Apr 26, 2018

It feels like just yesterday when Gartner was discussing its “Nexus of Forces,” a term it used to encapsulate how the cloud, mobile and social technology movements were converging into a central disruptive trend. Well, that was 2012, and the revolution has come and gone.

Cloud technologies are mainstream. Collaboration is being built into seemingly all apps and services. Mobile is increasingly the default computing method for end users, and systems are being built for equal power regardless of device. With an era behind us, what are the new technologies forcing change? Perhaps just as importantly, how are those solutions impacting enterprise data center strategies?

Here’s a quick look at three technologies forming a new convergence of disruption:

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
    Organizations are diving into AI in its various forms, particularly as entry-level solutions, such as chat bots, become more accessible. In a Forbes report, industry expert Bernard Marr explained that 2018 will be the year in which AI moves from being a hyped-up experiment to delivering real-world results. While exciting, attention-grabbing projects will still get the headlines, this year could be a transitional period when more practical, actionable use cases emerge.

AI is heavily reliant on bringing in huge quantities of data from varied systems to inform the machines working in the backend. This can create robust challenges in both on-site and interconnect networks, making sophisticated routing and bandwidth optimization strategies critical.

  1. Autonomous Vehicles
    From self-driving cars to robotic forklifts, automated vehicles create the potential to free up human resources, promote safety and drive efficiency. Infoholic Research found that the global market for such technologies will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 39.6 percentfor the 2017 to 2027 period. Besides the meteoric growth, what really stands out is how much the study emphasized AI as a critical tool for supporting autonomous driving.

With AI being critical for self-driving cars, organizations need to find ways to get data to endpoints. Edge data centers are rising as a result, making connectivity between core cloud facilities and the far reaches of the network vital.

  1. The Internet of Things (yes, still and more of it)
    The final third of this new nexus, the IoT market, is growing at a blistering pace, with BCC Research predicting that the IoT software market, on its own, will generate $1.4 billion in annual revenuesby 2022.

In many ways, the IoT is the impetus behind AI and autonomous vehicles. Sensors and connected devices create the data that self-driving cars depend on, and AI systems wouldn’t necessarily be able to get sufficient data without the web of sensors popping up across industry and geographic boundaries.

All of these changes are coming together to make data especially powerful as the currency for the IT world. Companies need to gather and move data faster than ever, and data center setups are critical in supporting this portability. Edge facilities and dedicated network links that cover large distances are essential.

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