Gartner: Top 10 strategic predictions that could shake up IT

Robot bosses, digital assistants, smart algorithms, cloud security responsibility shift all part of Gartner’s future


ORLANDO-- The robots decidedly have it. They will help run businesses, make decisions for you and maybe even be your boss.

Those were just some of the predictions put forth by Gartner vice president Daryl Plummer at the consultancy’s always interesting prediction of future IT technology directions.

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“Robots are beginning to rise – don’t think Terminator robots – but smart robots that will have the ability to learn things better, faster,” Plummer

told the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 crowd. “These will be thinking machines, there will be smartness everywhere.”

Gartner’s list of all things future looks like this:

1.    By 2018, 20% of all business content will be authored by machines: Plummer says this trend will involve the rise of robotic writing programs that can write an article if written as if human wrote it. Thing budget reports and other corporate communications. IT impact? Get more efficiency and accuracy in reports. CIO’s should identify opportunities to adopt automated content generation services now. The theory is that this won’t kill people jobs, but let them move onto something more creative.

2.    By 2018, 6 billion connected things will be requesting support: In five years, 1 million new devices will come online every and these devices will at some point call back saying they need some attention. In order to keep up with this IT will need to deploy machines to watch over machines.

3.    By 2020, autonomous software agents outside of human control will participate in 5% of all economic transactions: CIOs will need to study technologies based on crypt-currencies like Bitcoin and will need to use pattern matching algorithms to detect robothieves.

4.    By 2018, more than 3 million workers globally will be supervised by a "roboboss": So if you have a robot for a boss, would you listen to them? Plummer says we will have to learn to live with robots supervising us on certain things. He noted there are already telepresence-based robots in use but their intelligence will grow. …we will get used to them as they grow. He also theorized that there could be play-calling robots for professional football. An idea that for some team that couldn’t happen too soon.

5.    By YE18, 20% of smart buildings will have suffered from digital vandalism:  As more and more systems are interconnected you see more surfaces open to attack. You can’t plug all the holes, Plummer said. As buildings get smarter and more connected - -AC units, physical security systems and this trend include your home – the more open to digital vandalism we become. We will need more algorithms to detect if something is wrong and protect assets you may not have thought about like firewalls for HVAC system…firewalls for the toilet.

6.    By 2018, 50% of the fastest-growing companies will have fewer employees than instances of smart machines:   Gathering talent will be the next smart machine battleground – talent that can help machines learn the right things and how to grow. IT leaders need to establish governance and management of a hybrid ecosystem consisting of employees and smart machines.

7.    By YE18, customer digital assistants will recognize individuals by face and voice across channels and partners: Machines are better at listening and hearing and telling us what to do. The key here is getting digital assistants to use credentials across channels. CIOs need to think about customer engagement and how the customer engages with them.

8.    By 2018, 2 million employees will be required to wear health and fitness tracking devices as a condition of employment: Right now each one of you is being monitored by 7 or 8 devices – some sort of device maybe to monitor your health, cameras, GPS. In the future wearing such a health/GPS device would be a condition of employment. Employees won’t have to opt in -- it will be a contractual agreement. CIOs need to establish policies for such contracts.

9.    By 2020, smart agents will facilitate 40% of mobile interactions, and the post-app era will begin to dominate: In the future you will no longer have to download an app just to access a particular system or business. The system will automatically interact with you and an algorithm will figure out what you need. Smart agents will facilitate mobile interactions.

10.Through 2020, 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer's fault: Stop blaming cloud security for failures. In the future you will grow your own cloud protection. It will be your fault if you don’t take your security posture more seriously, Plummer said.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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