The past few years have seen many businesses migrating to the cloud because of the virtual platform’s exceptional benefits. From shrinking IT budgets to improved data security, it’s no exaggeration to say that the cloud serves as a foundation for the modern digital age. Just as businesses start to enjoy these benefits, however, new innovations – complete with both risk and advantage – seem to shake things up without any warning.
The Rise of 5G
While it’s likely that super-speedy 5th Generation connectivity will only really entrench itself in the year 2020, its arrival will certainly allow communication service providers to up their game – and preparations are already well underway. This latest mobile network technology will put providers in a position to offer new services like visual computing, analytics and high-definition audio, for starters. Then there’s the impact on the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing. The combination of 5G and cloud-based or mobile technologies will not only better connect people, it’ll also bring more efficient and lower-cost connectivity to power the age of IoT. The adoption of 5G will also give rise to Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) initiatives, enabling the delivery of even more advanced applications. This means that bandwidth rates will be fast enough to support both augmented and virtual reality applications, for example.
Cybercrime & Regulations
As the number of connected devices continues to grow exponentially, so the risk of cybercrime increases. As seen with the recent Facebook data breach that affected up to 87 million users, and countless others over the years, big data is big business, and some will go to any lengths to get it. So, what are businesses doing to ensure their customers are protected? By now South African organisations are familiar with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) that regulates the processing of personal information and enforcement of data protection measures. But while these businesses should be focused on ensuring compliance with POPI, there also shouldn’t be an oversight when it comes to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
On 25 May this year, the European Union will implement GDPR, designed to enable individuals to better control corporate access to their personal data. What we need to consider is that the GDPR will apply anywhere data is transferred to or from the EU, meaning many South African businesses are likely to be affected by these rules and regulations too. The benefits don’t only apply to an improved sense of security. These regulations also mean an improvement in accuracy of company-stored data, greater customer reassurance if a business is considered “safe” – and being certified GDPR-compliant will certainly boost your businesses reputation in the eyes of potential customers.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service are two cloud computing offerings that continue to grow at a rapid pace, and for good reason! IaaS, for starters, can reduce costs on hardware and infrastructure, as well as on IT staffing and administration. It quickly responds to competitive pressures through agility and scalability, and provides a consolidated disaster recovery infrastructure, increasing overall manageability. PaaS, on the other hand, provides organisations with a set of tools to develop, customise and test their own applications. This allows for the focus to be on development without organisations having to worry about underlying infrastructure.
Like 5G mobile network technology, the combination of edge and cloud computing is crucial to the growth and success of IoT. With more IoT devices comes an increased amount of data that then needs to be processed and analysed faster. Edge computing essentially streamlines the flow of traffic from IoT devices, lessening data demands, and providing real-time local data analysis. Big corporates looking to develop solutions within the telecoms industry, for example, will be able to successfully do so by putting the data gathered to optimal use. This technology limits data wastage and brings supplier and customer closer together for greater efficiency and improved collaboration.
At the end of the day, businesses will ultimately need to put into practice processes that lead to overall improvement, as well as bettered customer experience. The cloud, like all new technology, comes with associated risks. It also, however, presents great opportunities for local businesses looking to maintain a competitive edge in a world driven by technology.
By Rob Lith – Business Development Director at Connection Telecom