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By 6 February 2019 | Categories: feature articles

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The continuation of cybersecurity being a high priority was one of the main trends unpacked by Aruba’s business unit manager, Pieter Engelbrecht recently, and certainly, a good deal of attention was paid to the topic in Part 1. However, that was not the only trend that enterprises in particular can expect to see more of in the months ahead.   

Another noteworthy development is that of cloud adoption extending to wireless networks. Engelbrecht elaborated that whereas three years ago many were talking about implementing cloud, increasingly, more customers are actually doing so.

Part of the reason for this, he continued, is that it makes demonstrable business sense. Just one example is in the hospitality industry, where rolling out a security solution across 80 to 100 hotels would be impossible to achieve in two weeks. But, by doing it over the cloud, it can be accomplished in two days. This all means that enterprises will likely continue to cotton on to managing their wireless networks through the cloud, with cloud based management systems expected to become increasingly relevant.  

As to which industry is leading the charge to extend their cloud adoption, the front contenders are the retail and hospitality industries, notes Engelbrecht, with the latter having the edge globally.  

The need for speed

Yet another trend that will likely only grow is the need for “blazing fast” wi-fi speed connectivity in the enterprise space, with next-gen wi-fi connecting more users, devices and remote locations at the speeds previously reserved for wired connections this year.

This, though, is not just a whim - even as faster is always preferable. Engelbrecht pointed out that when companies deployed wi- fi a few years ago, it was considered a “nice to have.” “Now, however, it is becoming business critical as all their voice, data and video is running through wi-fi, which means speed is essential in order to avoid bottlenecks.”

He also likened upgrading one’s data centre without giving due attention to the network to buying a sports car and putting cheap, thin wheels on it.

As to who is leading the way in this trend, the answer is education - not just private schools but public ones as well. According to Aruba, we can expect to see the need for advanced wireless networks become more prevalent as schools expand deployment of digital, collaborative and immersive learning environments across new and modernised buildings and campuses.

Get smart

The fourth trend mentioned should come as no surprise - it is the expected surge in AI-Powered Analytics and machine learning, with the latter in particular assisting businesses in doing business better. Connectivity (along with cloud) is of course part and parcel of this trend. Engelbrecht stressed that it is important for business to understand what these emerging technologies can bring to the table, and how each can drive smarter business practices.

For example, he noted that a savvy retail store that is able to analyse customer movements at a certain time of day could push specials on particular products to customers’ mobile phones (provided customers have opted in of course). They could run a typical promotion - such as 50% off jeans for the next hour - or if that doesn’t work, try something else, like a special on chocolates.

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Beyond that, machine learning could be used to optimise network performance, with an automated network letting IT know when there are problems as well as the root cause. As well, AI and machine learning could foster a smarter network, in which optimisations are recommended when changes to the network infrastructure have been implemented.

Whatever the application of AI and machine learning, one thing is clear: these technologies are only just beginning, and we can expect to see some very interesting use case scenarios coming to the fore.

The crux of the discussion though was that in the year ahead, we can expect to see more implementation of the technologies we have been hearing about for years. For enterprises in particular, 2019 may well be the year when the rubber meets the road, and cybersecurity, cloud, smart networks and AI and machine learning really show their significance more demonstrably.

   

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