By Prem Ananthakrishnan, VP of Products, Druva
With 2018 coming to a close, IT companies around the world are re-evaluating their businesses and the changes they expect to see over the next year. Data services, from data centers, warehousing, analytics and more are increasingly focused on being a profit center instead of a cost for businesses. In 2019, these providers will go even further, becoming ‘value providers’ that help drive digital transformation across organizations.
To begin with, there will be an increasing focus on data protection. The events of this year have quickly escalated the issue of data compliance and protection to the government level;- it is no longer simply consumers and corporations reaching understandings. Countries around the world are following the framework of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to enact more stringent compliance standards. For instance, the California Consumer Privacy Act goes into effect January 2020 and I have no doubt many others will follow suit in the coming years. Data protection is giving way to data management, which implies a more comprehensive data policy. Strict data regulations mean that companies will now have to meet new standards and compliance. Given this need for flexibility and scalability to store data within specific regions and meet local requirements, customers will increasingly opt for cloud deployments rather than on-premises solutions.
Meanwhile, trends such as the demand for autonomous or connected cars accelerating at a breathtaking pace, are steeped in cloud-based technology and storage. Dominant vehicle makers around the globe, technology giants and specialist startups have invested US$50 billion over the last five years to develop autonomous vehicle technology, with 70 percent of the spending coming from outside the automotive sector. The emergence of connected cars will cascade into massive data formation — these vehicles rely on telemetry data created every second from a multitude of sensors to make essential driving decisions. In such a scenario, relevant data on accidents or incidents must be retained for multiple years per regulations, but can also be critical to engineers as they evaluate decision making engines and refine systems. But how to you effectively store and manage such massive data sets? A proper data management and protection architecture, built in the cloud that leverages near unlimited storage and compute capabilities will be key to ensuring the success in this space.
We are also beginning to see blockchain technology be adopted as an application for data management, given its ability to validate and trust the data as records are pulled into other resources. It will be a useful technology, especially as data continues to become more important to businesses and governments, however it is also likely that blockchain will become a commodity over the next several years. Once standardization begins in earnest, the differences between platforms will recede, leaving a unified technology that can slip into the background of applications and take place behind the scenes. Serverless architecture will also drive down costs even further, and we can expect hybrid and multi-cloud strategies to become more popular with pushes from VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Moreover, online marketplaces will shift spending from offline distribution and vendors, and resellers will increasingly adopt digital VAR-like models.
The adoption of machine learning and AI has no end in sight, thereby increasing the appeal of cloud computing. Technologies such as AI, machine learning, and analytics thrive in environments with expansive amounts of data and compute abilities beyond those available in on-premises solutions. Additionally, AI and machine learning will become increasingly embedded into cloud services or available on-demand in some manner from the majority of cloud providers. These trends greatly favor cloud-based architectures and will only increase as vendors offer more advanced solutions and ultimately developers will make public cloud their de-facto choice.
While organisations across sectors are steadily focusing on digital transformation, IT service providers have to keep pace with the growing demand for cloud and data compliance. Going forward, the players in the segment will have to struggle against old school thinking, initiating a paradigm shift in their working process.