It’s 2019, and the Cloud is everywhere—from the apps we use every day to the infrastructure of global tech giants.
According to researchers at Gartner,
revenue generated from public cloud services is projected to grow 17.5 percent
in 2019. This amounts to a total of $214.3 billion, up from $182.4 billion in
More than a third of organizations surveyed by Gartner saw cloud investments as a top three investment priority. With this kind of growth, tech organizations are racing to get onboard with cloud-only software and platforms. Here are some of the trends to look out for this year:
Cloud, Multi-Cloud and Mergers
IBM announced its purchase of Red Hat last October, calling it the “most significant tech acquisition of 2018.” This combined Red Hat’s extensive network of open-source clouds with IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team.
Mergers like these are likely to become a trend this year, as companies see the vast benefit of using multiple clouds across all sectors of their organization. Furthermore, this system will dominate in the future, as businesses find public clouds inadequate to meet every one of their requirements.
As a more flexible and functional solution,
many organizations will shift to a network of multiple private, public and
hybrid clouds in the coming years.
Serverless computing is a young market in technology, but it will continue growing in 2019. Serverless computing isn’t actually “serverless.” Instead, it is a cloud-computing model in which the cloud provider itself runs the server on a dynamic, as-used basis (FaaS).
Rather than buying server space, developers
can simply use a back-end cloud service to code, only paying for the server
space they actually use.
As this relatively new technology develops,
we can expect to see more companies providing and expanding their “serverless”
Although cloud technologies are growing exponentially, artificial intelligence (AI) could prove an even greater economic driving force. This is because according to Accenture, the impact of AI could double economic growth rates by 2035 in developed countries.
Amazon, Twilio and Nvidia, to name a few, are thus, incorporating AI with cloud computing, next-gen GPUs and the Internet of Things (IoT). This has led to the developing of applications with “smart assistants,” and voice-to-text technologies.
Such a combination of AI and the cloud provides an extremely powerful and unconstrained computing network.
Digital transformation is already underway, with Gartner also projecting that 83 percent of all workloads will shift to the cloud by 2020. However, this movement presents issues of cybersecurity.
Many businesses have not properly secured their cloud-stored data. For example, marketing and data aggregation firm Exactis left around 340 million records exposed on its cloud servers. This was uncovered in a data breach last year.
The implementation of the General Data Practice Regulations (GDPR) makes this even trickier. The GDPR affects cloud security, and IT companies will likely struggle to comply with these new laws while protecting sensitive information.
Cloud computing services are progressing exponentially, as are their new developments. As a result, 2019 will surely be filled with businesses pouring investment into enterprise solutions. This while expanding, securing and implementing cloud technologies to their fullest extent.
Bridget is a freelance writer and editor, and the founder of Lost Bridge Blog, where she writes about traveling as a Millennial woman on a budget. When not writing, you can find her traveling, drinking inhuman amounts of caffeine and scrolling through the latest tech & political news.
The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) as the name suggests is basically connecting as many devices online for them to communicate with each other.
If you think that is a far-fetched concept it is nothing new. We have been using it since the advent of GSM, Infrared, GPS, GPRS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other wireless connections.
To put the concept into further context, your Smartphone/watch, Bluetooth headset, your wireless printer or smart fridge are all components of the ‘Internet of Things’. They all require a sensor or chip to connect or collaborate with each other.
He advocated for the need for a chip for every electronic device. The initially requirement was for supply chain and automation in the retail industry.
Fast forward to today, and this has indeed come to fruition. We now have smart cars, smart homes and even tracking chips inserted into pets!
So, each component or part of the object is equipped with an individual chip (small processor) with a unique IP address.
The very same the IP address used to identify your home modem or Office server.
Why would you want that you might ask? Wouldn’t it be useful for devices and machines to work things out by themselves – to solve complex problems before you even become aware of them?
This is in fact how the devices communicate with the central server to relate pertinent information. An example is the use of fuzzy logic: to regulate the temperature in the fridge (to avoid food getting mouldy); or to check amount of water used in one washing cycle in the washing machine.
Another practical use would be to check car tyres pressure and temperature (to avoid overheating and bursting).
Can you then imagine the number of chips that are required for the typical household. For the a car, security alarm, fridge, microwave, tumble dryer, TVs, Radios, computers/tablets, lighting and heating/cooling system? Each would require a unique IP address
IP address shortage
Talks about IOT highlighted the need for more IP addresses and a need to track or generate them. This as it is evident we are running out of ‘normal’ IP addresses known as IP4: 4 denotes the number of billion IP addresses available.
At the birth of the Internet age in the 1980s, no one ever envisioned a time when the world would need more than four million IP addresses. But with the need as mentioned above for internet of things – that has come to pass.
Without getting too technical, the issue is being resolved with the development of a newer IP system known as the IP6.
The main difference between the two but it is merely that one is on 32-bit system while the newer on 128-bit and that influences merely the length of the addresses.
Again, the technicalities would only matter to the now growing IoT industry and would not affect us as individuals.
Practical uses of IOT
Large companies that need to manufacture a lot of parts for their devices would need to insert an IP address on each piece. From items as trivial as the car side-mirror; to more serious parts like the helmet of a sportsperson engaging in the heavy contact sport.
From an education perspective, the IoT can make learning a lot more fun for kids and young adults. Toy-maker Sphero, for example, has been long making wireless operated toys like its SPRK+(pictured).
The idea is to fuse physical (programmable) robotic toys with digital apps.
