But when people talk a lot, there is often a tendency to fall back to the big buzz words. Two very common examples of this are how people use the terms digital transformation and industry 4.0. Words that on one hand may describe a long-term development we're moving towards, but on the other hand are quite vague and offer very little help when it comes to the practical application.
If 2018 was the year of talking, 2019 must be the year of action. We've reached the peak of the hype curve and will move away from all the big visionary words and rather just start doing. But there's a big difference between how we talk about things and the actual implementation. We won't see a transformation turning everything upside-down, but pragmatic investments and initiatives creating a good foundation that we can later build upon. 2019 will be about making it practical and making it real.
Software-defined networking, or simply put SD-WAN, is one example of this. Everyone was talking about it during 2018, but we still have seen only a very limited number of projects where it has been implemented on a large scale. The technology itself is now maturing, and it is time to start applying this to add real value for businesses through agile networks. I'm sure that we will see acceleration in the deployment of SD-WAN to support the continuing growth in cloud services, which is demanded by our customers.
Forrester's predictions report states that 2019 will be the year transformation goes pragmatic, and I believe this to be very true. The pragmatic way of doing things doesn't sound as flashy as what we've been used to lately, but it will shift the focus to important strategic solutions and fundamental building blocks to open up the many new opportunities ahead.
What do you think? Will you have many practical changes and see more action in your organization during 2019?
Simon Ranyard is Managing Director for Nordics, UK and Ireland at Orange Business and is based in London, England. With 20 years' experience in ICT in sales functions, Simon is driving a revenue growth plan by focusing on the innovative services that Orange can bring to its customers and on continuously improving the way we work with them.
In his spare time, Simon is a keen cricket fan and enjoys supporting youth development in the game.