Three things that will happen in 2019 – and one that will not
At the end of every year, it has become tradition for IT leaders to reflect on the year past and predict what might be coming up in the year ahead.
2018 has been defined by data: by the rise in data-driven businesses, the theft of data and rise in data breaches, and the implementation of new data protection legislation like GDPR.
2018 has seen the technology industry take real and noticeable steps to adapt to a competitive landscape where its most valuable resource is data, and 2019 will likely be a year where this data-driven trajectory continues.
With that in mind, here are three things that will likely happen in 2019, and one that will not:
The culture of data will move to knowing, rather than just storing
Over the past few years, it's become a habit for organisations to collect and retain as much data as possible.
The idea is a simple one: the more data a business has, the more value it can get out of it (and the data might prove useful in the future). However, this year has seen companies realise that this isn't actually the case – in fact, regulations are making the opposite true.
2019 will see businesses increasingly invest in shifting from the current, dysfunctional data culture to a model where data management is less democratised and more process led and automated.
This will include technologies that can help to discover, profile, map and to know what data that is held, regardless of where it is stored – on-premises, cloud/SaaS or at the edge.
With this knowledge, organisations can move from the pain of siloed and irrelevant data that artificially increases quantity, to a place where data quality is king.
This approach leads to lower costs across the board, a significantly lower risk profile with regard to compliance, and puts businesses in a much better position to activate their data to meet desired business outcomes.
Trust will be at a premium
In 2019, trust is going to be at a premium.
People are tired of data breaches – no-one likes to think of their personal data in the hands of cyber-criminals, let alone financial details such as payment card information.
Businesses really need to win trust on two fronts with their customers; making sure that they feel reassured that their data is available when they need it but still kept securely, and they feel a measure of trust their data will not be abused.
Achieving this will require organisations to take a hard look at how they manage and protect their customer's data, and ensure they have the right policies and processes in place to earn and maintain this trust.
Edge computing will change where businesses manage data
Despite the rush to the cloud and the rise of the IoT, organisations still have a fair amount of centralisation in their IT infrastructure.
In 2019, the industry will start to see that change with the rise of edge computing, allowing data produced by IoT and mobile devices at the ‘edge' of the corporate network, to be processed where, or close to where, the data is created – this supports innovations like autonomous vehicles and smart cities.
This will understandably create new challenges around security, and managing the velocity and type of data that organisations can capture.
Businesses will see more new uses emerge by combining public and private sources of data from edge computing that will undoubtedly feed into more real-time data uses and AI projects.
2019 will not be the year of blockchain
Blockchain has been hyped throughout 2018 as having the potential to disrupt and replace traditional data management technology, as Gartner pointed out earlier this year.
However, there is still a fair amount of confusion around how blockchain can be practically implemented in real life user cases, and even fundamentally what it is.
Despite all the noise, 2019 will not be the year of blockchain, with industries continuing experiments to find practical use case examples, with only niche implementations likely.
Until there is a broader industry understanding of the potential and reality of this distributed ledger technology, including how it fits in with data protection legislation like GDPR, it will remain unlikely that businesses will see enterprise blockchain technology becoming the norm in 2019.