10 Top Enterprise Technologies from the Past 5 Years

Today is the slowest day in technology for the rest of your life.

The past five years brought monumental, industry-changing innovation to enterprise technologies. From 5G to edge computing and predictive analytics, it’s hard to believe that the next five years could bring an even faster rate of innovation. But before we start looking ahead, let’s take a moment to celebrate the 10 top enterprise technologies from the past five years.

1. 5G

Called “the next and most radical generation of mobile communications” by 451 Research, 5G simply means fifth generation. While not in the general market yet, the communications industry is buzzing about this industry-changing technology. Here are a few of the most notable 5G goals (among many others):

  • Up to 1,000x increased data volume.
  • 5x reduction in transit time.
  • 10-100x more devices, including IoT.
  • 10x reduction in energy consumption.
  • 100% coverage (highly debatable, but positively world-changing).

2. Adaptive Security

Adaptive security capabilities changed the way enterprises combat security threats in the digital age. Instead of the old wait-and-see approach, adaptive security innovations enable enterprises to predict and automatically protect against threats. Tom Corn calls this gaining a “homecourt advantage” in his role leading VMware’s security division. Read more in The Rising Costs of Cybersecurity Breaches.

3. Blockchain

Also referred to as a distributed ledger or distributed trust infrastructure, the enterprise use cases for blockchain are perhaps the most innovative of all those on this list. This tech could completely transform supply chain and financial services, among many others. And because this much-hyped technology is still in the early phases of development within enterprises, the next five years will likely bring untold value in ways we haven’t thought of yet.

4. Deep Learning-Based Predictive Analytics

“If you can’t measure the world, you can’t manage it.”

Sanjay Poonen, VMware Chief Operating Officer

The data rush started years ago, but in the last five years, technologies started popping up to transform data into intelligence. Deep learning-based predictive analytics took it a step further. Leveraging advances in artificial intelligence (AI), innovative companies integrate AI-powered analytics into many types of software, making it possible to use historical data to predict behaviors in the future. We’re seeing this in so many places, it’s perhaps the most successful enterprise innovation of the past five years. One of our favorite examples is predicting end-user preferences and security breaches, part of the advancements in the next item of this list.

5. Digital Workspace

Just as workplace mobility picked up steam, end-user technology massively leapfrogged with the introduction of the digital workspace. As Forbes defines it:

“It’s the culmination of a business mobility trend that has evolved from individual and team productivity to true business process transformation and that is reinventing businesses across all industries. The digital workspace empowers employees and is made possible through an enterprise’s transition from hardware-centric to software-defined infrastructure.”

6. Edge Computing

Edge computing is a prime example of the rapid pace of tech innovation today. It started as the Internet of Things (IoT) and is now snowballing into what ZDNet writer Charles McLellan calls, “the state of the next IT transformation.”

Fueled by the promises of 5G and potentially billions of connected things, edge computing is one of the major contributors to enterprise’s massive IT overhauls and the need for digital transformation. The edge doesn’t just mean managing devices; it also means trying to secure and connect apps, users and resources to those devices.

7. Machine Learning

Machine learning infiltrates many different types of enterprise technologies. From customer relationship management software to consumer engagement and network administration, machine learning touches nearly every segment of business. And we’ve barely scratched the surface.

8. Practical Augmented Reality

Early in last five years, we saw a spike in interest around augmented reality (AR), most pop-famously Pokémon Go. Enterprise adoption, while slower than the consumer side, is promising. Company use cases are exciting, despite AR being in the early development and adoption stages. Examples include helping industrial mechanics go hands-free, enabling immersive virtual trainings, improving patient care and delivering innovative retail experiences.

9. Virtual Cloud Network

The precursor to number 9 on our list started with the announcement of VMware NSX exactly five years ago. NSX brought about the first real networking innovation since the switch: network virtualization. Fast forward nearly five years to the Virtual Cloud Network.

Unlike the network of the past, virtual cloud networking is software-defined, enabling:

  • A cloud networking fabric with all connected elements run on a common network with the same set of services.
  • Automation of common networking functions, such as maintenance and patching.
  • Security that is built in, not bolted on.

10. XaaS: Everything as a Service

It started with the cloud and then exploded. The “as-a-service” delivery and purchasing model blossomed into desktops, storage, containers, software, platform and more. Now, everything-as-a-service—or XaaS—is the new reality for enterprises. And for business leaders that means not only internal efficiencies, but also new revenue and growth opportunities.

As CIO’s Clint Boulton writes, “Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) is emerging as a go-to operating model for delivering IT services. Co-opting the cloud’s rapid deployment model, XaaS may also serve as a revenue engine for innovative enterprises.”

What Enterprise Technologies Will Come in the Next Five Years?

The increasing pace of technological change is staggering. It’s hard to believe that even with all the game-changers of the past five years, the next decade will outpace our wildest dreams. What do you see as the next top enterprise technologies over the next five years? Anything we missed on this list? Share on Twitter with us @VMwareNews.