The 2019 Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo is currently underway in Cape Town, and in usual fashion, the research firm made a number of predictions at the conference. The firm held a presentation on its second day looking at strategic tech trends, noting the top 10 in particular that CIOs need to be aware of in 2020.
Presented by research VP Brian Burke, he also explains that the 10 tech trends are not simply going to have an effect in 2020, but for the next two to five years, which each trend taking different amounts of time to develop.
The Gartner research VP also divided up the 10 strategic tech trends evenly between two specific categories – people-centric and smart spaces.
So here’s what Burke and co. have highlighted as significant tech trends that we will begun to see take shape over the course of next year and beyond.
The People-Centric Trends
Starting with the people-centric trends, and up first is hyperautomation. Much has been made of automation, and in particular how it is a boon for businesses looking to simplify more mundane or repetitive tasks.
Here hyperautomation takes that concept and intensifies it several fold, aiming to automate every single aspect of the business that can be automated. It’s something that business owners will likely been keen on, but also needs to be considered carefully, especially as a means to free up time for employees to place their focus elsewhere in the organisation.
Next is multiexperience, which ties in with what was mentioned during the opening keynote of the Symposium. This tech trend is liked to a concept that Gartner terms as the “everything customer” who wants to experience and have access to your business’ product or service without impediment.
In order to deliver a multiexperience, businesses need to start thinking about all the avenues in which a customer can experience its services or products, while also ensuring the quality of that experience is uniform throughout.
The third trend is democratisation. Gartner refers to democratisation here as empowering everyone in the business by using technology.
This means not only giving your employees access to the necessary technology and data they need to do their job as effectively as possible, but also assisting in terms of their skills development. To that end, predictive analytics and process/application automation can play a key role.
Up next is a rather interesting concept in human augmentation, which takes the guise of both physical and software augmentation.
On the physical side it pertains to industries where people work long hours with repetitive tasks, as exoskeletons and robotic augmentations can assist workers with their tasks. On the software side of things this means AI for Gartner, with it being used much like automation to assist employees with tasks that can otherwise be handled by AI, thereby freeing up capacity.
Last, but no less important, among the people-centric trends is transparency and traceability.
To this end Burke remarks that we are in a very weird state of flux when it comes to privacy and data, with it being more highly regulated than ever before, but strangely there being such a lack of it.
Here Gartner advises looking at the six pillars of trust – integrity, ethics, openness, accountability, competence and consistency. These are not simply for employees to adhere to when dealing with one another, but should also be considered when creating technology, and dealing with data and AI in particular.
Smart Spaces Trends
Now for the smart spaces trends according to Gartner, which starts with the empowered edge.
Edge computing is something that the research firm touched on several times during last year’s Symposium, and in 2020 it is predicted that we will begin moving to a smarter, faster and more flexible edge.
This will be enabled by adaptive processes, mesh architectures and dynamic network topology, Gartner notes, with it coming to prominence in 2025.
Next is Autonomous Things, which too is something that Gartner has spoken about at length over the past tear. During his presentation, Burke touched on autonomous vehicles in particular, which will be more commonplace by 2025.
It is important to note though, that are different levels of autonomous vehicle, and level 3 is the what we’ll see more of. As such being able to feature completely driverless cars (level 5) is still some ways off, as it requires a controlled environment in order to be successful, Gartner notes.
Liked to the empowered edge is the distributed cloud. Much has been made of cloud computing locally, especially with a number of high-profile vendors spinning up data centres in the country.
Interestingly Gartner says many service providers (in 2024) will provide services that execute at the point of need. This model factors in reduced latency among other things, and could see vendors have different approaches depending on what the client requirements for cloud computing will be.
Up next is practical blockchain, and this means that we won’t necessarily see the technology implemented in the industry in its current guise.
Instead Gartner believes the underlying principles that govern blockchain will begin to customised based on industry need. As such the blockchain we know now could be very different over the course of the next two to five years.
The final trend from Gartner is AI security, and it’s certainly the most easy to understand of all 10.
With AI embedding its way into every aspect of business, as well as a myriad industries, having the technology roam freely brings up several questions about security and privacy.
Here organisations will have to consider that AI solutions and services have to not only be innovative and deliver some sort of business value, but also be secure and responsible with the data it interacts with.