Welcome to 2019, a new year with new challenges and new opportunities. Following our recent post 2018: a Year in Review, we’re back with a new interview with James Butler, Chief Technology Officer at Trustmarque, to a look at the key IT industry market predictions for 2019.

Continue reading for a quick look at what’s likely to happen in the world of Cloud, Security, IOT and of course AI.

James Butler, CTO

Where is the market going this year?

It’s about evolution rather than revolution. I don’t think there will be anything sharply disruptive from a technology point of view, that isn’t already known about. But there may be a shift in focus. The security challenge will get more prominent and customers will spend more and more time on security because the risks are growing. Exploitation is too easy. If you’re not planning on making more investments on security this year, you’re making a mistake.

Cloud remains on the agenda of course, but cloud is mature now so it’s more about execution and for us, helping more customers either jump on the band wagon or finish off the parts of their infrastructure they didn’t have time for previously. There will be more emphasis on making it easier for customers to migrate more of their infrastructures – it’s about accelerating and driving performance for customers with good service and new features.

What are the vendors focused on?

We’ve seen a lot of impressive developments recently. Both niche vendors and big vendors are constantly throwing up new and impressive technology that lets customers run their businesses in different ways.

This year, we expect vendors will remain focused on all the key areas; Cloud, Security and IOT, which overlaps into Big Data and AI. AI being something which is of particular interest for the big players. Security is the area to watch. There’s new stuff coming out all the time – increasingly AI powered – and lots of new and innovative companies coming to market. It’s evolving rapidly in order to keep up with the growing threat.

In more mature areas like converged infrastructure and storage, many companies are actively seeking acquisition or they are shifting the focus to hybrid cloud and cloud integration features in order to survive and differentiate.

You mentioned AI, what are we expecting this year?

2019 could well be the year that we get some clarity about how AI will add value to business. From a technology point of view there has been a lot of people playing with AI in the IT industry for some time but not many who have done anything significant. We’re not at a point where everyone understands the business benefit of using AI and it’s been very much been in the stages of early adoption and exploring.

However, more and more people have started noticing that AI applies everywhere. There is a huge amount of discussion and noise and it has started to change the way people think about their opportunities and challenges both in the personal / consumer space and also within a business environment.

One of the things Trustmarque has been looking at is a more process-centric view of how we can use data and AI to drive change. A lot of the time, Big Data is talked about in terms of how to drive your business better but if you’re not combining that with an approach that says ‘how do we optimise our processes?’ then you may well miss a lot of the opportunity. And you risk building stuff that you don’t know how to get the value from.

AI is important in that process-centric view of a business and optimising it.

“More and more people have started noticing that AI applies everywhere. It has started to change the way people think about their opportunities and challenges in the consumer and business spaces.”

Do we expect any new buzzwords for 2019?

Good question. Of course the thing with buzzwords is that they are hard to predict but spread like wildfire on the internet. I’m confident there will be new ones around cyber security threats because that landscape is going to keep evolving and often in unexpected ways – maybe techniques like the new approach to phishing of using web fonts with substitution cyphers needs its own buzzword for example.  How about “Camo Phishing”?

There’s lots of hype words around cloud, but they are often misused, even by leaders in the IT industry.

Intelligent cloud could be something we hear more of in 2019. That comes from Microsoft’s approach to the modern data centre; ‘intelligent cloud, intelligent edge’. This refers to the way they are automating computer power inside and outside the modern data centre whilst adding AI throughout and it’s a very interesting area.  That buzzword could become more widely recognised and used.

What are your predictions for ways of working i.e. will we see more agility?

It’s different for each customer, but for many organisations we work with they are at a tipping point where the new digital technology is becoming more important than the previous generation of technology. The technology that centred on distributed server infrastructures and locally deployed applications is starting to become the infrastructure of yesterday. It is not where the discretionary spend is allocated and it is not the priority of most IT departments.

The balance of spend and power has shifted to focus more on digital. There are not many CIOs who don’t have a digital focus. And a lot of customers outside th IT industry are moving more to new technologies and cloud infrastructures to support the modern workplace.

That’s not a new phenomenon, it’s a continuation but its importance is growing.

To see how Trustmarque can help you navigate the changing IT industry landscape of 2019, talk to your Account Manager  or email [email protected]

By Katherine Murphy, content enthusiast