Digital Transformation

Why 5G, AI, cloud, and blockchain will dominate the digital future of the enterprise

Emerging tech trends in 2018 will become competitive advantages for companies in 2019, an Equinix report says.

The tech and digital trends of 2018 will continue and expand into the new year, according to a Monday report from Equinix Inc. The data center company, with 52 global markets and nearly 10,000 customers, determined the top factors driving the digital economy: 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, data privacy, and cloud.

"The market is at an inflection point, where the right digital strategies become the differentiator and source of competitive advantage for organizations," Brian Lillie, Equinix's CPO, said in a press release. "And for the first time in history, the technology to fully enable digital business is available to everyone."

SEE: Digital transformation in 2019: A business leader's guide to future challenges and opportunities (Tech Pro Research)

Here are Equinix's top five predictions for digital trends in 2019:

1. 5G

Equinix predicts 5G to be a huge catalyst for digital transformation in 2019, especially as AI becomes more interconnected in our lives, said the release. Use of edge architectures are expected to rise in 2018, to solve for cloud radio networks that will be able to power multiple radios via pools of virtualized network software, the release noted. Additionally, investments in cellular building infrastructure and new edge infrastructures will increase, as well as improvements in hardware and virtual wireless networking stacks, the release added.

2. AI architectures

Distributed artificial intelligence (AI) architectures will begin replacing centralized ones in 2019, which will bring AI model building to the local edge, the release said. Additionally, Equinix predicts enterprises will increasingly turn to secure data transaction marketplaces, as well as leverage AI advancements into multiple public clouds, decentralizing the AI structure even more, the release said.

3. Blockchain

Enterprises will focus on operating multiple blockchain networks in 2019, said the report. Blockchain will need to accommodate more than one transaction to become most useful. Multiple blockchain networks will join with their legacy applications, further integrating the system, the release added, which will be a major challenge in the future

4. Data privacy

Next year will see a change in data protection laws and security efforts, the release said. New management techniques will operate easily on encrypted data, and new hardware-based virtualization will prevent service providers from accessing client data, added the release.

5. Cloud

Equinix also predicted 2019 to see challenges brought on by hybrid cloud and multi-cloud technology, said the release. It predicted that the enterprise will particularly struggle with security—as well as integration and management—that comes with multi-cloud structures, added the release.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 5G, AI architectures, blockchain, data privacy, and the cloud were named the top five tech trends of 2019. — Equinix, 2018.
  • All of these factors will come with challenges, and the result of many years resulting in each business. —Equinix, 2018

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/metamorworks

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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