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Gartner: Top 10 2019 tech trends you should know

News Analysis
Oct 16, 20186 mins
CareersInternet of ThingsNetworking

AI, augmented analytics, quantum computing, and blockchain are among technologies that soon could dominate the IT landscape, according to Gartner’s annual Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends.

ORLANDO — A mashup of technologies including artificial intelligence and automation will begin to make a significant impact on businesses and IT organizations in 2019 according to Gartner’s annual Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends report.

The top 10 list, delivered at Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo here, portends an overlap of trends such IoT being combined with AI, augmented analytics with edge computing that will deliver leading edge services and applications, David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, told attendees.

Gartner says the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2019 will be:

  1. Autonomous Things: This includes robots, drones and autonomous vehicles that will use AI to automate functions previously performed by humans. “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,” Cearley said. “For example, if a drone examined a large field and found that it was ready for harvesting, it could dispatch an autonomous harvester.”
  2. Augmented Analytics: Cearley said this trend focuses on a specific area of augmented intelligence, using machine learning (ML) to transform how analytics content is developed, consumed and shared. Augmented analytics capabilities will advance rapidly to mainstream adoption, as a key feature of data preparation, data management, modern analytics, business process management, process mining and data science platforms. Automated insights from augmented analytics will also be embedded in enterprise applications — such as those for the HR, finance, sales, marketing, customer service, procurement and asset management departments — to optimize the decisions and actions of all employees within their context, not just those of analysts and data scientists. Augmented analytics automates the process of data preparation, insight generation and insight visualization, eliminating the need for professional data scientists in many situations.
  3. AI-Driven Development: Gartner believes that the market is rapidly shifting from an approach in which professional data scientists must partner with application developers to create most AI-enhanced solutions. Instead they are moving to a model in which the professional developer can operate alone using predefined models delivered as a service. This provides the developer with an ecosystem of AI algorithms and models, as well as development tools tailored to integrating AI capabilities and models into a solution. Another level of opportunity for professional application development arises as AI is applied to the development process itself to automate various data science, application development and testing functions. By 2022, at least 40 percent of new application-development projects will have AI co-developers on their team.
  4. Digital Twins: Gartner says a digital twin refers to the digital representation of a real-world entity or system. By 2020, Gartner estimates there will be more than 20 billion connected sensors and endpoints and digital twins will exist for potentially billions of things. Organizations will implement digital twins simply at first. They will evolve them over time, improving their ability to collect and visualize the right data, apply the right analytics and rules and respond effectively to business objectives.
  5. Empowered Edge: In the near term, edge is being driven by IoT and the need to keep processing close to the endpoint rather than on a centralized cloud server. Gartner thinks that in the next five years, specialized AI chips, along with greater processing power, storage and other advanced capabilities, will be added to a wider array of edge devices. The extreme heterogeneity of this embedded IoT world and the long life cycles of assets such as industrial systems will create significant management challenges. Longer term, as 5G matures, the expanding edge computing environment will have more robust communication back to centralized services. 5G provides lower latency, higher bandwidth, and (very importantly for edge) a dramatic increase in the number of nodes per square km.
  6. Immersive Experience: Gartner says conversational platforms are changing the way in which people interact with the digital world. Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality and mixed reality are changing the way in which people perceive the digital world. This combined shift in perception and interaction models leads to the future immersive user experience. “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,” Cearley said.
  7. Blockchain: Blockchain, Gartner predicts, promises to reshape industries by enabling trust, providing transparency and reducing friction across business ecosystems potentially lowering costs, reducing transaction-settlement times and improving cash flow. Today, trust is placed in banks, clearinghouses, governments and many other institutions as central authorities with the “single version of the truth” maintained securely in their databases. The centralized trust model adds delays and friction costs (commissions, fees and the time value of money) to transactions. Blockchain provides an alternative trust mode and removes the need for central authorities in arbitrating transactions. “Current blockchain technologies and concepts are immature, poorly understood and unproven in mission-critical, at-scale business operations. This is particularly so with the complex elements that support more sophisticated scenarios,” said Cearley. “Despite the challenges, the significant potential for disruption means CIOs and IT leaders should begin evaluating blockchain, even if they don’t aggressively adopt the technologies in the next few years.”
  8. Smart Spaces: Gartner defines 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.
  9. Digital Ethics and Privacy: Digital ethics and privacy is a growing concern for individuals, organizations and governments. People are increasingly concerned about how their personal information is being used by organizations in both the public and private sector, and the backlash will only increase for organizations that are not proactively addressing these concerns. “Trust is the acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation. Ultimately an organization’s position on privacy must be driven by its broader position on ethics and trust. Shifting from privacy to ethics moves the conversation beyond ‘are we compliant’ toward ‘are we doing the right thing,’” Cearly said.
  10. Quantum Computing (QC): Gartner says the parallel execution and exponential scalability of quantum computers means they excel at solving problems too complex for a traditional approach or where a traditional algorithms would take too long to find a solution to a problem. Automotive, financial, insurance, pharmaceuticals, military and research organizations have the most to gain from advancements in QC. “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,” said Cearley. “But don’t believe the hype that it will revolutionize things in the next few years. Most organizations should learn about and monitor QC through 2022 and perhaps exploit it from 2023 or 2025.”