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Fortanix 2019 Predictions: 8 Predictions for Cloud, Security, AI and IoT

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Ambuj Kumar. CEO and co-founder, Fortanix

8 Predictions for Cloud, Security, AI and IoT

Cloud, security, and machine learnings are probably the top-3 topics on everyone's mind. While vendors continue to innovate and the incumbents open their purses, the customers continue to look for directions. Compute landscape is going through some fundamental transformation that will have some obvious and some non-obvious effects on IT.  What does 2019 hold?


The payout at the end of cloud rainbow is huge and is enticing record amount of investments from incumbents and challengers. While large enterprise customers have migrated their cloud journey, many of them are implementing a multi-cloud and hybrid strategy. New tools and solutions have evolved, including in security and microservices identity. Let's see how they will shape cloud.

  1. GCP under new leadership will be the one to watch out for. While developers are good entry points in an organization, a strong enterprise sales team is needed to navigate the challenges of cloud migration.
  2. IBM Cloud Data Shield and Azure Confidential Cloud both enable a new level of security to cloud applications, protecting them even from operating systems, cloud providers, and infrastructure threats. Will these services finally convince the "cloud hold outs" to bring their sensitive applications to cloud?


Security continues to be the number one concern cited by enterprises in their decision to move to cloud. Constant news of big data-breaches don't help either. Several high-profile M&A made the news this year but customers are now asking for more control over their security destiny. Development of protected enclaves is providing sensitive applications a sacred place to keep themselves protected from the infrastructure threats.

  1. Customers are getting tired of playing cat-and-mouse with attackers. Apple uses protected regions of hardware to secure personal data on iPhones. Similar enclave-based security will become mainstream for sensitive cloud applications as customers demand definitive protection from infrastructure threats.  
  2. The security industry has long relied on a blacklist based approach - find out what's bad and prevent that from happening. Such approaches have shown their limitation with the increased infrastructure complexity. New solutions will evolve ensuing only the activities and applications on an approved whitelist will be allowed access and everything else will be disabled.


The line between IOT and edge-cloud is getting blurred. Advent of 5G will further accelerate development of new type of infrastructure. IOT devise will soon transform into efficient computing devices. With their increasing capability, IOT devices will face stronger scrutiny from security and privacy perspective.

More states will follow the suit of California in demanding IOT devices provide "reasonable security" and privacy. IOT devices today have capabilities to burn houses and regulate blood-flow - it's mind-boggling that we got this far without much regulation, but it'll change and everyone should be thankful for that.

Open Source
Open source was once dominated by DIY enthusiasts, in what could be considered a precursor to today's devOps movement. But, today, enterprises feel increasingly confident in choosing open source solutions for their most complex infrastructure. Success of various open source companies, such as Github, MongoDB and Elastic, continue to inspire new projects.

  1. With containers firmly established as the new compute structure, new solutions will continue to evolve in the container ecosystem. In particular, with both Google and IBM backing Istio as the standard for managing container identities, look for new security and operational innovations around Istio.
  2. IBM acquiring Redhat is a watershed moment. IBM has this once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring the agility and cloud-native nature of the open source world to its enterprise customers. If executed well, this will allow one of the fastest ways to modernize the computing infrastructure of the large enterprise customers of IBM.


Many say artificial intelligence is the new electricity, something so fundamental that it'll impact almost everything we do. In the same way, data can be called the engine that powers this new type of electricity. New types of privacy-aware frameworks will allow healthcare businesses to use AI and ML with the most sensitive patient data, providing new insights for diseases such as cancer and helping with highly personalized drug discovery.

Big Data/Analytics

The governments around the world will demand increased transparency from companies who have amassed large amounts of PII data. Big data platform fueled the rise of multiple mega-corps, now the pendulum has swung the other way and society needs to ensure the platform is not abused by adverse nations or rogue individuals. The increased attention on companies like Facebook and Twitter is not an exception, nor an isolated incidence.  


About the Author


Prior to founding Fortanix, Ambuj was lead architect at Cryptography Research Inc. where he led and developed many of the company's security technologies that go into millions of devices every year. Previously, he worked for NVIDIA where he designed world's most advanced computer chips including world's fastest memory controller. He has Bachelor of Technology from IIT Kanpur and Masters of Science from Stanford University, both in EE.

Published Wednesday, December 19, 2018 7:27 AM by David Marshall
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