What’s underneath the hood of the car delivers the levels of performance, reliability and efficiency that enables the user to go from A to B – at the required speed they need it to. For businesses, their network is their engine. But continuing with this analogy, is a 1971 Morris Minor’s engine going to power a 2018 Audi TT? No, and today’s hardware-based networks are not going to power today’s digital business.
The engine of the business
To paraphrase Henry Ford, if we were to keep designing faster hardware, we would be stuck with a network that has reached its physical limitations – it’s time we looked at something that can revolutionise a business’s ability to deliver better customer experiences. The network that got you to today is not the one that’s going to bring you forward. Powerful new applications have become the lifeblood of companies across all industries. Already, some global manufacturers can generate up to four petabytes of data a month through their day-to-day operations; intelligent vehicles produce two gigabytes of data for every 100 kilometres.
Imagine if you’re a manufacturer looking for ways to be more efficient, or a logistics company with 1500 lorries, each averaging 500 kilometres a day; if you used your existing hardware infrastructure, you would be overwhelmed by the amount of data your operations generate, unable to identify, analyse or secure it, and missing the opportunity to use that data to innovate and grow. The key here is that data has little value. What organisations need is contextual information, the understanding of data.
It’s a challenge many are facing – 90% of organisations feel they are disadvantaged by the complexities of their network, and 82% experience network downtime (disruption) caused by manual errors, according to a report from Dynamic Markets.
The problem is, it’s only going to grow. With a burgeoning mobile culture compounded by the emergence of IoT and edge computing, applications and data now reside everywhere – in the data center, in the cloud, at the branch and even in a sensor at the edge of the network. Currently, around 10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud. By 2022, Gartner predicts this figure will reach 50% . More than this, how much of that data will remain human-generated?
From data centers to ‘centers of data’
It is the need to turn data into information which will be the foundation on which differentiated customer experiences, brand reputation and new business models are built. As such, the key imperative for any network must then be to provide business users with information at the point of demand. It must be delivered fast, securely and irrespective of the cloud it might have crossed, or the type of application. Even more critical it must be seamless to the device the person chose to be using. Today’s business is about consumer simple and human choice. How do we create this “enterprise secure productivity.”
The move from data centers to ‘centers’ of information is putting masses of pressure on the traditional network – largely because typical security solutions, which aren’t built into the infrastructure itself. By design this legacy doesn’t allow free, secure movement of data or enable the interpretation of it.
Today, security has to be so inherent that when breaches occur— and they always will — they can be automatically detected and compartmentalised, so any potential impact can be minimised. Imagine if a car manufacturer didn’t secure the data its intelligent vehicles transmitted – if someone could hack the vehicle, they would be putting the lives of not only the passengers and drivers, but those in vehicles around them, in grave danger, in real-time.
Yet the answer is not ’do not connect that car’, it is ‘connect that car in the appropriate way’. Which immediately becomes a security question. However, leveraging a virtual cloud network where the scale of security, compute and storage is infinite means we can now enable the secure handling of data in real-time, with near-zero failure.
Simplifying, improving and strengthening
This new approach, the virtual cloud network, focuses on creating end-to-end connectivity and security to deliver business technology to the hands of the user, over any cloud, for any application type, any service and any transport; whether that’s a smart vehicle, a remote worker, a sensor in a wind farm in the North Sea – the applications are infinite.
It essentially overlays cyber-hygiene over the traditional hardware layer by moving the intelligence that traditionally lived in hardware into software. This provides infinite scale and storage potential. At the same time, it allows organisations to quickly aggregate, automate and draw insight from their applications and data – so businesses can mine the most value out of their existing processes while maximising future business opportunities.
That means a global manufacturer might automate the way it processes its data to identify ways to make its processes more efficient, or a logistics company can identify how its vehicles are performing, for example scheduling maintenance when it’s required, as opposed to by a calendar-based approach.
This may seem like another vision of what technology might be able to do, but it’s more than that. Technology can do it today. The virtual cloud network is not just a vision but the platform for the future of networks. The only way businesses can operate in a digital world is by being able to respond to market conditions faster than the competition, provide employees with the tools for maximum productivity, all while maintaining the integrity of their operations – and ultimately brand. A software-based approach provides this, offering application safety, an antidote to companies afraid to innovate, and the most impressive sand box for developers. Hardware cannot deliver that anymore – software can.
An engine for innovation
Disruption due to brittle infrastructures and bolted-on security like those we have seen over the past decade cannot continue anymore, and businesses will need to embrace change to survive the “information economy”. By embracing the network for the future, and by taking what we do in the data center to the branch and the edge with intrinsic security built-in, businesses have the digital infrastructure needed to innovate, choose their next move, at speed, and focus on what they do best.
The answer is always software. What was the question?
Here is 2019’s tech
From AI to flexible displays, this is the tech that will shape 2019, writes CY KIM, MD of LG SA
2018 was incredibly exciting for the technology sector which has seen myriad advancements. These include the fundamentals of artificial intelligence (AI) being established, robots helping around the house and consumer electronic innovations such as TVs that are so thin, they might be mistaken for windows, or paintings.
2019 promises to be another significant year as people’s attitudes are changing and technology becomes embedded in our lives. Smart electronics manufacturers will ensure their plans for the future match evolving consumer needs with suitable technology.
We take a look at the biggest innovations for 2019 from AI to lightning-fast internet speeds and flexible viewing surfaces, and we shed some light on how these evolving technologies will impact on how we live and work.