This would simultaneously provide entertainment experiences while inspiring tomorrow’s leaders in maths, engineering and science.
There are also a few new decentralised systems that are even advocating for a fragmented Internet for that very reason (security and privacy). This would enable you to control your little space within the “interconnected” web.
Blockchain advocates and companies like IOTA and Chinese-based Crypto-firm Tron are pushing the IoT and the decentralisation of the whole Internet narrative hard.
It is only a matter of time before this becomes the norm. Companies are now queuing to get the IP6s and have incorporated adding them to the manufacturing processes.
Once the security and privacy issues have been adequately planned and implemented, the pros of the full adoption of IoT will outweigh the cons.
On August 11 2018, the Bitcoin dominance level (market share) touched 50% for the first time in 2018. However, the move didn’t come amid a Crypto market rally. In fact, the cryptocurrency space has been in free fall until mid-August, moving in a sideways trend since then.
Are you running your business like you did in the eighties, nineties? If so, you are probably working like a donkey and probably for the same kind of income – if you are even making any!
Business automation is something that has developed albeit quite slowly, over decades and accelerated significantly via the “www “. And now even more so the with the Internet of Things (IoT).
Ways of doing business
Let’s begin looking communication – a key pillar in running any successful venture. Getting in touch with clients can now occur in numerous ways.
We have come a long way from shouting “extra, extra read all about it” on street corners, to invading places of comfort and abode with door-to-door sales visits.
We can now get in touch physically (though rarely unless required such as in a shop setting), via phone, Skype, Emails, online chatting, video-conferencing, and social media.
And though it may sound like overkill, using these tools can actually help save time and target your product offerings and marketing campaigns.
This makes them efficient and worth every penny/cent spent on them.
Hosting email nowadays does not require the expertise of IT professionals.
Likewise, IT pros are now discovering they have more time to perform administrative work (much needed productivity reports). This rather than the mundane tasks of backing up servers, or grudgingly coming out of their dark holes to walk from PC to PC installing software.
Such ‘exercises’ can consume hours during the day and, probably gets on the nerves of people trying to get work done.
As an IT pro, you can now administer and carry out IT-related tasks from the comfort of your office. You can even do it remotely (at home or while attending a conference) via your PC, laptop and even on your smartphone!
Emails can now be hosted with a few clicks and run smoothly on desktops, mobile phone, and tablets with a simple syncing feature. This is made possible by a newer mail protocol known as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).
You can now synchronize your emails, calendars, and events as well as your contacts on all your devices, for instance, using Microsoft Exchange Online services.
This are strenuous tasks that an IT professional would have had to manually create using special scripted rules via PowerShell, patches, domain routers to a normal physical server to enable such functionality.
The cloud has made this all possible and while we will not get into the intricacies and workings of the cloud, we have in our working experience, seen a massive uptake of it.
Companies of all sizes, countries, and industries (including healthcare, education, financial and governmental institutions) are moving to the cloud.
This uptake of cloud services is happening on a regular basis as old servers are being made redundant and getting subjected to creative destruction in the IT industry.
Software for hire
Software as a Service (SaaS), which is what it is called, is basically the hiring of software rather than owning it and leaving the (usually costly) maintenance to the software provider.
The tech giants will then take care of the back-end operations such as backups, updates, and upgrades, maintenance, security and compliance for an annual or monthly fee.
You can liken this to hire-purchase or the car leasing services that the automobile industry offers its clients.
The car servicing and maintenance is performed timeously by the manufacturer. You just drive it and pay for your own fuel on top of the monthly leasing fees. Such a service can even be monetized using Cryptos such as IOTA.
Great collaboration tools
Another daunting yet integral task in running a business is the act of hosting meetings. Business meetings are often rescheduled as easily as procrastinating a spring cleaning exercise in the middle of summer whilst on holiday. This is mainly because of the availability of participants or lack of the material required to make a presentation to participants.
Tools that foster online meetings such as Skype for Business or G-Suite’s Hangouts for example, allow you to schedule meetings from a calendar entry. That is, set up in your email application e.g. Outlook.
This will send you and your meeting participants a reminder. Then, with a click of a button you can join, host or participate in a full-on HD video or audio conference type call.
This can be done from wherever you are on the globe as long as you have a good enough broadband connection.
The kicker with this tool is the ability to present your full (hopefully clean and avoid any embarrassing items) desktop, to all participants.
So, you can present an Excel spreadsheet of financial data, discuss the design of a brochure or flyer for marketing, or run a PowerPoint presentation. The apps come even complete with an infrared pointer!
Good broadband is key
Again, these services obviously require great Internet connectivity. This might also be the only stumbling block deterring many smaller companies and some big data-sensitive firms from taking on the cloud.
But as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and now local governments are now actively getting involved in making broadband (Wi-Fi and fibre cable networks) a necessity for all.
The problem of adequate broadband connectivity will, therefore, not be an issue in the near future.
So, you see, just from this highly compressed explanation and examples of two tasks carried out by businesses. There are endless possibilities that the cloud and good software, in general, can offer a business.
For more solutions, have a look at the previous blog on sales software and CRM systems. to understand a bit more about how SaaS can help grow revenue for the business.
This is also in no way advocating for substituting human personal interactions with technology. It will, nevertheless, help you to find ways to bridge the gap when you find that personal contact is not possible.
No one wants to spend hours in traffic leading to stress at work or home. You also wouldn’t want to spend large budgets on unnecessary travel, marketing and communication tools that are not effective.