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.
One often hears the phrase “technology is your friend”.
To what extent the friendliness/support is, depends on how you embrace it.
It can be the most effective “companion” to assist you to cope with your daily activities or business plans.
There is a lot of banter, which is backed up by well-research papers on how Automation and Robotics (powered by machine-learning systems) will replace jobs in the manufacturing and labour-intensive industries.
Blue-collar jobs are not the only ones however, that face imminent and progressive extinction.
A recently survey report conducted by the World Economic Forum predicts futuristic trends affecting certain jobs in the modern workplace.
Robert Solow predicted decades ago, in his Solow-Swan model, a massive driving force of global growth: technology.
And the evidence is prevalent with the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon championing stock markets with Billion-dollar market capitalizations and in the process creating an abundance of jobs globally.
Disruptive technological advances such as AI(Artificial Intelligence); the ubiquitous high-speed mobile Internet (5G); widespread adoption of big data analytics; cloud technology; and the recent Blockchain technology will be the drivers of this job evolution.
Based on the report, by 2022, this job evolution will be firmly in place as it has already.
In a matter of just 4 years, we could have a situation where jobs such as postal service clerks, data entry clerks, and bean-counters (accountants and auditors) would be made redundant.
Impact on services
Software like Microsoft’s Dynamics 365, aims to remove ‘silos’ within customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) processes.
The latter takes over (fully automates) back-office operations such as stock-taking and supply chain management.
Such tasks will be performed via software, reducing the need for more human supervision. Consequently, the focus would be more on managerial roles.
In the sales and customer service realm, technologies like Microsoft’s AI will provide automated insights to guide employees on improving customer experiences.
Furthermore, it may lower support costs by using virtual agents or Chatbots to eliminate in-house AI experts and those writing code. This will result in more redundancies!
On a positive note, newer and more exciting jobs such as data analysts, machine learning and AI specialists, digital transformation experts and in general information system services will be on the rise – up to 135 million globally, according to the Report.
The fields to benefit directly from new technologies would be information technology; information security; innovation; customer services and risk management (financial services).
Impact on finance
Another group of professionals whose nature of work will be affected due to the advent of ‘disruptive technology‘ are financial middlemen. Likewise, smaller banks and money transfer institutions.
Decentralised systems were primarily put in place to eradicate extra fees associated with transferring money across borders, and from one account to another. This because fees increase due to such intermediaries (financial middlemen).
Cutting them out completely undoubtedly renders them redundant. It is therefore pertinent for them to innovate their products in order to open up sufficient job position.
Recently, Malta’s finance minister whilst in a private interview during a Blockchain Conference, echoed this. He said that the advent of cryptocurrency has changed financial middlemen into traditional “photo developers”.
“I can see this, just like in photography when you could tell that […] those who process the photos will lose their jobs; a lot of financial intermediaries will be facing the chop in the not too distant future,” says Edward Scicluna.
The good news for governments will be that the trend shows that the jobs created will surpass those lost.
Be proactive and skill yourself accordingly or get the right personnel who can quickly adopt some of the mentioned skills so that you do not fall behind!
You don’t have to be an online arsonist, hacker or international cyber-terrorist to hide your online identity. Likewise, concealing your PC’s web address or (better known as) your Internet Protocol address (IP address), making it unknown to the public, does not necessarily mean you are up to no good online.
A VPN is a connection method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, like Wi-Fi Hotspots and the Internet. They are most often used by corporations to protect sensitive data but now also by the man on the street for the very same necessity.
Getting back to the importance of your IP address: it is probably something you rarely think about but is very crucial to your online lifestyle even as an individual. How so? You might still ask.
Well, without an IP address, you wouldn’t be able to get the current weather, check the latest news or view at videos (streaming) online for instance.
Your IP is also used for basically every online service you partake in including very private things such as your internet/mobile banking or online trading activity. Think of it as your physical address and how important it is when getting things delivered by post or using it when you need to make applications for loans, jobs etc.
“Without a public IP address, online service providers like Netflix, BBC or Amazon wouldn’t know where to send the information you asked for. They wouldn’t be able to get it to your computer.”
Now the argument for whether using VPNs is illegal is highly debatable for some of the valid reasons highlighted above. It should, however, be a given right to be able to use it. And even though it is commonly used by cyber-thugs to mask their clandestine and often dark activities, it should not be outlawed altogether.
The case for VPN
The legitimacy of VPNs debate therefore, carries on into a grey area.
We will, however, investigate a few VPN providers that are ‘paid for services’ and even offered by established companies such as AVG(which primarily offers Antivirus protection).
The directive is to help the everyday consumer surf the web without ‘virtual’ salespeople bombarding them with offers based on personal information gathered in an ‘unsolicited’ manner.
Some forward-thinking people and companies, however, have long been shielding themselves manually using VPNs.
One direct benefit for you as a consumer is the ability to access content (information, products, and services) from different servers. A good VPN service can enable you to obtain access to other geo-locational content despite being on a different continent.
Take the example of Netflix: if you use a VPN in Europe it enables you to have international access to content from the US by using a US-based server for access.
It is perfectly legal provided you are paying for the service. The burden falls on the provider of the service and not the end user if it came down to a legal “scrap”.
If you need to do these tasks frequently, you need a VPN:
To hide your IP address (to enable anonymity from marketers and hackers)
Change your IP address (to avoid identity theft)
Encrypt data transfers (private and financial data)
Mask your location (to access other services)
Access blocked websites
A word of caution for the last reason, i.e when navigating websites blocked by governments with a VPN: Unless you are a high-profile journalist working on a case and backed by good legal aid – it’s not a wise thing to do.
Do some research if you are not sure because accessing such sites (and not necessarily just government sites) could land you in some hot water. Rather use a known privacy service like Tor to ensure full anonymity to gain access to restricted sites if you really must.
Top Virtual Private Network Protocols
VPN protocols and available security features are numerous. The most common (best) protocols are:
ExpressVPN – the acclaimed best offshore VPN for privacy and unblocking.
Picking a VPN service can be a daunting task as there are now literally hundreds of them to choose from. Landing the right one means striking the right balance between services, ease of use and pricing.
Some providers offer free VPN services while some like AVG charges for their VPN service. Paid VPN providers, however, are preferred to the free service providers as they offer robust gateways, proven security, additional free software, and unmatched speed.
The key is to find the best VPN that meets your immediate needs while matching your budget.