AI will come of age
AI has experienced a marked increase in investments and according to Forbes, 80% of enterprises are investing in AI while 30% are planning to expand their AI investments in the next three years. It’s estimated that during 2017, venture, corporate and seed investors put about $3.6-billion into AI and machine learning companies.
This investment trend has given rise to innovation in deep learning products that have the potential to change the world for the better.
Yes, AI has been around since the 1950s, but its consumer benefits weren’t visible until recently and 2019 will be the year when AI starts to really take off and become a necessity, not just in the home, but in every facet of our lives.
The potential of AI is endless as this technology goes into everything from small watches to cars and even gigantic, connected smart cities. AI is also starting to find its way into TVs, washing machines, refrigerators, speakers, mobile phones and even air cons as products adapt to human behaviour.
Lightning-fast internet speeds
Faster internet speeds enable quicker response times for business tools that we all rely on to get the job done. It will increase the efficiency of workers and will provide reliable communication tools for companies that rely on remote workers.
Given that the so-called gig economy has grown exponentially in recent years, the expectation is that the evolving workforce will contain a higher percentage of employees, or contractors who do not work in a central office.
5G has the potential to change the world the way the internet did a few decades ago. The fifth generation of wireless technology will take internet connectivity to a new level as the internet of things (IoT), will bring about the potential for everything to be connected to everything.
However, 5G is not just about faster internet speeds. It will create new possibilities in numerous sectors, including medicine, transportation and manufacturing.
A smarter world through IoT and AI isn’t possible without 5G’s speed and capacity as the system is able to carry large numbers of connections simultaneously, and is therefore crucial to the development of smart cities, autonomous cars and smart homes.
Life-enriching smart technology
Much like technological innovations, consumer habits and preferences are changing drastically when it comes to home appliances and particularly, home entertainment.
Most consumers believe that advancements in home entertainment tech is life-enriching and that their life is better with the latest tech at their fingertips as it allows them to stay indoors and enjoy quality time with friends and family.
The value of home entertainment tech lies in how it allows loved ones to share experiences, thereby bringing them closer together, particularly during big events such as major sporting events and holiday celebrations.
The potential of flexible viewing surfaces will not only change home entertainment, but also marketing techniques in shopping malls, city centres and shop fronts. With the ability to curve around any environment, this technology creates the perfect platform for signage and consumer engagement that stands out from the crowd.
LG Electronics is an established market leader in innovation and has already started to incorporate these futuristic technologies into its products, which are designed to make consumers lives more convenient. We will continue to release amazing products that utilise smart tech to connect with consumers while staying ahead of the evolutionary curve.
AI will power IoT
A simple gesture. A world built from accessible assets that drive human convenience and interaction. This is the future that’s powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), two of the planet’s hottest topic trends right now for a very good reason. They work, says PHATHIZWE MALINGA, managing director of SqwidNet.
They are also the fuel driving digital transformation in 2019. These are the technologies revolutionising performance, process and productivity. They are also transforming industry challenges across agriculture, retail, health and the public sector and are set to continue on this path well into 2019.
IoT has become the central nervous system of technology, allowing users to make intelligent decisions without feeling overwhelmed by choice or technology. Its ability to make life easier on every level – business, consumer, public sector – is the next step of the IoT evolution as it improves quality of life using AI and machine learning to analyse past behaviour and the insights it gleans to change the future.
This is the vision of the perfect IoT and AI future. The two technologies so intertwined and connected that they are influencing one another’s growth, development and adoption. IoT provides the ability to generate data from the changing circumstances of an asset and the infrastructure required to transport that data to where it can be accessed and analysed. Considering the sheer volume of data generated, it is impossible for a human being to analyse it at the speed required for real-time decision making. And this is why AI has become so important.
Today, it is possible to write code that can read the data generated by IoT and identify meaningful patterns at the right speed. This code can also be written in such a way that it can learn from the results it found the last time it ran. It is code that can learn, an algorithm that can self-educate. In this way, AI requires the power of IoT to generate the data it needs to learn and IoT needs AI to ensure that this data can be made meaningful, in time.
Over the next six to 12 months, it is very likely that the potential of IoT will see numerous small players emerge across all industries. They will be focused on servicing those who have yet to experience the full benefits of IoT and they will use technology to deliver solutions that are just ‘good enough’. This could potentially see the more established players being disrupted but most will likely be using the same technology to innovate and to create solutions that don’t just meet customer expectations but transcend them. Of course, there will be some companies that will remain complacent and they will be the ones battling for customer attention out on the IoT playing field with the small, fresh players.
While on the topic of the customer, the next year is likely to introduce a lot more variety and scalability. The consistent drop in the cost of technology will allow for more choice in solution and capability and this will have a knock-on effect with regards to quality of life and the choices customers make when it comes to solution and service provider.
On the business frontier, the growth of IoT and AI offer an interesting bouquet of choices and opportunities. They allow for investment into solutions that generate better insights that, in turn, generate better products and services. Organisations that ignore this potential or think they can sidle on past what IoT and AI bring to the business are likely to be the ones that are left behind. It’s a cliché for a reason. A single look back at the companies that have emerged as big players in industries previously perceived as impenetrable proves the point. Innovation isn’t optional, it’s an essential part of business DNA and both IoT and AI are critical parts of the ability to innovate at speed, with relevance, and on time.