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Future computing
Have we reached
the limits
of technology?

Author: Adam Kimmel

Industry 4.0 is pushing the limits of technology, putting increasing demands on future computing technology and leading one to wonder what to expect in the future of technology. Digital transformation continues to change the way business is done. Increasing connectivity across diverse sectors has propelled the integration of technology further into everyday business.

With the number of devices in use exponentially increasing, potential obstacles to digital transformation are network quality and speed and the computational capacity of connected devices, issues that technology of the future will need to address.

The proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, for their part, have also heightened Internet of Things (IoT) demands as engineers leverage future computing technology to improve user experience (UX) and speed of response.

Limits of technology

Most businesses today use high-performance computing previously reserved for tasks like governmental code-breaking. The hardware exists: The challenge is ensuring users can process data as fast as possible on demand.

When it comes to digital transformation and future computing technology, it’s impossible to predict the amount of processing power needed for the high volume of data transmitted. While it’s hard to know what to expect in the future of technology, manufacturers continue to build massive data centers in an effort to stay ahead of the curve.

However, to meet the needs of future computing technology, manufacturers can only project the anticipated demand, select a Data Center capacity and construct it as fast as possible. Cloud computing enables infinite computational power through outsourcing but at a nontrivial cost.

The demands are only multiplying. It will take even more computing power to handle the IoT, big data and AI. 

A glimpse at future computing technology

What does technology of the future, including future computing technology, look like? McKinsey projects that the IoT will connect up to 43 billion devices by 2023, making it possible to link your car, home, bank and everything in between. This creates some exciting opportunities, including a 13.6% increase in business investment in the IoT as companies use it to offer new services and shift to fresh business models.

When looking ahead and what to expect in the future of technology, manufacturers will become service providers, and more users will enter the market with smart services tailored to their interests. To reach those staggering levels of connected devices, technology of the future will need to take into account that the processing infrastructure will need to expand without compromising speed and at reasonable costs.

Preventive security techniques aren’t foolproof

The volume of sensitive data being stored and processed online is constantly growing. The costs of entry to a private cloud have come down and, for many, that makes it an attractive way to add capacity workloads. With continued pressure to increase paybacks and limit capital investment, most companies avoid purchasing software in favor of implementing Software as a Service (SaaS) for on-demand needs.

With future computing technology, these trends may push the limits of technology as businesses become more dependent on partner services and more data is transmitted outside the organization. This increase in data generation also puts your business at a higher risk of cyber crime.

What to expect in the future of technology

How can the world surpass these limits of technology and what to expect in the future of technology? Some developing solutions are already available today, and even more promising options are on the horizon for technology of the future.

Quantum computers will accelerate computing

When looking ahead at future computing technology, many different ways to push the envelope of computing power are currently under development. Quantum computing, now a reality, may be the most interesting future computing technology. While performing tasks, like complex modeling, quantum computers could reach speeds many thousands of times faster than the capabilities of any computer around today. They may also enable transformation in machine learning and AI—both of which currently stretch the bounds of available technology.

Although large-scale roll out will take time, public investment and efforts by technology leaders are helping to make future computing technology, including quantum computing, a practical reality. This digital transformation comes with an active awareness of possible risks: For example, quantum computing may impact internet encryption as it rapidly factors large products into prime numbers. This unlocks new speeds but could affect security, since large primes are the mechanism most used in internet encryption.

Edge computing is alleviating processing capacity issues

Edge computing, including multi-access edge computing—a type of edge computing that uses cellular networks and 5G as its primary connectivity—have unlocked many of the limits of technology created by the IoT. As data centers quickly run out of capacity, processing data closer to the application decreases latency. This bandwidth-driven challenge extends to time-sensitive functions, further straining network resources.

With the roll out of 5G, edge computing usage has accelerated to provide a hybrid centralized/local processing solution. It is massively scalable, and architects designed 5G to maximize the benefit of edge computing by incorporating step-change improvements in bandwidth, reliability, security, latency, density and flexibility.

AI and machine learning are providing new ways to tackle cyber crime

Digital transformation taking place in today’s intelligent networks are also helping to tackle cyber crime, and technology of the future will play an even greater role. Incorporating a firewall is rarely enough—there are always ways to scale a wall. You need the ability to spot the signs of a breach and act decisively to cut it off before it causes damage.

AI and machine learning are the backbone of smart networks designed to respond automatically to signs that could flag an attack and block access. Combining their capabilities with those of quantum computing sets the stage for even faster and more effective threat response.

Early adopters of digital transformation have the advantage

At the moment, navigating the influx of data from the IoT and other new technologies doesn’t necessarily mean operating your data center beyond capacity. The cloud, 5G, edge computing, big data and other tools are already at your disposal today to drive throughput.

You can also prepare for future computing technology, like quantum computing, much earlier than its developers initially thought possible. At the speed progress is moving, adapting to these solutions today could help you continue to push past the limits of technology in the future.

Digital transformation continues to have a big impact on all aspects of business. As the world grows ever-more connected, technology will need to keep pace to meet growing demands placed on businesses.

Learn more about how Verizon’s IoT solutions can help you put cutting-edge technology to work to help advance your organization.