The top IT trends you can expect to see in 2018

Undoubtedly, one of the key dates for next year is the deadline for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance which comes into effect on 25 May  2018.  This is according to Ronald Ravel, Director B2B South Africa, Toshiba South Africa who has outlined what he believes will be the top technology trends in 2018.

“It’s important for South African businesses which conduct business in the EU to understand exactly how they will be affected. According to the legislation, any company which processes the personal data of EU residents in connection with the offering of goods or services, or monitors the behaviour of those residents may need to comply.

“To complicate matters, South African companies also need to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI). Fortunately, the provisions across the two pieces of data protection legislation are so similar that complying with the GDPR means complying with POPI should be smooth sailing.”

“To address the increasingly complex regulatory environment, the growth in cybercrime, and adoption of mobile working practices, we expect to see a growth in the acceptance and education of some specific technology trends.”

These include: quantum cryptography, Edge Computing, and cloud-based virtual desktop infrastructures, he said.

Quantum cryptography

The basic building blocks of computing are set to morph from maths to physics in the future with the introduction of quantum computing. Global Industry Analysts forecasts its global market to reach $2 billion by 2024, a growth which is primarily driven by a constant need for the most secure online data transmission possible.

From this, quantum cryptography is emerging as a highly-evolved protection method, necessary to combat ever-increasing security threats. This method can produce a message unreadable to all except its specific, intended recipient, called quantum key distribution (QKD), whereby “keys” are distributed as photons, usually light rays, which if intercepted will immediately change state rendering itself unreadable.

Recently, Toshiba made a breakthrough with quantum cryptography at its Cambridge Research Laboratory by creating the world’s fastest QKD device.

Attaining a speed of 13.7Mbps per second – roughly seven times faster than Toshiba’s previous record speed of 1.9Mbps – this breakthrough brings the practical utilisation of quantum technology one step closer to the wider global community.

Edge Computing

With data proliferation coming from the rise of IoT and the predicted capabilities of 5G in 2018, Edge Computing will become ever more vital. For organisations that handle large amounts of data, deciphering what to send to the cloud can reduce backlogs allowing it to perform the heavier tasks whilst Edge Computing technology allows increased mobility and real-time processing thus increasing efficiency at both ends of an organisation’s IT chain.

Wearables, such as smart glasses, will work in harmony with Edge Computing helping to both streamline processes within organisations in ever more remote or mobile environments.

Take the NHS in the UK for example, utilising a wide variety of end-point devices such as smart glasses to access locally stored data, healthcare providers can collect and analyse patient data from the edge in real time whilst interacting with patients. Enabling healthcare providers to dramatically increase their efficiency when consulting with patients, whilst more data can be sent to the cloud for further diagnosis.

Mobile zero clients

As organisations adopt more mobile and flexible working practices, security needs to be the number one priority to successfully embrace the benefits of mobility without falling victim to the increased threat of cyber-crime.

Organisations have already seen the benefits of thin client solutions, however, because of cost and limitations that restrict remote working, more and more will move towards zero client solutions which completely remove storage from devices, using external servers to drive operating systems with data access through a cloud-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

By using zero client solutions data is protected against malware and security issues should a device be lost or stolen.

Whether preparing for regulatory change, protecting against the ever-expanding cyber threat landscape, or addressing trends like mobile working, 2018 will be a year of digital transformation and learning for many organisations.

While technology such as quantum cryptography is still evolving, it is already offering equal opportunities for cryptographers and hackers, so organisations need to start considering how it will impact them now.

Read: Toshiba, Western Digital to settle chip sale spat

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The top IT trends you can expect to see in 2018