The millennium’s second decade is drawing to a close, bringing with it an integration of the digital world and the real world. Over the past few decades, intelligent systems have become integrated into our daily personal lives, and slowly but surely, the same trend is taking over the business world. We can observe this steady transition by looking at IT spending habits worldwide. Gartner projects global IT spending will increase to $3.79 trillion in 2019, representing a 1.1% growth over 2018.
Between increasingly powerful technology, the rise in the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and more pervasive use of big data, 2019 is shaping up to be a crucial year in technical advancement within the business world. With these factors in mind, let’s look at the five most essential emerging trends in networking and wireless technology in 2019.
Wi-Fi Trends in 2019
The brand new Wi-Fi 6, also called 802.11ax, is on track to start rolling out in 2019, upgrading the current highest-speed Wi-Fi protocol to deliver the most efficient Wi-Fi system yet. This advancement and associated technologies will provide several integral benefits to businesses, including the following.
- Increased efficiency on all bands: Wi-Fi 6 will deliver significant efficiency improvements across all existing Wi-Fi bands, from 2.4GHz to 5GHz. Once the new 6GHz band becomes available in 2019 or 2020, this efficiency will only improve.
- Improved device density: The most significant improvement Wi-Fi 6 technology will deliver is its ability to support more devices at once. Wi-Fi 6 increases the number of devices that can function efficiently in a single space, which increases businesses’ ability to use more mobile devices in their daily operations.
- Better power usage: The Wi-Fi 6 standard will make use of deterministic packet scheduling. This type of operation increases band use efficiency, in turn decreasing overall power usage. Therefore, by using Wi-Fi 6, organizations can reduce their total power use and can increase the functional battery life of mobile devices.
Analysts expect Wi-Fi 6 to gain widespread usage rapidly, as both office workers and general consumers will be able to communicate more reliably. Businesses are particularly interested in this technology as a way to ensure consistent mobile performance in crowded office spaces with several users and devices.
New Network Technologies and Trends in 2019
Stable and secure networks have become increasingly crucial in recent years, and 2019 is no exception. Global spending on networks is steadily increasing, and businesses are continuing to shift their network structures in favor of faster, higher-security options. Not only do these advancements allow them to achieve higher speeds, but they also enable businesses to maximize profits while minimizing the risk and cost of security breaches. We’ve listed the most significant network trends in 2019 below.
1. Cloud Technology
Upon the cloud’s introduction to the business world, many organizations hesitated to embrace it. Between the quickly changing technological landscape of the mid-2010s and increasing concerns over security in light of several major data breaches, all but the most forward-thinking small businesses were reluctant to make the switch. However, cloud technology in 2019 is well-established as a secure, highly efficient and cost-effective option for businesses of all sizes, and it is here to stay.
Not only does cloud computing reduce the need for on-premises network infrastructure, but it also scales easily with companies’ needs. Whether a company needs a temporary network expansion or contraction, the cloud provides a cost-effective solution that doesn’t require new hardware installations. These factors make it an incredibly cost-effective option for enterprises.
However, no single cloud vendor can meet all the needs of any business. As a result, many industry specialists are expecting multi-cloud networks to become available in 2019, allowing enterprises to leverage all the various capabilities of cloud computing.
2. Edge Computing
Edge computing continues to rise among trends in networking technologies and uses, carrying over from 2018 to 2019. These decentralized networks minimize latency by keeping computations close to system endpoints, reducing the effects of overcrowded bandwidth and poor connectivity. In 2019, industry professionals expect edge computing to continue to grow in popularity compared to data centers. However, we may see this trend eventually lead to edge sprawl over time.
Software-defined WAN, or SD-WAN, is one of the latest trends in networking technology. Where WAN technology was at a standstill for almost three decades, SD-WAN represents a fresh update. While still in the early-adopter phase, SD-WAN is quickly moving toward mainstream adoption in 2019, with projected SD-WAN network traffic growing by 500%, bringing numerous benefits and advancements.
Traditional corporate networks focus on centralized control, routing traffic and managing security through a primary data center regardless of the entry and exit point locations. SD-WAN, on the other hand, allows networks to route traffic appropriately and efficiently depending on where the traffic entry and exit points are.
For example, if a user at a branch office uses an app, a traditional system would automatically route their traffic to the primary data center. An SD-WAN, on the other hand, would send the traffic to the closest cloud data center for the app. This method effectively improves network responsiveness, lowers bandwidth costs and increases overall efficiency, all while maintaining high levels of security. On top of these benefits, SD-WAN would make it easier to integrate machine intelligence into the office as well.
Consumers are scrambling to get started with 5G technology in 2019. This year, carriers are beginning to roll out limited installations for various small devices, bringing with them improved speed and increased smartphone battery life. However, 5G isn’t only an exciting prospect for smartphone users — many businesses are also looking forward to implementing 5G in the workplace.
For businesses, 5G technology could serve as a convenient WAN option for branch offices. Corporate 5G systems could provide enhanced performance over traditional wired connections, especially when combined with Wi-Fi 6.
While it will take some time to roll out, 5G, in conjunction with Wi-Fi 6, will help initiate a new era of connectivity for consumers and businesses alike.
Machine Learning and AI Trends in 2019
AI and machine learning are exciting prospects for many businesses. While collecting data has become significantly easier with the rise of IoT-enabled technology, processing that data is an entirely different problem. Real-time data is only valuable for those who can interpret it, and humans are not capable of quickly processing large quantities of information. As a result, techs may not catch errors and anomalies for hours, if not days, after they occur, increasing the chances of a catastrophic failure or breach. AI serves as a potential solution to this problem.
