignty besides cost savings from reduced data transport. It is estimated that billions of IoT devices owned by enterprises and governments will utilize edge computing for data collection and processing going forward. This will also result in creating new jobs in the market, primarily for engineers.

The new paradigm of 5G networks

A boarding at the first demonstration of 5G. Reuters

A boarding at the first demonstration of 5G. Reuters

One of the most prominent technology to watch out in 2020 is 5G, creating the wireless interconnected world of the future. While we are entering a new decade, the world has already been fascinated by lightning-fast internet connections. With 5G networks soon becoming a reality, it will enable data-intensive processes, bringing in speed with higher capacity of connected devices and low latency. As the world transitions to 5G, there will be a growing demand for scalable, comprehensive, resilient and agile data strategies to deal with high volume, velocity, and variability of data.

With the increased applications run on over 5 billion mobile devices and a billion sensors on IoT devices – there will be an exponential rise of data that needs to be managed and analyzed through sophisticated tools. Smart city applications and revolutionary applications such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and self-driving cars will ride on 5G infrastructure.

Data-Security measures you can't do without

In 2020, consumers and enterprises will be more aware and prepared with a better understanding of tools such as GDPR. Security breaches and privacy-related incidents will only increase while data privacy will continue to undergo evolution. While the industry will continue to witness a rise in data malware, consumers will become more active in ensuring their data privacy, like sharing lesser information or unsubscribing from digital platforms. In time to come, robust data protection capabilities will become critical in winning consumer trust.

The industry will experience a mature implementation of AI/ML and deep learning leading to stronger security systems. About 38% of the data breached worldwide includes security credentials such as passwords, which can then be used to launch further attacks. Enterprises will adopt a privacy-first approach in managing data. However, faced with significant challenges, they will scout for AI-powered, automated, outcome-driven, resilient data solutions to mitigate risk.

Certainly, as we welcome 2020, surviving and thriving in the future will require progressive leaders to embrace a holistic approach towards knowing and managing the data rather than just employing a new-age data protection technology. With the digital ecosystem shifting to distributed computing, extended reality, and quantum computing, we need to introspect where does the business stand and are we fully ready to embrace the future?

The author is the area vice president, India and SAARC, Commvault

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