The culture of data: knowing, rather than just storing
Over the past few years, it's become a habit for organisations to collect and retain as much data as possible. The idea is a simple one: the more data you have, the more value you can get out of it (oh, and it might be useful in the future). However, this year has seen companies realise this isn't actually the case; in fact, regulations are making the opposite true.
2019 will see businesses increasingly invest in shifting from the current, dysfunctional data culture to a model where data management is less democratised and more process-led and automated. This will include technologies that can help to discover, profile, map and know what data is held, regardless of where it is stored, on-premises, cloud/SaaS or at the edge.
With this knowledge, organisations can move from the pain of siloed and irrelevant data that artificially increases quantity, to a place where data quality is king. This approach leads to lower costs across the board, a significantly lower risk profile with regard to compliance, and puts you in a much better position to activate your data to meet your desired business outcomes.
Edge computing will change where we manage data
Despite the rush to the cloud and the rise of the IOT, we still have a fair amount of centralisation in our IT infrastructure. In 2019, we'll start to see that change with the rise of edge computing, allowing data produced by IOT and mobile devices at the 'edge' of the corporate network to be processed where, or close to where, the data is created; this supports innovations like autonomous vehicles and smart cities.
This will understandably create new challenges around security, and managing the velocity and type of data that organisations can capture. We will see more new uses emerge by combining public and private sources of data from edge computing that will undoubtedly feed into more real-time data uses and AI projects.
Quantum computing might change the way we compute altogether
The fundamentals of how we process information might be about to change, with quantum computing starting to become available to businesses, at a price. These new quantum computing offerings (by the likes of IBM, with Microsoft also touting its capabilities), will provide a whole new generation of computing power that is still largely the preserve of the academic world.
However, towards the end of 2019, we might just start to see the first real commercial examples of quantum computing in areas such as storage and cryptography, so watch this space!
2019 will not be the year of blockchain
Blockchain has been hyped throughout 2018 as having the potential to disrupt and replace traditional data management technology, as Gartner pointed out earlier this year. However, there is still a fair amount of confusion around how blockchain can be practically implemented in real life use cases, and even fundamentally what it is.
Despite all the noise, 2019 will not be the year of blockchain, with industries continuing experiments to find practical use case examples, with only niche implementations likely. Until we have a broader industry understanding of the potential and reality of this distributed ledger technology, including how it fits in with data protection legislation like GDPR, we're unlikely to see enterprise blockchain technology becoming the norm in 2019.