Cloud Computing in the Age of 5G and High-Speed Connectivity

According to many who stood on the CES keynote stage last week, we’re entering a new era, a new age if you will, the age of data. With the dawning of the age of data comes a whole bunch of tools to collect, share and make sense of that data and, hopefully, to use it to augment mankind in a positive way.

So, where’s all that data and all that processing going to take place? On smartphones, in cars or in a smart home? Some may happen in these places, but a huge percentage of it will go into the cloud. It’s all going to be pulled from billions of sensors, processed and saved in the cloud, then pushed to billions of devices and actuators.

In her keynote, IBM President and CEO, Ginni Rometty, announced better weather prediction and talked about quantum computing in the cloud delivering the ability to perform ever more complex AI tasks. If any of these are even partly right, we’re in for an explosion in data requirements and in turn cloud computing and storage. Rometty was also interviewed in the CES edition of the CTA’s publication I3 (It Is Innovation), where she suggests that companies are only 20% of the way through their cloud journey and the next step, or chapter two, will be the other 80%, unlocking greater value and accelerating growth by shifting and managing core business application on the cloud. IBM’s commitment to cloud computing was underlined when they acquired Red Hat, to become the world’s largest hybrid multi-cloud provider.

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In AMD’s keynote, their President and CEO, Lisa Su, talked about the speed at which data is being generated and the alarming rate that would grow over the coming years. AMD also announced, along with Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Gaming, Phil Spencer, that high definition gaming in the cloud will be available before too long. Verizon CEO, Hans Vestberg, was very animated as he shared his vision for a post 5G world with low latency, high speed, more than a million connected devices per square mile and much more. He sees 5G as the solution to just about every connectivity issue, be that smart cities or smart factories.

In fact, for manufacturers such as Jabil, there is an opportunity to utilize this high-speed connectivity and IoT in our own factories. Many see 5G as one of the key enablers for the fourth industrial revolution. Certainly, high-speed connectivity of hundreds of pieces of manufacturing and test equipment in 100+ sites is a key component of implementing a smart digital manufacturing ecosystem, something Jabil is well on the journey to.

According to many, 5G will drive a quantum leap in the mobile cloud landscape, creating new cloud-based applications and opportunities that are impossible with the current cellular networks. Incidentally, if you have a good application, Verizon is offering a $1 million prize in their “Built on 5G Challenge.”

The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.3% in 2019 to total $206.2 billion, up from $175.8 billion in 2018, according to Gartner, Inc. In 2018, Gartner estimates that the market grew 21%, up from $145.3 billion in 2017. SaaS, or Software as a Service, is by far the largest customer of these cloud services, representing close to half of the total.

In the case of cloud computing, Jabil has acquired and developed the expertise to become more than just an EMS provider. Jabil supports cloud companies by simplifying the design and deployment process through a consultative approach that considers technical and business requirements. Jabil handles the nuts and bolts of designing, procuring, integrating, configuring and validating at scale, before delivery, of a plug-and-play solution anywhere in the world.

Any discussions of cloud computing and connectivity these days brings up 5G, and as noted in December, there is still much work to be done as 5G becomes more pervasive—both on the technology and the infrastructure front. While doing business in the cloud is a huge part of most business strategies, in-house expertise is not always available. As demand grows rapidly and solutions become even more complex, it is essential to have a trusted partner with deep domain expertise across different markets that utilize connectivity, to help you transform your business performance.