What’s on the horizon for the Chief Information Officer? What gamechanging technologies can you expect in the next five years that will change the way businesses operate and relate to customers? Each year, Gartner releases its annual Strategic Technology Trends for [coming year], discussing things that will move into the spotlight and become key differentiators in the following five or so years. This year is no different, and earlier this year, the analyst firm released its Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2018, which will come into play as early as next year. We discuss these, as wall as some past predictions, below.
A Brief Look Back: Predictions for 2015-2018
|1.||Computing Everywhere||The Device Mesh||AI and Advanced Machine Learning||AI Foundations|
|2.||The Internet of Things||Ambient User Experience||Intelligent Apps||Intelligent Apps and Analytics|
|3.||3D Printing||3D Printing Materials||Intelligent Things||Intelligent Things|
|4.||Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics||Information of Everything||Virtual and Augmented Reality||Digital Twin|
|5.||Context-Rich Systems||Advanced Machine Learning||Digital Twin||Cloud to the Edge|
|6.||Smart Machines||Autonomous Agents and Things||Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers||Conversational Platform|
|7.||Cloud/Client Computing||Adaptive Security Architecture||Conversational System||Immersive Experience|
|8.||Software-Defined Applications and Infrastructure||Advanced System Architecture||Mesh App and Service Architecture||Blockchain|
|9.||Web-Scale IT||Mesh App and Service Architecture||Digital Technology Platforms||Event-Driven|
|10.||Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection||Internet of Things Platforms||Adaptive Security Architecture||Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust|
Gartner’s Strategic Technology Trends for 2019
Announced annually at the Gartner IT Symposium, the analyst firm announced its top 10 Strategic Technology Trends on October 15, 2018. Broken into three categories (Intelligent, Digital, Mesh), these three groups work together to represent how AI has come to be, how the digital and physical worlds are blending to create an immersive experience, and how to exploit connections between expanding sets of people, businesses, devices, content and services.
How AI is seeping into virtually every technology and with a defined, well-scoped focus can allow more dynamic, flexible and potentially autonomous systems.
Trend No. 1: Autonomous things
Whether it’s cars, robots or agriculture, autonomous things use AI to perform tasks traditionally done by humans. The sophistication of the intelligence varies, but all autonomous things use AI to interact more naturally with their environments. Broken into five types of ‘things’—Robotics, Vehicles, Drones, Appliances, and Agents—these all operate vith varying degrees of capability, coordination, and intelligence.
Trend No. 2: Augmented analytics
Data scientists now have increasing amounts of data to prepare, analyze and group — and from which to draw conclusions. Given the amount of data, exploring all possibilities becomes impossible. This means businesses can miss key insights from hypotheses the data scientists don’t have the capacity to explore. Augmented analytics represents a third major wave for data and analytics capabilities as data scientists use automated algorithms to explore more hypotheses.
Trend No. 3: AI-driven development
AI-driven development looks at tools, technologies and best practices for embedding AI into applications and using AI to create AI-powered tools for the development process. This trend is evolving along three dimensions:
- The tools used to build AI-powered solutions are expanding from tools targeting data scientists (AI infrastructure, AI frameworks and AI platforms) to tools targeting the professional developer community (AI platforms, AI services). With these tools the professional developer can infuse AI powered capabilities and models into an application without involvement of a professional data scientist.
- The tools used to build AI-powered solutions are being empowered with AI-driven capabilities that assist professional developers and automate tasks related to the development of AI-enhanced solutions. Augmented analytics, automated testing, automated code generation and automated solution development will speed the development process and empower a wider range of users to develop applications.
- AI-enabled tools are evolving from assisting and automating functions related to application development (AD) to being enhanced with business domain expertise and automating activities higher on the AD process stack (from general development to business solution design).
Blending the virtual and real worlds to create an immersive digitally enhanced and connected environment.
Trend No. 4: Digital Twins
A digital twin is a digital representation that mirrors a real-life object, process or system. Digital twins can also be linked to create twins of larger systems, such as a power plant or city. These affect many varieties of scenarios, but the focus of digital twins in the future looks to be on the Internet of Things (IoT).
Trend No. 5: Empowered edge
Edge computing is a topology where information processing and content collection and delivery are placed closer to the sources of the information, with the idea that keeping traffic local will reduce latency. Currently, much of the focus of this technology is a result of the need for IoT systems to deliver disconnected or distributed capabilities into the embedded IoT world. This type of topology will address challenges ranging from high WAN costs and unacceptable levels of latency. Further, it will enable the specifics of digital business and IT solutions.
Trend No. 6: Immersive technologies
Through 2028, conversational platforms, which change how users interact with the world, and technologies such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR), which change how users perceive the world, will lead to a new immersive experience. AR, MR and VR show potential for increased productivity, with the next generation of VR able to sense shapes and track a user’s position and MR enabling people to view and interact with their world.
By 2022, 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumer and enterprise use, and 25% will have deployed to production. The future of conversational platforms, which range from virtual personal assistants to chatbots, will incorporate expanded sensory channels that will allow the platform to detect emotions based on facial expressions, and they will become more conversational in interactions.
The connections between an expanding set of people, business, devices, content and services to deliver digital outcomes.
Trend No. 7: Blockchain
Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, an expanding chronologically ordered list of cryptographically signed, irrevocable transactional records shared by all participants in a network. Blockchain allows companies to trace a transaction and work with untrusted parties without the need for a centralized party (i.e., a bank). This greatly reduces business friction and has applications that began in finance, but have expanded to government, healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain and others.
Trend No. 8: Smart spaces
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. As technology becomes a more integrated part of daily life, smart spaces will enter a period of accelerated delivery. Further, other trends such as AI-driven technology, edge computing, blockchain and digital twins are driving toward this trend as individual solutions become smart spaces.
Cross-Platform Concerns for the Strategic CIO
In addition to the concepts highlighted as part of the Intelligent Digital Mesh, Gartner noted the following wro trends that permeate all aspects of living in this environment.
Trend No. 9: Digital ethics and privacy
Consumers have an growing awareness of the value of their personal information, and they are increasingly concerned with how it’s being used by public and private entities. Enterprises that don’t pay attention are at risk of consumer backlash. Conversations regarding privacy must be grounded in ethics and trust. The conversation should move from “Are we compliant?” toward “Are we doing the right thing?”
Trend No. 10: Quantum computing
Quantum computing is a type of nonclassical computing that is based on the quantum state of subatomic particles that represent information as elements denoted as quantum bits or “qubits.”
Quantum computers are an exponentially scalable and highly parallel computing model. While a classic computer would read every book in a library in a linear fashion, a quantum computer would read all the books simultaneously. Quantum computers are able to theoretically work on millions of computations at once. Quantum computing in the form of a commercially available, affordable and reliable service would transform some industries.
Keeping Up with the Rapid Changes to IT
Technology has begun to move faster than ever, and the leaders need to keep up with all of the changes. At Wipfli/Brittenford, we have worked hard to provide leaders with the advice, keeping them up to date on what’s new and what’s next. As you look towards the “what’s next” part of the technology equation, we welcome you to learn more about our CIO Advisory Services. Our CIO Advisory Services practice helps demystify technical execution for CEO’s and CFO’s with a focus on financial information. Contact us to learn more about how our CIO Advisory Services practice can help your organization.