For 2020-2029, you need to master these five tech enablers to put a spring in your business step.

The last decade was fulfilling for the technology industry. We saw many technological advancements and evolutions: for instance, artificial intelligence, which at the start of 2010 was often seen as science-fiction by most, is now getting ubiquitous. We have also seen the shift of cloud computing from hype to mainstream, allowing us to work remotely and securely—something that we could only dream of 10 years ago.

As we continue to progress and achieve greater success from an IT perspective, it is important for us not only to explore new technology that will help increase productivity, but also to protect ourselves.

Cloud management and security

With the rise of use in personal mobile devices and wearables, businesses are constantly looking for new methods to make data easily accessible within their organisations. At the same time, we have also witnessed various breaches of public cloud platforms over the past few years. Naturally, in the new decade, the next focus would be to manage and secure data that are available on the platform.

For cloud management, while it is important to enforce encryption to thwart intercepted access, there are still many other ways for data to be compromised. Data still needs to be usable for employees who need access when the situation arises; but it is also critical for certain access to be restricted.

Beyond 2020, as organisations look to make data increasingly accessible within their workplace in the face of continuing demand for mobility and portability, traditional data management methods will be outmoded. Cloud-based infrastructure requires specific cloud data management (CDM) protocols in place that are tap every benefit of the platform while increasing security.

Businesses should start to rethink their strategies now (if they have not done so) to secure the data which is considered low hanging fruit to hackers looking to exploit outmoded data management infrastructure.

Data backup success and solutions

With many businesses now working over the cloud, it is important for them to ensure that their critical data can be easily recovered by backing up these vital assets holistically in spite of the multiple platforms involved.

It is also important to understand that having data on the cloud does not mean it is automatically backed up. Businesses must be conscious of how to handle data across clouds and leverage better tools to back them up.

Almost a third of businesses now continuously back up and replicate high-priority applications and this number will increase over the next few years. Going forward, more platforms and tools allowing businesses to continuously back their data up across multiple platforms and perform full recovery within minutes will become commonplace. Such tools will empower businesses to leverage on the availability of data to make informed decisions.

Increased automation

As we currently stand, less than a quarter of organisations have started adopting automation technologies. Over the next few years,we will start to see increased automation in the areas of tasks and processes across organisations that support the streamlining of mundane manual duties.

An example of how automation can be used efficiently is Infrastructure as Code (IaC). Infrastructure automation allows organisations to configure and set up a complete infrastructure using just a script, removing components requiring manual labor. IaC has made its way to the front of the minds of IT professionals because previously mundane tasks can be automated with ease.

While automation is not something that is inherently new, we will start to see those who are already equipped with the capabilities, to shift towards the combination of the different genres of automation mechanisms, including IaC.

AI-optimized workflows

While the hype around AI has been building up over the last few years, many are still trying to familiarise themselves with the idea of having a machine do things for them. Over the next few years, we will start to see a shift within enterprises; they will start incorporating AI as a norm. 

This is something that we can expect because businesses will be more productive, allowing them to focus on other goals and priorities rather than clocking hours on outdated processes. AI-drive analytics  benefit the enterprise in improving how it creates products and services, as well as how it satisfies its customers in terms of marketing outreach, sales support, aftersales support and customised loyalty programs.

Software defined networking (SDN)

Introduced as a solution to enable networkwide automation and simplify complex data center environments, SDN is one of the technologies that we can expect to see having the most impact over the next two to five years.

Inefficient management of security and risks of service interruption can be eased with SDN technologies as automation replaces the need for human intervention. By facilitating software-driven approaches, issues around the complexity of network design and security can be easily solved—organisations will then be able to grow and shrink their networks on demand, depending on changing needs.

SDN allows the expansion and connection of network beyond traditional borders. This means that data can effectively flow between disparate networks and platform. With more than three quarters of organisations currently using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), SDN will play a bigger role in the years to come, allowing businesses to distribute applications quickly and efficiently. Networking engineers are already deploying SDN to stay on top of their game.

With all the benefits that SDN offers, we are expecting many businesses to embrace this new network paradigm.