As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time to look at the upcoming year and what it will hold. Peering into their crystal ball is Dimension Data, which has released their forecasts for trends in a number of different segments.

One of the more interesting is how trends will be shaping the technology landscape during 2019, and offering his insight into what the next 12 months could hold is Dimension Data’s group chief technology officer, Ettienne Reinecke.

In particular Reinecke has identified five trends that will shape 2019’s tech landscape.

“The application of game-changing technologies is becoming more pervasive and their adoption is growing steadily. In the next five years, they’ll be firmly embedded in many of the core processes and technologies we use,” he explains.

So what are these trends that Reinecke has highlighted?

Ease of use

During Dimension Data’s 2018 trends report, technologies like AI, machine learning, robotics, virtual reality and augmented reality were all earmarked for increased adoption across a myriad industries.

For 2019, this is going to ramp up significantly according to the CTO, with access to said technologies is far easier than it was previously, both from a cost and availability perspective.

“The hyperscale cloud providers at an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a service (SaaS) level – such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Salesforce – are starting to embed these capabilities into their offerings or making them available as a platform to be used by third parties,” notes Reinecke.

“This is helping businesses overcome the hurdles they’ve faced in the past. Now they can get access to game-changing technologies without having to invest in their own algorithms and platforms,” he adds.

Identifying with blockchain

The next trend has to do with blockchain, with the Dimension Data CTO stating that there has been exhaustive investment in the technology over the past 12 months.

One area where this investment will begin to reap benefits is identity management, specifically as it pertains to cyber security.

In the past we’ve seen several data breaches where a lack of secure identity management was viewed as the point of vulnerability. Blockchain offers a solution to this.

“By moving identity management into a blockchain environment, we could solve many of the current challenges and in addition open an entire new value chain, centred on identity,” Reinecke believes.

“The high levels of encryption and the dispersed nature of data in a distributed ledger are inherent to a blockchain. This immediately changes the level of cyber safety that can be offered, certainly solving one problem,” he says.

Better data privacy

Data is always a trend that gets highlighted in trend reports, but for Dimension Data it will take a slightly different guise. More specifically it will place an increased importance in respecting the privacy of a user’s personal information when trying to extract insight from vast lakes of data.

“Regulations regarding data privacy continue to grow, both at a country and at an industry level. Fortunately, the increasing interest in data value management is spurring massive innovation to address the issue of privacy,” Reinecke says.

“The increasing challenge is how to derive insights from disparate and distributed data sources, without infringing regulatory or basic confidentiality guidelines,” the CTO stresses.

A better form of IoT

Like data, the Internet of Things (IoT) is something that has been eulogised for a number of years now, with it yet to really take any sort of tangible shape.

Reinecke is optimistic that will change in 2019. He also adds that this will lead to a rise in a term known as “human API”, with consumers and businesses alike beginning to interact with a variety of newly connected systems that they previously were not able to.

“The IoE [Internet of Everything] will encompass every area of our lives, transforming the way we provide healthcare, and the way we live, work and learn,” he says.

Increased FAANG dominance

Finally looking at the technology space, Dimension Data has predicted an even stronger year for the FAANG companies, which is comprised of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google. The recent resurgence of Microsoft is also added to that list for having a strong 2019.

As for why FAANg will prove so dominant, Reinecke says they are not reliant on technologies from other OEMs, with them instead turning to original device manufacturers (ODMs) in order to get their hands on any technology required.

Added to this is the fact that many of the FAANG companies are making their source code available to open-source communities, which in turn allows other enterprises with the necessary funding and resources in place to become less reliant on OEMs as well.

“FAANGs are simply out-innovating the more established players. Google and Microsoft are embedding advanced innovation into all their products and services, at no additional charge, making it increasingly hard for narrowly-focused technology companies to compete,” Reinecke concludes.

As with any set of predictions, especially ones made in the technology sector, it should be interesting to see if Dimension Data’s come to fruition.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]