December 21, 2018 Alan Kepper

Year in Review, and what’s ahead in 2019

At this time of year I like to reflect on the past year, how things have advanced and what changes have occurred.  I also think about the year ahead and consider the changes that will likely come, what our clients will need to deal with, and what we will need to be doing.

In Review

Over the last year, I attended several conferences and visited many startups overseas, keen to learn as much as I can about emerging technologies.  This has also allowed me help our clients with long term investment strategies and where Laminar can assist with them. Some of they key things I’ve learnt throughout the year are:

  1. The third industrial or technology revolution is well under way!  I sense it is still early but things are changing in an exponential way not just linear.  It is also becoming very difficult to predict the future because of collaboration between different technology streams.  I can tell you the next few generations of wireless technologies, but how that works with other technology streams such as genome technology or nano-transactions is mind boggling.  We may be seeing some of the social ramifications in the political environment, especially overseas and domestically with the energy debate. The old, the big, the cumbersome are being disrupted very quickly!  They are also fighting back to limit the rate of change!
  2. There are some key technologies that I am tracking because I think they will have the biggest impact, these include:
  • Cyber security – the low cost, high capacity computing and AI can be used for good and evil.
  • Genome technology – There is a strong likelihood that a genetic sensor could be in your phone maybe within 5 years (the parts are available today for about $1000).  I notice in many tech centers around the world that genetic re-engineering workshops are operating at a local hackerspace (a thirteen year old girl teaching a middle aged person how to modify a gene).  This will lead to a lot more genetic medicine solutions for health care and longer life.
  • AI – in the learning neurone space.  I find the algorithm/neurone form of AI the most interesting as it can create and truly learn.
  • Cellular Agriculture – growing meat (world has a protein supply challenge)
  • Industrial biology – using electricity to make synthetic fuel for example
  • Robotics/Drones

Looking Forward

In our “space” of information technology and security I think we should be keeping an eye on the following:

  1. Cyber security – It’s getting harder for many businesses, with increasing obligations to protect information.  The politicians are even struggling, for example the recent cryptography laws passed will no doubt be bypassed (I have already thought of a few ways and I am not the smartest on the block!). Technologies and techniques are changing quickly and many people simply trust the tech, sacrificing security for agility.
  2. Facebook/Google (search) – I sense there is a backlash starting, mainly due to their misuse of private information.  The fallout from Brexit and Trump campaigns may hurt their business.
  3. Wireless – Branding changes of WiFi has happened this year.  You will also see terms such as Wifi5 (802.11AC) and now WiFi 6 (802.11AD).  This simple naming simplifies how we discuss and compare technologies. I don’t see 802.11AD being widely used, but the vendors will start to support it more in the new year.  Some vendors like Aruba are already touting their solutions.
  4. Networking – I expect the data centre technologies, speeds, feeds and features will appear in  entry level equipment, so prices I think will come down and we will get more capabilities for our dollar.  I visited Fry’s in California recently and I saw 8 port 10G switches selling for US$199.00.
  5. IOT – Will increasingly be implemented and use wireless communication such as wifi as a communication standard.  With more WiFi systems becoming mission critical, I sense the ratification of devices on a corporate/enterprise system will become a more significant issue and cause challenges during system upgrades.
  6. Messaging Services – I sense the rise of messaging for internal communications to differentiate from email.  Messaging may even be used to authenticate clients or users of applications. This could mean messaging systems will become more trusted than email or other systems.
  7. Data domicility – will become more of an issue for medium sized organisations.

What will Laminar be doing differently in the new year?

In addition to what we already do we will be experimenting with some new data centre centric services.  These will be operated from our infrastructure in the Brisbane data centre which we have just upgraded.

  1. Offering a Security Electronic Information Monitoring (SEIM) service.
  2. Data backup and Virtual machines.
  3. Electronic messaging service.

From all the team at Laminar we would like to wish you a great Christmas and look forward to catching up with you in the new year!  We hope 2019 is a rewarding and interesting year!

Regards from myself and the Laminar team,

Alan Kepper

About the Author

Alan Kepper Alan has been in the ICT business for more than 35 years. He is an entrepreneur and operates Laminar Communications. He is an active (Fellow) member in the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He also sits on the boards of other technology start-ups and is a board member of EO, the Brisbane Chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organisation. Alan is an IT networking engineer and is considered an expert in WiFi as well as other wireless technologies. Alan is the company Director, both managing Laminar and continuing to engineer and implement innovative designs and solutions.