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2020: What’s ahead in AI, security, quantum computing

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Bill Fenick, VP Enterprise, Interxion argues that emerging technologies will reach a new level of maturity. He claims, “with the IT industry booming over the past few years, it’s hard to imagine that there will be any huge surprises in enterprise IT next year. However, I do expect that the new decade will bring new levels of maturity to leveraging technologies including the cloud, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. These technologies have transitioned from emerging trends that organisations were trying to figure out, to established staples of businesses’ IT strategies.”

He continues, “with the advancements of these technologies, most organisations are realising that their existing enterprise data centres can no longer support these technologies. As a result, we can expect to see a follow-on shift toward IT infrastructures that can provide high performant, secure and cost effective interconnections to the cloud and connectivity providers that will help them meet their unique needs.”

Role of AI in supply chains in 2020

Meanwhile, while on the topic of AI, Amit Saini, Vice President of Enterprise AI Services, Noodle.ai had some forward looking thoughts on AI’s role in supply chains next year. “We anticipate that many manufacturers will face a working capital squeeze. This will be driven by the dual-edged sword of high inventory carrying costs and shareholder expectations for investments in sustainable and leaner supply chains,” Saini said. “As a result, many manufacturers will have to turn to the debt markets to raise capital, sometimes amidst choppy market conditions. Improvement to working capital is just one of the many reasons that manufacturers will raise debt.”

Colleague Guarav Palta, Managing Partner of Enterprise AI, Client Services and Solutions, Noodle.ai continued that “manufacturing and supply chain organisations are challenged by highly volatile environments, such as CPG. At the same time, they are constrained by deterministic rules-based planning and execution systems.”

AI in drones

Ilkka Hiidenheimo, CEO Sharper Shape weighed in on AI, but in relation to the drone industry. “While the drone industry in general will grow in 2020, the technology will also continue to evolve with more capabilities becoming available through drone automation. Companies will be able to leverage advanced AI and ML capabilities in their technology that will help generate more accurate results from utility inspections conducted by drones,” said Hiidenheimo. He continued on to say that “on top of that, updated drone batteries and FAA regulation will allow for more drone use. As for hardware, the sensor market is experiencing a shift in sensors becoming cheaper and lighter while still retaining high power. These changes are sure to lead to higher fidelity data, more accurate results and actionable insights.”

AI in manufacturing

“Emotion recognition and computer vision, which are relatively new in the artificial intelligence domain, will scale in implementations throughout various industries in 2020,” says Anis Uzzaman, CEO of Pegasus Tech Ventures. He continues on to predict that “AI will continue to have its breakout moment in the manufacturing space as companies race to implement automation technologies given the rapidly aging population space in many developed countries. For example, US Silicon Valley startups like Vicarious, Osaro, and Kindred.ai have been at the top pioneering industrial motion planning AI technology for factory automation and distribution solutions.”

What SMBs need to know about security in 2020

Shifting gears to security, Brian Downey, Vice President Product Management, Continuum comments on the cybersecurity landscape. He says, “in 2019 we started to see a significant increase in the number of attacks on managed service providers, with 74 per cent of MSPs suffering a cyberattack, and 83 per cent reporting that their SMB customers suffered one as well. While this pattern will not be new in 2020, the exponential growth in this method of attack, as well as the accountability of the service provider, is something we expect will continue in the next year. As cybercrime continues to evolve and become more complex, it will be more important than ever in 2020 for both sides to work together to take a proactive, collaborative approach in the upcoming years to protect themselves from cyberattacks. This will involve education and increased investment in cybersecurity training programs so that MSPs and SMBs stay in tune with in the IT landscape. ”

Security will be key for decentralised architectures

Patrick Lastennet, Director of Enterprise, Interxion also weighs in on security, but from an enterprise perspective.  He mentions, “traditionally, enterprise infrastructures have been centralised around their own, on premises data centre. This has made securing their environments somewhat less complex, as organisations could effectively manage all of their internal workloads in one place.” He continues, “but if you’ve read anything about IT management over the past decade, it’s clear that this traditional network architecture is evolving. It’s transitioning toward a decentralised model where enterprises can tap cloud providers, SaaS platforms and proprietary data centres, which makes for a far more distributed architecture. And, as organisations think about their more decentralised architectures and the requirements for seamless connectivity across platforms and environments, rethinking their security strategy as part of that will be critical. To have a successful distributed architecture, enterprises need a security strategy that combines physical and network security with robust encryption key management to mitigate threats without inhibiting performance.”

2020 marks the beginning of the Quantum computing era

Lastly, Anis Uzzaman, CEO of Pegasus Tech Ventures also weighs in on quantum computing. He believes “2020 will mark a new paradigm towards the real usage of quantum computing technology. The amount of data produced will increase significantly, and quantum computing will be the main platform to use this data to target big problems in industries such as healthcare and energy, enabling us to handle big data for cancer treatment, DNA analysis, nuclear energy control, and so forth. Quantum computer technology is becoming easier to use in familiar platforms such as AWS, and in mid-2020, the use of quantum computers will become more common for enterprises and developers.”

How do these predictions stack up against what you believe is coming in 2020?

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