It’s that time of the year when IT decision makers start planning their next round of infrastructure investments. Which technologies will take the business forward in 2020? Which strategy will make you the most competitive? At GBM, we’re exactly the same. We carefully read all the global analysts’ 2020 predictions, so we can keep offering you the best infrastructure solutions. In 2019, a lot of the talk was about edge computing, AI and agile networking. But where should our focus be in the next 12 months? These top 6 top infrastructure trends are worth taking a look at before you plan your IT budget for 2020. Let’s take a look. 1 5G will start delivering value The first 5G networks launched in 2019 but were still evolving. In 2020, 5G networks have their biggest growth leap according to several analysts. 5G networks are already rolling out in the Middle East. 5G isn’t just about speed, notes MEED. It will enable businesses to use data in new ways, such as: Building bigger, faster networks with SD-WAN Monitoring all kinds of remote equipment and environments, to save expenses and improve operations Create more useful IoT solutions, which can connect more devices and share more data across wider areas Real-time user interactions, where server-side processing reacts to things like human touch, thanks to ultra-low-latency 5G connections We are excited about 5G and can discuss the business possibilities with you. 2 Middle East data centers and IaaS will drive cloud growth “At this point, cloud adoption is mainstream,” says Sid Nag, research VP at Gartner. However, cloud still has a long way to grow and evolve – public cloud is forecast to grow by a huge 17% in 2020. In the Middle East, cloud will grow much bigger this coming year. Microsoft became the first of the big 3 cloud providers to launch a Middle East region in 2019, delivering services directly from Abu Dhabi and Dubai. AWS and Google are hot on Microsoft’s heels. SaaS will remain the biggest cloud segment, but many global businesses are also choosing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): cloud-delivered infrastructure that can handle workloads that are beyond the capabilities of traditional data centers. Gartner forecasts the global IaaS market to grow by 24% year on year, to $50 billion. 3 Multi-cloud becomes omni-cloud? Multi-cloud already became routine in 2019, says CRN. But increasingly, the biggest enterprises are using all of the hyperscale cloud platforms (e.g. AWS, Google, Azure). This allows them to choose from all the clouds as they please, a kind of “omni-cloud”. Use of Kubernetes, to containerize workloads, will become even more commonplace in 2020. Veeam predicts containerization will become even more mainstream – it will become a $2.7bn market in 2020 – and claims Kubernetes has won the race to become the de facto container platform. Kubernetes makes workloads extremely portable across clouds – so much so, that it is possible to run the Google Anthos app modernization platform on AWS. With all this “cross-cloud unity”, businesses can gain more power and flexibility from cloud investments this coming year. 4 User expectations will push businesses to invest in agile infrastructure By now, everybody understands what agile IT can deliver. Business employees and customers now have high expectations about digital experiences, collaboration, communication and 24/7 access. In 2020, must modernize their on-premises infrastructure in order to meet those expectations, or risk falling behind, according to Gartner. The key point here is that on-premises infrastructure is still very important. Even though cloud is the way agile IT is delivered to users, you still need the right IT backbone. Gartner recognises this, and so should businesses in 2020. 5 Hyperconverged will have a big role in Edge and hybrid cloud Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) isn’t new, but nor should it be forgotten in 2020 according to analysts IDC. Especially for businesses looking to get into hybrid cloud or Edge computing. The HCI market grew by 24% in 2019 and will keep growing in 2020. Why? Because HCI has become the “backbone” of hybrid cloud and multi-cloud according to IDC. “The value proposition of converged infrastructure solutions has evolved to align with the needs of a hybrid cloud world,” said research VP Eric Sheppard. Innovations like 5G will quadruple the number of Edge and micro datacenter sites by 2025, according to Gartner. And HCI is the perfect fit for those locations, thanks to its easy deployability and simple management. 6 AI makes things autonomous According to Gartner, the next step for AI is to enable dumb objects – from appliances, to drones, to vehicles – to become autonomous and do tasks that were previously done by humans. These AI objects will not replace humans – they will work within narrow scopes. However, they will reduce expenses and free their human colleagues from repetitive tasks. AI will keep driving business competitiveness in 2020 – the market will grow to $47 billion in value this coming year. And businesses with the right infrastructure to enable AI projects will no doubt continue to lead. Bring 2020 into focus Whether your business priorities are drawing you towards cloud, AI, Edge, 5G or greater agility, GBM has the expertise to help you plan the right investments. If you’d like to discuss the future of business, contact me.