In 2019, companies are starting to adopt artificial intelligence to analyze incoming data in real time. These systems find and alert users of anomalies that human observers might otherwise overlook. While these systems are currently reporting simple breaks in patterns, more advanced systems should begin appearing soon.
Of particular interest is machine learning, which is a system that implements advanced pattern recognition to “learn” over time. AI with machine learning categorizes and prioritizes alerts, placing focus on more pressing issues while de-prioritizing non-critical problems. This technology is particularly beneficial for network maintenance — AI can see incoming data from networks, filter unimportant data and recognize significant patterns. They can then effectively communicate these patterns to techs, allowing them to quickly implement actions to optimize performance and security.
As AI technology advances, the potential for its use also expands. In 2019, expect to see more news about AI in a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to health care.
Internet of Things Trends in 2019
The world is only becoming more interconnected in 2019, with an expanding range of internet-connected products becoming available to consumers and businesses alike. This increased connectivity allows for increased functionality in many aspects of daily life, but also presents several challenges. Both the benefits and drawbacks of IoT are becoming more prevalent in 2019.
1. IoT for Business Use
IoT-enabled technology is on the rise, with wearable tech, self-driving vehicles, smart sensors, robotics and more coming into the business world. Projections estimate that by 2020, there will be 26 times more intelligent things connected than people. Smart technology can help in a wide range of business functions, including the following.
- Increased connectivity: Smartphones were the first step, but advanced IoT devices are taking connectivity to the next level. Every aspect of your business can connect to an IoT-enabled device, allowing employees to communicate more immediately and see a wider range of data types.
- Advanced automation: Technology giants like Amazon are increasingly using IoT as a way of integrating automation into their business models. As an example, IoT is playing a role in retail in the form of robot cashiers, who engage with customers, show ads and complete transactions with a high level of accuracy.
- Improved peripheral management: Some of IoT’s presence is in areas you wouldn’t expect. Some companies use asset-management systems, integrated HVAC and smart-building technology as a way of automatically maintaining peripheral systems, minimizing the need for manual maintenance.
- Real-time monitoring: Wearable technology allows users to monitor and view data anywhere. Whether it’s a watch that provides updates on your business email or a sensor that transmits your health data to a physician, IoT allows for more advanced monitoring solutions.
In all, IoT devices deliver more in-depth insight into business operations and actions. While so much information can make decision-making more difficult, IoT devices provide more benefits than drawbacks. Between reducing operational costs through automation and making it easier for businesses to communicate, IoT devices are certainly a trend to watch in 2019.
On the flipside of IoT advancements is the issue of cybersecurity. Network security has been an enormous priority for businesses and consumers in the current millennium, but security concerns are only growing as this decade draws to a close. Industry experts expect the security breaches of 2018 to get worse in 2019, exacerbated by the increased attack surface provided by edge computing and IoT devices. With these attacks, data loss, personal information theft and equipment failure are expected to become more common.
With an increase in attacks, investment in cybersecurity measures should rise correspondingly. With the passage of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation last year, businesses must comply if they want to avoid costly fines. AI-based defense systems are poised to make a significant impact, identifying breaches much more quickly than human users can. We may also see a rise in external penetration testing as an assessment tool for corporate network security systems.
Cryptocurrency Trends in 2019
Cryptocurrency wavered for a moment in 2017, with Bitcoin suffering major price volatility and investors losing faith in the stability of their currency. However, 2018 saw crypto coins stabilize, with prices changing more subtly than in the previous year because several institutions started accepting it as a form of payment. Additionally, more educational resources on cryptocurrency are available than ever before, educating people on the benefits and technical aspects of cryptocurrency. These trends, as well as the increased security measures available to protect investors from fraud, will continue stabilizing cryptocurrencies through 2019. Many industry leaders expect more businesses to start accepting cryptocurrencies as a result.
While cryptocurrency grows, technologies related to cryptocurrency are also on the rise. Of particular interest is blockchain transaction tracking. Blockchain is an online ledger that is shareable within a specific network, allowing for decentralized control over exchanges. This technology paved the way for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to become established and gain traction.
While blockchain had its start in cryptocurrency, blockchain systems are also available to businesses, which can use the technology for a range of purposes. For example, blockchain can keep reliable records for audits, track supply chain systems for quality assurance, manage contracts and streamline confirmations and validations on trades. The chief benefit of using blockchain for these purposes is to eliminate a middleman from business transactions, allowing for faster response times and improved control. The key, however, is investing in a high-quality, secure blockchain system to prevent fraud and third-party tampering.
Find Smart, Secure, Connected Systems
With so many new technology trends on the horizon in 2019, we can expect to see the world change significantly, carrying over into the next decade. From smarter, more connected systems to increased security considerations, there are many things for businesses to consider and plan for this year, and many may decide to dive in.
Face the top technology trends of 2019 head-on by partnering with Worldwide Supply. Whether you need an upgrade, expansion or an entirely new system, we can help you find exactly what you need. We provide an extensive selection of hardware that can help you grow your network, with thousands of next-generation network technologies in stock for immediate delivery. We test all of our parts in a state-of-the-art center and are so confident in our products that we provide a standard lifetime warranty. For assistance, our team of certified engineers is standing by offering dedicated 24/7 remote technical support to all our customers.
Contact us today to find out how Worldwide Supply can help your business develop a network that is ready for future trends.