Today’s enterprises face a rapidly advancing IT landscape and immense pressure to stay ahead of the pace of transformation. But to operate at the speed of what’s coming next, executives need to heighten their awareness and anticipate the future. That includes the ability to better understand the impacts of emerging technologies, foresee new trends on the horizon, imagine where IT innovation will take us in 2019 and then bring it to life. Named a Visionary for two years running in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Services Global, Masergy is proud to present a handful of predictions for the year 2019, as well as two anti-predictions that may surprise you. These forecasts come not only from me but also from several other thought leaders here at Masergy including Mike Stute, Jay Barbour, Paul Ruelas, and Dean Manzoori.
Today, there cannot be an executive-level discussion about your corporate network that doesn’t include security. Likewise, it’s hard to talk about security without talking about networking. Network and security operations can no longer operate in silos, and many IT leaders are working to bring them together into a unified whole. The following serves as evidence of today’s network-security convergence:
The threat of maliciously implanted hardware and software during manufacturing and sourcing, particularly with foreign suppliers, has become more apparent. The industry has struggled to define the scope and challenges of mitigating these risks. As visibility increases, more supply chain compromises will surface. And as more compromises are discovered, there will be no quick or easy fixes, particularly with semiconductor suppliers.
The Equifax breach taught us that social security numbers and consumer history are no longer effective methods to authenticate applicants for credit cards and bank loans. Nonetheless, financial services companies will continue to use these methods because fast and easy credit equates to more profit. In 2019, class action lawsuits may test these now lax practices since they no longer represent security due diligence for protecting consumers–who bear much of the pain and clean-up costs of identity theft.
Large cloud providers (SaaS/IaaS/Paas) now have the economies of scale and scope to properly implement security, and in 2019, they will prove their security merit. As a result, cloud migration will continue to amass around large providers. With this trend, however, will come an increased concentration of risk in 2019. What used to be many distributed private data centers are now a few, large public data centers. Sooner or later, there will be an event (i.e. a global Internet outage or a bomb targeting the public data centers of large providers), which will cause a reevaluation of availability risks.
In 2019, Team Collaboration applications that deliver virtual project workspaces will come to the forefront as the centerpiece of unified communications offerings. Embedded into cloud communications platforms, Team Collaboration will be formally adopted and supported by IT departments. More importantly, user adoption will reach the masses. Instead of only small groups, departments, or workpods using these virtual project spaces, Team Collaboration will fully saturate the enterprise, making it the new normal and taking project productivity to a new level.
In 2019, more organizations will realize the promises of agile cloud application integration by placing “self-service” iPaaS solutions in the hands of employees closer to each business function. The next evolution of iPaaS technology addresses complex enterprise needs, giving executives confidence to release these tools to process managers and employees focused on operations. More workers will be empowered to automate the enterprise, meaning innovation will start to be unleashed–trickling down to lower levels for a deeper, more significant impact.
In 2019, enterprises will capitalize on cloud contact center solutions that integrate data analytics with real-time voice recognition technologies to enhance the customer experience. Expect predictive customer service and contact center agents supported by digital assistants that will preemptively provide relevant information to the agent’s desktop. These more intelligent service interactions might even be capable of starting to change the way millions of customers feel about calling and interacting with service departments.
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