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Blockchain breaks free from cryptocurrency

By BEVAN LOCK, technical sales lead at Data Center Group

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South Africa. Johannesburg. The first half of 2019 has flown by, and it’s time to reflect and consider what lies ahead. The technology space shows no signs of slowing down, so don’t miss out on this essential overview of the latest tech trends creating a stir.

  1. From the cloud to the edge

Many businesses are finding that the workloads tied to their Internet of Things and 5G deployments aren’t always right for the cloud. As devices become smarter and create increasing volumes of data, edge computing enables companies to quickly and securely process, store and analyse it.

Servers built specifically to support high-performance processing at the edge are keeping pace with this need. One such example is Lenovo’s ThinkSystem SE350 compact server, which has zero-touch setup and is ready to go anywhere it’s needed – be it on the rack, wall, or shelf.

  1. Blockchain comes into its own

Stepping out of the shade of its cryptocurrency roots, blockchain is becoming a key tool for enterprises to drive digital transformation plans. Some of the biggest hurdles to bringing new technology into a business are security concerns. Blockchain is reducing those risks for the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Its decentralised nature ensures the billions of devices being deployed on the IoT are done so safely and securely.

We’re only just now scratching the surface of blockchain’s enterprise potential, so it’s key to understand how the technology works, how it’s evolving and the possibilities it affords. For example, at Lenovo we’re using blockchain to optimise our supply chain, which is helping us improve visibility and efficiency, drive revenue growth and transform our supply chain into a profit centre.

  1. Think flexibly

Traditionally, technology services charge businesses for a whole host of things that the company might use at some point, and they charge up front. There is now a move to a “pay-as-you-use” model.

The consumer service industry has already caught on to this. We’re seeing a boom in ‘the subscription economy,’ where consumers pay for services – from music and fashion to food and cars – based on their monthly wants and needs without being tied into expensive, fixed contracts.

  1. Cooling down data centres

Data centres rely on water-cooling to run more efficiently, maximise performance and keep a lid on carbon emissions – which, of course, is not only good for business, but good for the planet.

Liquid cooling will become even more important as businesses embark on Exascale projects – capable of one billion calculations per second – in the next few years. Liquid cooling will be crucial to achieving this level of performance, enabling more powerful CPUs and accelerating networking and storage.

  1. New opportunities with AI

Things are possible now that were never possible before, and thanks to AI, business is facing a revolution. Scientific innovations have evolved beyond our imaginations, with cars now driving themselves, advanced image recognition enabling more accurate identification of diseases, and machines deciding the most efficient crop rotations for farmers.

As AI algorithms take on core roles across all industries, from banking to healthcare and retail to manufacturing, the major events in human life – such as buying a home, delivering a baby or finding a romantic partner – will be increasingly orchestrated by intelligent software. Lenovo’s AI innovation centres help businesses to experiment and conduct proof of concepts with ready-to-use hardware, software tools and AI skills.

  1. City migration

People are flocking to live in urban areas. Over half of the world’s population (55%) already live in cities and this figure is expected to increase to more than two-thirds in the next 30 years, according to UN numbers.

As populations rise, so too does pressure on city-livers and city infrastructure. In turn, city leaders are turning to new technologies like smart sensors, 5G, edge computing and AI to help citizens enjoy an easier, smoother and better-quality life. The work we’re doing with Pivot 3 is a great example of enabling the next generation of smart city security, helping high-population cities to grow through machine learning, AI and advanced edge device management to better protect their citizens.

Don’t get left behind by new technology

We hope this article has provided plenty of inspiration for the latest technology trends that your business could deploy. Emerging technologies and systems like AI, Blockchain and the Internet of Things offer a plethora of exciting business opportunities. It just takes a considered approach and a willingness to dive right in to experience the full possibilities.

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