27 January 2020
The American IT analysis company Gartner identifies ten strategic technology trends for this year that offer companies great potential for transformation and optimization initiatives.
Artificial intelligence and intelligent spaces
According to Gartner, artificial intelligence plays the role of a catalyst for the advancing process automation and serves as an interface for the expansion of human-machine interactions. According to Gartner, physical environments such as factories, offices and cities are evolving into “intelligent spaces” where people can experience their surroundings through a variety of touch points and sensory channels. At the same time, issues such as data protection, ethics and security are increasingly coming into focus in order to strengthen trust in rapidly developing technologies such as AI and IoT and to meet legal challenges.
Gartner’s Top Ten Strategic Technology Trends in 2020 (see chart) identify trends that companies should consider as part of their five-year strategic technology planning process. These trends would have a broad impact on people and the places they live in – with great disruptive potential across industries and regions.
According to Gartner, by 2025, the technologies associated with these trends will undergo significant changes, passing critical tipping points and reaching new levels of maturity that will allow for expanded use and minimize risk. Therefore, technology innovation leaders should use the impact of these strategic technology trends on their business as an opportunity to improve existing products and business models or establish new ones.
In the following, we summarize Gartner’s ten trends. However, the trends should not be viewed in isolation, but rather in their mutual interaction in order to derive future innovations.
The new man-machine interfaces
This refers to technologies that go beyond ordinary automation and are intended to simplify working life. These include tools such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics process automation or intelligent business software.
The continuing trend towards the so-called ambient experience is creating many more human-machine interfaces that can offer users new virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences and are designed to make apps and services more accessible.
Gartner sees a trend towards democratization in the progressive digitalization of all areas of life, which also gives technical laymen access to software development, design or data analysis. AI as well as the increased use of low-code and no-code environments should help here.
4. Human Augmentation
This refers to the use of technologies for the cognitive and physical optimization of humans. According to Gartner, further developments can be expected in four areas. Sensory augmentation (e.g. vision), extensions to biological functions (e.g. prostheses), augmentation in the brain area (e.g. implants) and genetic augmentation (e.g. therapies).
According to Gartner, confidence in the protection of users’ own data and rights is in a “crisis”. More and more decisions will be made by AI in the future. Therefore, the trend towards a “new transparency” should in future rebuild lost trust among end users.
Cloud, Blockchain & Co.
6. Empowered Edge
Due to ever-increasing amounts of data, Gartner identifies so-called edge computing as a strategic trend. This refers to decentralized, resource-saving data processing at the edge of a network, which offers application possibilities in the field of smart devices and IoT devices.
7. Distributed Cloud
Moving from a centralized to a distributed cloud solution offers the advantage of being able to reach data centers anywhere and improve latency. The cloud provider continues to manage public cloud services, but they are now distributed outside the physical data centers.
8. Autonomous Things
In the case of drones, robots or other intelligent machines, technologies for automated action are increasingly being used. According to Gartner, this trend will continue outside of controlled environments, such as factories, and different devices will be able to interact autonomously.
9. Practical Blockchain
Blockchain technology offers the possibility of storing, processing, sharing and managing any information in a publicly accessible database, with these records being concatenated by means of cryptography. In the future, Gartner sees the potential to integrate additional technologies such as AI and IoT alongside the block chain to enable a wide range of new transactions.
10. AI Security
New technologies also bring with them new security risks. According to Gartner, the trend is to include AI in the security process in the future. In addition to the protection of AI-controlled systems and security optimization through AI, it is also a matter of identifying AI-based attacks in good time and protecting oneself accordingly.
The complete report can be downloaded here.