The technology industry is predicting that 2019 will be the year where the cloud, the edge, and technologies will be linked together throughout devices.
Cloud computing, multi-cloud management, and technology enablers will keep channel partners busy in the new year. AI and blockchain require infrastructure comprehension, so IT services suggest that companies will invest in cloud service providers such as AWS and Google.
“Implementations for IoT, blockchain, AI [and] machine learning — underpinned by cloud-specific architectures — will be the default innovation architecture,” said Siki Giunta, managing director at Accenture.
Deloitte’s “Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2019” report stated that the cloud would be the starting point for AI adoption.
The Deloitte report stated that 70% of AI adopters will access AI via cloud-based software, and 65% will used cloud-based software to build AI applications.
Gartner also found that edge computing will continue expanding towards greater intelligence.
Dhyan Raj, principal of technology at Synechron, a digital, business consulting and technology services firm, said that edge computing will generate more interest thanks to new devices being added to the internet.
Raj also said that edge computing does not work in tandem with cloud computing. Cloud computing collects information from end devices and sends it to a remote server, while edge computing processing takes place at the end devices.
Gartner states that empowered edge will be one of the top 10 strategic technologies in 2019, saying it is expecting an increase in the embedding of AI functions.
“In general, intelligence will move toward the edge in a variety of endpoint devices, from industrial devices to screens to smartphones to automobile power generators,” Gartner reported.
Anurag Agrawal, CEO of Techaisle, an SMB market research firm, said that 2018 focused on business optimization, but 2019 will focus mainly on tying together technological components so they are interconnected.
Techaisle, a global SMB and midmarket IT market research organization, has called this model the “Interwork” platform.
The Interwork platform includes technologies such as edge devices, cloud applications, collaboration tools, and data analytics, which can provide SMBs more business growth, customer acquisition, and reduced operational costs.
Agrawal suggests that SMB partners invest in digital workspaces, integration, orchestration, data, and AI.
Digital workspaces will allow employees access to all applications without leaving the actual workspace.
Integration give SMBs the ability to become connected through cloud-to-cloud applications, as well as different infrastructure technologies.
Orchestration in a SMB space aids partners in selecting technologies and architecting IT solutions that will allow for a connected business.
Data should go beyond simply understanding it. SMBs should be able to implement it and use data to provide their customers with organization insight.
AI interest has also grown tremendously in the SMB market and companies are seeking out the best way to deploy this technology.
Technology integration for small businesses could create new opportunities for channel partners, but could also overwhelm them. Implementing all five of these trends could be difficult, but if partners can at least touch base on a couple of the areas, they could benefit from partnering up with other firms to cover areas that seem unattainable.
IoT adoption could also be another major key player in company implementation.
“There is not as much [in terms of] practical applications,” said Dave Landsberger, director of training and events at TBI. “We do have a couple of applications that we can resell as part of an IoT initiative … but it is not like these sales.”
Landsberger says that IoT adoption is contingent upon the rollout of 5G. Until then, customers will need better data management to open up channel opportunities.