TechTalk Tuesday Logo It’s the start of the new year, and companies want to get a jump on the hot technology trends that are about to emerge. Technology trends create new challenges for IT infrastructure by placing additional demands on storage and networking. To prepare for and meet these challenges, companies need to start rethinking their approach to IT architecture.

In late 2017, Gartner released its list of Top 10 Strategic Trends for 2018. Here we highlight 5 of the trends that FirstLight’s current and prospective customers might be most interested in.

1) Cloud to the Edge

Edge computing is being used to solve the problem of moving data long distances from its source to the cloud or an on-premises data center. The internet of things (IoT) and the demand for real-time analytics make edge computing essential. IoT data needs to be transferred from connected devices before it can be processed through analytics.

Gartner reported that while 10% of data is now produced far from the data center, by 2022 the amount will rise to 50%. With edge computing, data processing is placed near the source of information. Effective edge computing requires reconfiguring your network so that it connects disparate cloud services and models and places processing capabilities closer to connected objects.

2) Adaptive Security

Increasingly sophisticated attack vectors require that companies take a new approach to security. Instead of trying to detect and prevent intrusions, companies need to take a more radical proactive approach. Analytics can be used to adapt security strategies in real-time as cyberattacks evolve in complexity.

The goal is to head off the hacker before he can breach your perimeter. Adaptive security also involves luring cybercriminals with honeypots before they can target your real assets. Adopting these new security strategies requires that companies monitor their assets continually and maintain security data warehouses.

3) Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Gartner found that in 2017, 59% of companies were still researching how to build AI strategies. To avoid playing catch up, organizations will need to prepare for the networking performance demands that implementing AI strategies require.

AI depends upon highly advanced analytics applications that require high-performance processing to work properly. These applications use huge volumes of complex data to make decisions. Data from every department in your company is drawn upon to make hypotheses about developing better business operations and customer experiences. To make this process work, data needs to move quickly, reliably, and safely through your network This necessitates relying on a sound fiber network with high availability and maximum speed.

4) Internet of Things (IoT)

By 2020, the number of connected devices and sensors may reach 21 billion. In the growing world of IoT, digital twins are emerging as the digital manifestation of objects in the real world. Connected objects create a wealth of data that can be used to manage assets and improve operations.

For instance, the digital twin of a piece of manufacturing equipment on the production floor can be used to anticipate necessary repairs or develop a more efficient way of working. As with AI, IoT requires that networks be fast and reliable so real-time data can be used to make decisions.

5) Increasing Public Cloud Adoption

In the past, companies shied away from public cloud because of security and performance concerns. Anxiety about noisy neighbors in a shared environment and possible breaches drove organizations to hybrid cloud. Companies that handled a lot of sensitive and personally identifiable information preferred the flexibility of hybrid cloud because of its private cloud environment.

This trend is changing. IDC predicted that by 2021, public cloud will account for 80.4% of the $47.2 billion cloud market. This public cloud market increase may be driven by providers’ willingness to respond to companies’ concerns. Progressive cloud providers are offering data centers with state-of-the-art security for their customers.

Building a Bridge to the Future

Many of the trends that will emerge in 2018 show common themes. These trends will require companies to bolster their networks and rethink their data center architecture. High-speed networks, the cloud, and advanced analytics will make the innovations of 2018 possible.

As the leader in fiber optic networking in the Northeast, FirstLight can help your business embrace these technology trends. We offer one of the largest networks in the Northeast, giving you options for edge computing and allowing you to rocket data from its source to the point of processing. FirstLight also offers a wide range of cloud services available through a highly secure public cloud model.

Don’t miss out on this year’s technology trends. Go with FirstLight. Learn the Top 10 Ways We Serve Our Customers Like No One Else Can.