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2019 Channel Trends

Feb 4, 2019 6:20:16 AM Miriam Murphy workplace transformation, Disruptive Technologies, Edge Technology, Disruptive Technology Digital Transformation

In today’s digital age, technological advancement is constant. The gradual evolution of existing technologies and, with that, new ways to solve business challenges creates new opportunities for businesses globally, every day. For the channel, making the most of these opportunities is a business’ main form of competitive differentiator and value-add for its customers. Below, Tech Data highlights just some of the trends that will make an impact this year.

Augmented Analytics

This method uses machine learning to enable data sharing and automate data insight. These insights are then used to improve daily decision making for employees, customers and suppliers by utilising large data sets, which are not restricted by geographical boundaries or legal ownership. 2019 may even preview permission based central platforms where platform users can decide what applications can see what data, for what purpose and when.

Empowered Edge

Cloud computing was one of the most influential technological trends in 2018 and now, in 2019, thanks to new developments in large-scale IoT deployments, more businesses than ever before plan to use edge or “fog” computing. Edge computing will shift critical processes away from cloud data centres and, instead, to the devices connected to them.

As the use of IoT (Internet of Things) becomes more prominent, so too will the need to process data close to the endpoint instead of on a centralised cloud server. Businesses that implement edge computing have increased in the last year and, in 2019, we can expect to see edge-focused infrastructure further developed through the uses of AI, greater storage and processing power. This will then create a symbiotic relationship with cloud computing, meaning businesses no longer have to create a new infrastructure to implement edge computing.

With the introduction of 5G this year, this trend will become more important, driving up the volume of data at the edge even more.

Digital Ethics and Privacy

Digital innovation is affecting the way we live our lives. Yet, society has reached a point in moving forward where we need an open and frank debate about how our data is used. Innovation is data driven which means that we should be prepared to share our data. On the other hand, there is also a strong need to protect ourselves digitally.

2018 saw the introduction of GDPR, forcing consumers to be more aware of their privacy rights and protecting digital identities. And rightly so. No user should have their data compromised and used without their consent.

Consumers need to be educated on where it is safe to give consent and to understand the exact extent of how the data will be used. The technology industry can be involved in the conversations about what implications technology has on our lives in moral, social and political ways. Balancing data privacy with accelerating innovation around new technology is key. Perhaps further exploration in deep data personalised data platforms may be valuable later in the year too, so that we have a choice when it comes to what data goes into the platform and who can use it for what purposes.

Consumption Based Models for IT

The way consumers use IT has changed within the last 12 months signifying a ‘transformation culture’, which has presented some concerns around skills and resources that obstruct businesses being redefined. ‘As-a-Service’ models are becoming common across the industry, and financing of these deals should be changed from paying back the credit on an IT asset. Models that allow for the lease or rent of an IT solution for a fixed price allow customers to take advantage of the latest technologies and pay less.

Finally, more businesses will seek to quickly adopt consumption-based IT models and this year will highlight the channel switch to smarter ways of financing IT projects to help customers achieve their digital transformation goals.

Miriam Murphy

Written by Miriam Murphy

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