Paessler: Annual round up and predictions for 2019.
We are moving towards the end of one more year and one step closer to accomplish 32 years of trading with QBS Software. As you might have noticed in our latest brochure, some of our most successful vendors have spoken to us about technology in 2018 and their predictions for 2019. Here is what Paessler, one of our key vendors had to say about the successes and challenges they faced in 2018.
In terms of technology, what will 2018 be remembered for?
“Over the past year, we’ve seen more of our critical infrastructures focusing their efforts on implementing IoT projects. Many “things” which have not been part of IT in the past are becoming intelligent and are connecting to the internet – and the network. In 2018 there has been a big focus on virtual reality for consumers. However, in the B2B arena, the focus has largely been on augmented reality. The real world becomes augmented with additional insights in the form of visuals, sound, or haptics. Technicians or even construction workers can receive key information and manuals whilst working on-site; surgeons can view important details during a surgery; and pilots have access to particulars about their machine and flight while flying their plane. Over the past year, these technologies have really taken off. This will no doubt develop as we move into 2019.”
Is there anything that has shocked you in 2018, and anything you have been pleasantly surprised by?
“The last year has been both rewarding and challenging. It’s no secret that experts have been predicting the rapid demise of the UK high street – with industry leaders such as Mike Ashley prophesising the high street as being ‘smashed to pieces. But, while this last year has been a notable challenge for retailers, we’re witnessing some rise to the challenge. What’s perhaps come as a surprise is that traditional retailers are coming to the forefront to secure their online presence. The largest problem for retailers is that many were established before this age of hyper-connectivity and are therefore operating on legacy IT systems that aren’t capable of maintaining today’s connected pace. Take Pepe Jeans for instance – since its establishment in 1973, the clothing retailer has progressively adopted devices to keep up with consumer demand and better the customer experience. But with a rising online community and close to 400 stores in remote locations (each store usually has at least three devices such as an access point, switch or router), the brand realised it needed to evaluate its complex network to ensure continued efficiency. As a result, the team sought software that monitors and maintains the bandwidth and health status of its network. PRTG Network Monitor proved to be the right fit for Pepe Jeans. This is a trend we expect to continue as retailers secure both their physical and online presence throughout 2019.”
How has 2018 been for you guys specifically?
“In 2018, one of the key things to flag is that we partnered with The National Museum of Computing to provide autism friendly, relaxed opening sessions, making the museum accessible to all. Noisy environments can be incredibly overwhelming for people living with autism, making it hard for families to plan their visits to the museum. We therefore partnered with the museum to help them create a device that measures and monitors the sound in each room of the museum in real-time. We also helped them to implement 3D printed visual representations of the current noise level in some of the galleries – allowing families with autistic children to plan their route accordingly around the museum. By providing the funding to enable the museum to provide its 2018 Relaxed Opening free of charge to visitors, we have been able to help children enjoy the museum and learn about important technology. This has been a really rewarding project to work on for us. Alongside our partnership with The National Museum of Computing, we also partnered with Sigfox – the world’s leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things. This has been noteworthy to say the least bringing IoT to the forefront of our projects, and ensuring that IoT projects can be realised quickly, at low cost and in ensuring data analysis and virtualisation can be done with one single solution. The National Museum of Computing provides an excellent example of how our work with Sigfox is benefitting organisations.”
Finally, what trends do you expect to take off in 2019?
“As we enter 2019 the number of connected devices will only increase as more organisations begin to realise the benefits of IoT technologies. Consequently, next year will see the birth of a smarter IoT – whereby fully connected businesses will begin to pull data for more predictive use. Imagine a world in which electricity providers can predict, and prevent potential outages, or healthcare institutions can predict, and stop, machines from failing. Industries that are proactive in connecting more of their devices will benefit from increased insights into their critical infrastructures’ performance. The benefits really are a no brainer. With the ability to implement predictive maintenance solutions, improve production on the factory floor and reduce downtime, in sometimes life-threatening situations – we can see why IoT will become further engrained over the coming year.
Additionally, as businesses strive to embrace full connectivity, the concern around employees’ technology expertise in the field only increases. With companies progressively adopting IoT, business leaders are fast realising that those employees involved in the installation, maintenance and control of IoT systems are generally not all IT experts. Nor are training courses helping them to keep pace with the new capabilities of machines in order to properly assess risks. Consequently, business leaders are recognising potential gaps in their cybersecurity measures. After all, it only takes one compromised device to hack the entire chain. And now, with critical infrastructures such as healthcare, electricity, and water suppliers implementing IoT solutions, the need for comprehensive training is imperative.
Next year we will see the vast deployment of human resource departments across multiple industries as organisations strive to ensure that employees are prepared for both hardware downtime as well as external cybersecurity threats. This means human operations and fast moving IT will no longer be soloed. As machines are increasingly embedded in the workforce, humans will need the correct IT training to spot and deal with potential cyberattacks and malfunctions.”