AI has finally matured; changing uses for the cloud; and where is blockchain going?

AI and Blockchain2019 will be an exciting year in technology. We will certainly see some solutions take steps forward and others fall well short of meeting expectations. Some industries will make innovative use of emerging technologies while others will continue to chase their tails with stalled pilot projects.

Many developing technologies have finally matured, which will lead to much wider adoption. Others are on the brink of being figured out and we shall see interesting new developments in their applications. New uses and reasons for leveraging existing, proven technologies will also emerge. Here are some trends we can expect in 2019.

Migrations to the cloud for security will continue, but the reason may surprise you

In 2019, we will keep seeing companies entrust more of their computing needs to the secure environment of the cloud. Some modern CISOs are shifting their view to think the cloud may be more secure than their own on-premises network. One driver for the continued migrations may surprise you – internal threats. Internal threats become less of a risk when resources are housed in the cloud. With fewer people having access to the equipment and arrays, the lesser the chance that an insider can tamper with them and disrupt their operations.

The next big as-a-service offering: AI

The terms “artificial intelligence” (AI) and “machine learning” (ML) have long been viewed as merely flashy buzzwords. The hype is wearing off and these technologies have now matured and organizations now know how they can benefit from their use. Interest in AI and ML will continue to increase and will drive the next big innovation in solutions delivered as-a-service. In 2019, we can expect to see pioneers in these types of offerings: AI-as-a-Service. In general, while companies want the benefits of AI and ML, they don’t want to have to build the computing and storage resources required to support it and the associated costs, like power and hardware. That is what makes the cloud so attractive, where SaaS solutions are one of the top cloud consumptions. As more organizations turn to AI to help their businesses and interest in the technology continues grow, we can expect to see AIaaS offerings make their way to the marketplace pretty soon.

The main driver behind this movement is the continued digital transformation. All organizations are collecting data. The Internet of Things (IoT) alone is estimated to create 847 zettabytes of data per year by 2021, globally. That’s 2.3 zettabytes per day. To put things in scale, 2.3 zettabytes is equal to 2.3 trillion gigabytes (or 23 with 11 zeros behind it). The purpose of data is to be analyzed and artificial intelligence and machine learning are technologies born to crunch enormous sets of data. However, as stated previously, it requires obtaining two things: computing power and storage. Who has more of that to offer than cloud providers? Enter, AI-as-a-Service.

The next stage of blockchain

While blockchain itself may not make major strides in 2019, it will fuel the next big conversation regarding the safeguarding of data: decentralized digital identity or Self Sovereign Identity. I expect to see advancements in this technology this year, as more parties become interested in becoming more responsible for their own digital identity, and less reliant upon others to safeguard it for them.

M&A

If the end of 2018 was any indicator (Red Hat), 2019 will also be exciting to watch from the M&A angle. We will see tech giants further enhance their portfolios by acquiring established companies in spaces like storage. Look for a splash from newly public, Dell. The bigger players in the industry are shifting their strategies and their abilities to execute these changes will be to either develop the technology in-house, or the much faster and easier route: buy someone who has already matured it. 2019 will be an active year for M&A.

2018 was a great year and saw industries finally determine how they can benefit from emerging technology like AI/ML and the Internet of Things, which will lead to incredible growth in those markets. I will be most interested to see which solutions will reach maturity this year and are finally ready to start knocking on companies’ doors. Regardless of what you may expect to see in the coming year, it will certainly not lack for excitement.

 

Drew Woods
Senior Marketing Communications Manager
Key Information Systems