As enterprises continue to collect more and more data, they are looking for better ways to manage and orchestrate this data. 2019 was a milestone year as infrastructure and cloud vendors continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of their customers. 2020 will only see these changes accelerate. Here are 5 data trends that IT should keep an eye out for in 2020:
Trend #1: True Hybrid Cloud
Companies are struggling to move their mission-critical applications to the cloud. The migration process is a heavy lift: either they need high-performing, scalable shared resources or they need to completely refactor their applications. In order to achieve a true multi-cloud strategy, there needs to be a Data Plane which delivers a common set of shared services that enable companies to decouple the management and movement of data from the infrastructure it runs on.
By enabling this “Data Plane”, companies can deploy and migrate workloads wherever it makes sense – whether from a private cloud to a public cloud, or from one public cloud provider to another. This Data Plane layer is a gamechanger by eliminating the risk of vendor lock-in, and providing a new level of business agility in the form of an on-demand ability to increase application performance while making it far easier and more cost-effective to move data – without lengthy and risky refactoring of the application stack.
Trend #2: Democratization of Data Science
The amount of data that companies deal with on a daily basis has exploded. With the rise of autonomous things (AuT), enterprises receive billions of data points that need to be made sense of through some sort of artificial intelligence applications. Machine learning (ML) based decision making will continue to become more and more prevalent in enabling applications to deliver timely and relevant high value content to the end user through right at the edge devices — providing significant value in improving user experience (see Trend #4). One such example in the IT world is the trend of Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOPs) platforms, which enables IT organizations to quickly analyze and make sense of all infrastructure-related data.
Both the ease and need of analyzing data will drive a democratization of data science. It’s a similar revolution to the one social media had on journalism: anyone with a Twitter handle could find themselves as an on-the-scene reporter. The increasing amount of actionable intelligence will enable more stakeholders, such as business analysts and business intelligence engineers, to take on the role of a data scientist. In turn, greater access to data means that more stakeholders throughout the organization will be able to leverage this data in ways they might not have been thought of before (i.e. sales and marketing or R&D of new products).
Trend #3: As-a-Service
The as-a-service trend will continue its domination in 2020. As technologies continue to evolve, app developers will be able to figure out ways to provide anything as a service (XaaS). With XaaS, nearly any IT function can be acquired through a subscription service-based model: whether that’s software as a service (SaaS) or desktop as a service (DaaS).
In fact, XaaS extends beyond the realm of IT. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that streaming subscriptions now account for 80% of revenue in the music industry. Meanwhile, car manufacturers such as Lexus and Jeep made headlines in the past year when they announced vehicle subscription services. Consumers will increasingly come to expect services rather than products – whether that’s from video game developers or car manufacturers. The possibilities for what can be offered as a service are endless, and we’ll see more options come to light in 2020.
Trend #4: Improved User Experience
The customer experience is enabled by faster technology. New applications tend to be slower and prone to bugs. Thanks to digital transformation, user experience (UX) is rapidly transforming and improving. For example, 5G and WIFI6 are major factors that will contribute massive UX improvements. They deliver the high bandwidth, low latency, and wide coverage areas that are needed to support rich, robust as-a-service functionalities. Look for a huge assortment of new bespoke services coming to market that could not be delivered in the past because of technical bottlenecks. 5G will enable everything/everywhere edge computing that will make exciting new technologies – such as AR/VR and smart, connected devices – possible and more accessible. WIFI6, meanwhile, will offer users more robust outdoor network operations and high performance in dense environments. The combination of the two means that lagging or unavailable service is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Trend #5: Fast, Private, and Secure Data Management
With regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU, the need for better privacy and security is a top priority for most enterprises. At the same time, companies are increasingly adopting the cloud – leading to more concerns about how secure managing mission-critical data in the cloud really is. In order to remain competitive, vendors will need to offer more secure – possibly encrypted — data management services and tools that still maintain the speed that users have already come to expect.
As companies keep driving towards greater cloud adoption and users continue to expect better and faster services, the way that we manage and orchestrate data is going to change. By thinking about the trends that are starting to – or will shortly – emerge, companies can ensure that their products are able to stay ahead of these trends and continue to meet their customers’ evolving needs.