2019 is now in full swing and while many companies are still shaking off the rust from the recent festive season and holidays, others are turning their attention to the possibilities that the next 12 months hold.

One such organisation is NetApp, and their chief strategy officer, Atish Gude, recently made five predictions as to the technologies and services that will shape how companies handle data management in 2019.

Some are already in effect and will start making more of an impact on the ICT industry, but others are just on the verge of becoming key concerns for business decision makers.

Here’s what Gude has predicted as some of the key technologies and services that will take hold over the coming year.

AI technologies move to the public cloud

Yes, artificial intelligence (AI) is now a commonplace term when talking to anyone in the ICT industry, but where will the services and offerings around this technology reside?

According to Gude, the answer is the cloud as it has been for so much in recent years, with the public cloud in particular looking fruitful.

This as development of new AI solutions will be empowered by the value proposition that cloud computing holds.

“A rapidly growing body of AI software and service tools – mostly in the cloud – will make AI development easier and easier,” says the NetApp CSO. Making this shift will AI development to scale and perform at a far higher and more robust level, he adds.

“Accordingly, the infrastructure supporting AI workloads will be also have to be fast, resilient, and automated. While AI will certainly become the next battleground for infrastructure vendors, most new development will be aimed at the cloud,” notes Gude.

Edge devices pushing IoT further

The next prediction from Gude looks at IoT, which too is a trend that has been spoken about exhaustively in the past.

This is because much of the promise of IoT is data and broadband dependent, with 5G in particular being touted for its ability to be an enabler of Internet of Things environments.

While we wait for 5G to become a fully fledged reality in developed markets, customers and businesses cannot afford to wait, which is why the data processing portion of an IoT environment will need to happen without a dependence on data.

This is where Gude sees edge devices playing a pivotal role.

IoT devices and applications – with built-in services such as data analysis and data reduction – will get better, faster and smarter about deciding what data requires immediate action, what data gets sent home to the core or to the cloud, and even what data can be discarded,” he adds.

Needing to meet new customer expectations

The third prediction from Gude has to do with IT infrastructure, and how customers are expecting a different type of experience within the data management and storage environments.

This will result in what the NetApp CSO is terming as “automagically.”

“Especially with containerisation and “server-less” technologies, the trend toward abstraction of individual systems and services will drive IT architects to design for data and data processing and to build hybrid, multi-cloud data fabrics rather than just data centres,” says Gude.

As a result business decision makers will be looking for analytic and predictive tools and services that can run invisibly in the background of their environment, while being robust in their own right.

More choice when building for the cloud

The cloud crops up once again in Gude’s next prediction with larger organisations opting for a multi-cloud or hybrid environment to take care of their data needs.

This won’t be the case for smaller organisations, as the CSO sees them trying to develop their own unique setups in order to have a simpler and more consistent environment to reside within.

Even if you solve for data gravity, data consistency, data protection, data security and all that, you can still face the problem of platform lock-in and cloud provider-specific services that you’re writing against, which are not portable across clouds at all,” he says.

“As a result, smaller organisations will either develop in-house capabilities as an alternative to cloud service providers, or they’ll choose the simplicity, optimisation and hands-off management that come from buying into a single cloud provider,” adds Gude.

The promise of containers

The final prediction from Gude looks at containerisation as it applies to hybrid cloud application development.

More specifically he notes that containers offer customers freedom from potential vendor lock-ins.

“While containerisation technologies like Docker will continue to have relevance, the de facto standard for multi-cloud application development (at the risk of stating the obvious) will be Kubernetes,” says the CSO.

“New container-based cloud orchestration technologies will enable hybrid cloud application development, which means new applications will be developed for both public and on-premises use cases: no more porting applications back and forth,” enthuses Gude.

The result is that the movement of workloads to where data is being generated will be far easier, concludes the NetApp exec.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.