10 strategic technology trends your business should know about

Gartner has revealed its top 10 strategic technology trends for 2019. These are trends which have “substantial disruptive potential that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years”.

According to the global research and advisory firm, the top ten strategic technology trends that organisations should be aware of are:

Autonomous Things

Autonomous things include devices such as robots, drones and autonomous vehicles. These things can automate functions previously performed by humans due to developments in AI. One example of an autonomous thing provided in the report is where autonomous vehicles are used to move packages to a target area, with robots and drones on board the vehicle ensuring final delivery of the package.

“As autonomous things proliferate, we expect a shift from stand-alone intelligent things to a swarm of collaborative intelligent things, with multiple devices working together, either independently of people or with human input.”
David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow

Augmented Analytics

Augmented Analytics describes where machine learning (ML) is used to transform how analytics content is developed, consumed and shared. Augmented Analytics will see AI being used to enhance human intelligence rather than replace it.

AI-Driven Development

This will see AI used within the development process, leading to AI-Driven code generation. Eventually, even non-developers will be able to use AI-driven tools to generate new solutions automatically.

Digital Twins

A digital twin is a digital representation of a real-world item. Some manufacturers are already using digital twins to monitor real-world assets to see where they can drive savings in maintenance, repair and operations. Eventually, Gartner believes that we will be able to create digital twins of organisations.

Empowered Edge

“The edge refers to endpoint devices used by people or embedded in the world around us.” According to Gartner, we will see edge devices become more advanced over the next five years, with AI chips that will provide greater capabilities and more storage. 5G is also expected to enhance edge computing.

Immersive Experience

This describes how humans interact with each other and the digital world. And due to the proliferation of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR), this is changing.

“Over time, we will shift from thinking about individual devices and fragmented user interface technologies to a multichannel and multimodal experience. The multimodal experience will connect people with the digital world across hundreds of edge devices that surround them, including traditional computing devices, wearables, automobiles, environmental sensors and consumer appliances.”
David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow

Blockchain

The blockchain is a growing record of information. It is delivering trust and transparency by creating a “single version of the truth” with no possibility of records being altered or doctored.

Blockchain-inspired solutions could help to achieve operational efficiency by automating business processes and digitising records. And, Gartner believes that CIOs and IT leaders should begin evaluating blockchain, even if they don’t aggressively adopt the technology in the next few years.

Smart Spaces

According to Gartner, a smart space is a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems.

Multiple elements — including people, processes, services and things — come together in a smart space to create a more immersive, interactive and automated experience for a target set of people and industry scenarios.

Digital Ethics and Privacy

Just because we can do something with artificial intelligence doesn’t mean we should. As such. Gartner believes that: “Any discussion on privacy must be grounded in the broader topic of digital ethics and the trust of your customers, constituents and employees.”

But it’s about more than just privacy and security. It’s about moving the conversation beyond “are we compliant” toward “are we doing the right thing”.

Quantum Computing

Quantum computers promise to revolutionise the future of computing. Once not much more than an idea, organisations and governments are now investing in the development of quantum technology.

According to Gartner: “CIOs and IT leaders should start planning for QC by increasing understanding and how it can apply to real-world business problems. Learn while the technology is still in the emerging state. Identify real-world problems where QC has potential and consider the possible impact on security”.

However, companies should not expect an instant revolution. We are at least three to five years away from being able to exploit QC.

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