Gartner 2014

Gartner: The super-smart drone in the corner office

Smart machines, drones, automation impact IT of the future

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Credit: Reuters

ORLANDO -- One of the more interesting trends coming out of the Gartner IT/Symposium this week was the concept that smart machines, ever-more intelligent devices and drones will have an enormous amount of influence on IT in the next few years.

In fact prototype autonomous vehicles, advanced robots, virtual personal assistants and smart advisors already exist and will evolve rapidly, ushering in a new age of machine helpers, said David Cearley, vice president & Gartner Fellow. “The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT.”

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Gartner says that self-driving vehicles promise to reshape transportation, logistics, distribution and supply chain management. “This trend is far more than a matter of eye-catching, futuristic devices like Google’s driverless cars, Jeff Bezos’ aerial delivery drones and Kiva Systems’ smart warehouse robots. Autonomous vehicles will disrupt the business dynamics of at least one-third of the industries in the developed world.”

 “Leading-edge organizations are starting to build their own smart advisors to make experts smarter,” said Tom Austin, vice president and Gartner Fellow. CIOs, CTOs, enterprise architects, business relationship managers and other IT leaders need to incorporate smart machines into their plans and investment strategies now because these technologies will significantly change how business and government work — and how humans in general work, he stated.

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 "For some time now, there has been an ongoing shift in the roles machines play in our everyday lives," said Daryl Plummer, vice president, Distinguished Analyst and Gartner Fellow. "Compute-based machines are now being used to create an ever expanding variety of experiences that extend human endeavors. Machines are taking on more human characteristics in order to affect a more personalized relationship with human beings and we find ourselves contemplating a near-term future of a world in which machines and humans are co-workers.”

Some of the interesting predictions and observations form Gartner on the smart machine, drone revolution:

  • By 2017, a significant disruptive digital business will be launched that was conceived by a computer algorithm.
  • By 2015, there will be more than 40 vendors with commercially available managed services offerings leveraging smart machines and industrialized services.
  •  In five years, drones will be a standard part of operations in many industries, used in agriculture, geographical surveys and oil and gas pipeline inspections.
  •  One in three jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines by 2025
  • Smart machines will not replace labor, rather they will displace the complacency, inefficiency and add tremendous velocity to business operations. With consumers' preference to use Internet and mobile services to drive business efficiencies and optimize time management, every industry is striving to improve the customer experience by simplifying, automating and making more intelligent end-to-end processes, minimizing manual interventions and allowing the consumer to self-serve.
  •  By year-end 2015, mobile digital assistants will have taken on tactical mundane processes such as filling out names, addresses and credit card information.
  •  By year-end 2016, more complex purchase decisions such as back-to-school backpacks and chained events such as scheduling: a highly rated, date-type movie along with dinner and car pick up on an anniversary will be easily achievable. Yearly autonomous mobile assistant purchasing will reach $2 billion dollars annually.
  •  Digital assistants will be on multiple platforms, but mobile will be the most accessible, adopted device for digital assistants and will be the killer application by year-end 2016.
  •  Companies are building virtual personal assistants that will watch users’ actions — what they read, what they ignore, whom they listen to, what they say, which meetings they go to and which they skip, and so forth — to learn what they might do to make those users more productive.

 Check out these other hot stories:

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 Gartner: IT careers – what’s hot?

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