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Couchbase 2019 Predictions: Hindsight 20/20 - Looking Back at 2018 Predictions (and what's ahead for 2019)

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

Contributed by Ravi Mayuram, CTO, Couchbase

Hindsight 20/20: Looking Back at How Couchbase's 2018 Predictions Fared (and what's ahead for 2019)

Couchbase made a series of technology predictions for 2018, based on well established industry trends that we've been seeing in our customer base. These trends are ongoing, as organizations adopt innovative technology, and as the technology itself evolves and changes. With this year wrapping up, here's how our 2018 predictions fared.

In 2018, we predicted the following:

  • Digital Transformations will accelerate, led by a fundamental rethink of data infrastructure.
  • Multi-cloud takes off as the future of cloud technology.
  • Edge computing leaps to the forefront.
  • AI doesn't go mainstream, but businesses lay AI groundwork.
  • Secure by default takes precedence over ease of use in devops.
  • Containing the database sprawl will be a mandate.
  • Serverless architecture proliferates within organizations.

First, we were right on target with Digital Transformation, Multi-cloud, Security in Devops, and Containing Database Sprawl. These were all key components for successful technology innovation and deployments this past year. Organizations, both public and private, have had or plan to address these issues if they hope to thrive in an exponentially growing digital world. No longer in the category of "wait and see," 70 percent of organizations have digital transformation projects in place to address these components. Some examples of this include Amazon's announcement to move completely away from their legacy Oracle databases, to secure, multi-cloud a consolidated NoSQL and relational database platform; Atrium Health's data breach of 2.7M patients; and multiple cloud service platforms offering multi-cloud support. We also heard from many customers and partners at Couchbase Connect who are actively addressing these areas, including Carnival Corporation, the Cincinnati Reds, PVH Europe, DirecTV, Verizon, Matrix Medical Network, Amadeus, Movere, BD Digital Health, Yapstone, and UPS.

There were a couple of areas where progress is much faster, but the state of the technology is also evolving on a daily basis. Edge Computing, AI, and Serverless Architecture continue to be compelling technology trends, well beyond the "wait and see," but real world deployments are still finding their footing and probably will be for the next several years. A few examples in the press include the H20 and BlueData partnership, Paperspace, and HIT edge computing.  Additional customer examples from Couchbase Connect 2018 include Sky, Generali Document Management, Ryanair, and Nuance.

One prediction that we didn't discuss was around Blockchain technology, mostly because it seemed to be more hype and buzz than actual deployable technology, especially within the realm of high throughput database applications. There was a lot of press coverage around blockchain in 2018 and even a couple of initial forays into the marketplace. Although some progress was made, it still feels like Blockchain is few years away from becoming an evolved mainstream technology that can be applied outside of a small application niche. Definitely still in the "wait and see" category.

What's Next in 2019

As we look ahead to 2019, here are some new predictions to take us into the new year. We're curious to see how these fare.

The groundwork has been laid for AI/ML technologies, and now the real questions will surface. Over the past year, companies have been figuring out where and how to implement AI/ML technologies, and many are still refining the "how." While that's true, the groundwork has been laid and the mentalities have been shifted, and 2019 will be a big year for questions in AI/ML - literally, in the sense of how organizations determine what questions to use to train their AI/ML algorithms. There are also broader conversations that have been sparked around ethics and biases, and 2019 will see the conversation continue, with academia and business working together to develop a trusted approach to developing AI/ML for the future.

Serverless becomes less mysterious. Today, every CIO and CTO are evaluating serverless technologies, but a big constraint preventing adoption is the potential for vendor lock-in and unknown variables. In 2019, the mystery around serverless will slowly lift - and in the process, bring it to broader adoption. Today, serverless can lead to lock-in with certain cloud implementations, but we're likely to see an emerging ecosystem of supporting technologies develop as microservices lay the foundation for a new type of cloud operating system.

Multi-cloud implementations suffer new issues from lack of interoperability across clouds. As providers continue to innovate before standardizing processes and interoperability, problems will arise in multi-cloud environments because providers have created interfaces with slightly different ways of working. For example, Google and Amazon each have their own messaging systems, as does Kafka, and applications developed do not simply move to another without undergoing changes. In 2019, these issues will come to light - and users will experience many headaches before true interoperability is achieved across multi-cloud deployments.

The database sprawl will continue as different types of databases proliferate. App developers are creating a lot of data in a lot of different ways, but it's all bumping into each other without a servicized solution that offers flexibility to house and manage this data. As it stands, developers are using multiple databases for each individual application, creating a database sprawl as users cobble together multiple databases to plug different holes in the system. While the short-term gain of being able to use emerging technologies and have many choices seems great upfront, companies need to consider their long-term goals, rather than select a cobbled together, quick solution.


About the Author


As Senior Vice President of Engineering and CTO, Ravi is responsible for product development and delivery of the Couchbase Data Platform, which includes Couchbase Server and Couchbase Mobile. He came to Couchbase from Oracle, where he served as senior director of engineering and led innovation in the areas of recommender systems and social graph, search and analytics, and lightweight client frameworks. Also while at Oracle, Ravi was responsible for kickstarting the cloud collaboration platform. Previously in his career, Ravi held senior technical and management positions at BEA, Siebel, Informix, HP, and startup BroadBand Office. Ravi holds a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from University of Delhi.

Published Thursday, December 27, 2018 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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