As 2023 draws to a close, Chris Dyke, sales director UK&I for connectivity solutions and intelligent networking tools leader, Allied Telesis, shares his predictions for the network infrastructure sector over the next twelve months.
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
A lot of ICT spending will be moved to AI initiatives despite organisations not yet able to take full advantage of the potential of generative AI. This shift in spending will cause an increase in the cost of cloud services and move the boundaries between on-premises and cloud hosted services. IT systems will need to integrate with each other, which will be done by improvements to M2M learning and communication. These improvements will create great efficiencies for business processes through the automation of tasks and there will be significant benefits from being able to optimise performance, predict and prevent issues, and optimise energy efficiency. This will empower network providers to stay competitive, and offer more efficient, secure, and personalised services.
While AI is still in its infancy for most organisations, it is already widely used by the hacking industry. 2024 will see a growing number of deep fake attacks and AI generated attacks so that organisations will continue to move in the direction of a “zero trust” approach combined with micro-segmentation and autonomous reaction. AI can influence user behaviour by employing personalised threat awareness, adaptive security training and behavioural analytics.
IT/OT and Smart Buildings
The number of organisations that will approach IT/OT integration will grow in 2024 in parallel to Smart Building initiatives. This will increase opportunities and efficiencies for Industrial Ethernet devices. The industrial market segmentation with specific certifications and requirements will expand the device options available, forcing vendors to add market specific variants for each model.
As business systems continue to create more and more data, the need for edge computing systems will continue to increase. Optimising data at the edge and reducing the load on centralised or cloud-based systems allows them to become much more operationally efficient. These edge systems should ideally be low power consumption and able to operate in less than ideal (ruggedised) environmental conditions to best offset their cost.
Organisations will continue to need highly available networking. A 360° approach to network service reliability will need to include all elements for enabling an always-on network service. Resilient network architecture and a greater use of PoE coupled with battery backup (utilising Uninterrupted Power Systems – UPS) will become the normal approach due to the efficiencies/resilience it creates.