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Looking to the Future: 2020 Predictions in Edge Computing and HCI

In 2019, we saw the continued rise of edge computing and hyperconverged infrastructure as more and more industries realized the potential these technologies carry. Looking forward to 2020, we expect more businesses to continue to utilize the power of edge computing and hyperconverged infrastructure. In fact, according to a Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics® Mobility Survey, “Fifty-seven percent of mobility decision makers said they have edge computing on their roadmap for the next 12 months.” 

However, that is really the tip of the iceberg. Here are my thoughts and predictions on what I think will be hot in the coming twelve months.

IoT Continues to Evolve

According to Statista, the global IoT market will explode from $2.9 trillion in 2014 to $8.9 trillion in 2020. That means companies will be collecting data and insights from nearly everything we touch from the moment we wake up and likely even while we sleep. As evidence of this, technologists have seen that the rise of edge computing and IoT was accelerated by the birth of the iPhone. 

Seeing what Apple has achieved, we are going to see a much broader perspective on this ability to put reasonable amounts of compute into a tiny form factor and move that into dedicated functions. In 2020, as a result, we can expect to see evolutionary expansion in the IoT space, not revolutionary. It will continue to evolve, driven by a need for more efficient, more compelling, cost-effective solutions, with edge computing at the forefront.

Edge Computing on the Rise

We are living in a world that is increasingly data-driven, and that data is being generated outside the four walls of the traditional data center. With 2020 approaching, organizations are taking a much deeper look at their cloud usage. Cloud was originally positioned as the answer to all problems, but now the question is, at what cost? 

More organizations are turning to hybrid cloud and edge computing strategies, and choosing  solutions that process data at the source of its creation. In 2020, organizations will rely on hybrid environments, with edge computing collecting, processing and reducing vast quantities of data, which are then later uploaded to a centralized data center or the cloud.

Growth in Ransomware Attacks

The recent news cycle has been flooded with organizations from airlines to banks and hospitals, even entire local governments, falling victim to ransomware attacks. Threats such as these are evolving at a horrific pace, and they will continue to become more sophisticated, more lucrative and increasingly devious in 2020. So, to the organizations that think they can’t afford to modernize their infrastructure defenses, well, the truth is that they can’t afford not to. 

As this malicious momentum snowballs into next year, businesses must realize that traditional legacy tools are not only slowing their digital journey down, but leaving them vulnerable to tactical and well-organized criminals. We will see organizations taking advantage of highly-available solutions, such as hyperconvergence and edge computing, that allow them to not only keep up with changing consumer demands, but deploy the most effective cyber defenses, disaster recovery, and backup.

The way organizations approach the aftermath of data being corrupted will likely change too, as insurance companies will begin to take an active role, not just in the recovery of data, but in the decision making when it comes to whether or not to pay the ransom demand. The overall cost of doing business will rise in conjunction with the growing threat of cyber-attacks, and every business should be bracing themselves for the impact.

Smaller Form Factors

To address the needs of both IoT and edge computing, smaller computing form factors that perform enterprise-level tasks will be needed. The primary driving factor of this trend will be the cost of deploying and maintaining computing systems outside of the data center. The smaller the form factor, the lower the requirements for power, cooling, and space.

Even with 5G networks, cloud computing is simply not suitable for many computing needs at the edge of the network where IoT is growing. Small computing devices and appliances that can run business-critical applications and be highly available will be critical to meeting the computing demands growing into this new decade.

Smaller form factor computing will make technology more accessible outside of the data centers of the world with a much smaller footprint than traditional servers and server-based appliances. Many traditional systems can be replaced with smaller, cooler, and less power-hungry alternatives. A smaller footprint also aligns with the environmental initiatives of organizations around the world, to reduce energy consumption into the coming years.  

Final Thoughts

2020 will be a momentous year for edge computing, IoT and data protection, and we should expect to see major changes to the way SMBs adopt these technologies and how consumers respond to various innovations. At Scale Computing, we are excited to see what will happen in the year to come and we hope to share our experiences with you.