A year is a long time in the tech industry and according to analyst firm Gartner, in 2018 we saw a number of new technologies move from the ‘theoretical to the real-world’.
Next year, according to its ‘Top 10 Strategic Trends for 2019’ report, technologies and trends like AI, IoT, blockchain and data privacy will mature and evolve significantly to the point where adopting or ignoring them becomes a strategic decision.
Some of the other 10 drivers below you may not be as familiar with, however all of these have a key role to play in expanding what Gartner refers to as the ‘intelligent digital mesh’ about to envelop us all.
1) Autonomous Things
Expect to see great strides being made in the automation of processes across every sector and industry.
Autonomous things, such as robots, drones and autonomous vehicles, use AI to automate functions previously performed by humans. Their automation goes beyond the automation provided by rigid programming models and they exploit AI to deliver advanced behaviours that interact more naturally with their surroundings and with people.
‘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,’ said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow.
2) Augmented Analytics
Augmented analytics is a specific area of augmented intelligence using Machine Learning (ML) to transform how analytics content is developed, consumed and shared.
In 2019 we will see the technology mature to be a key feature of data preparation, data management, modern analytics, business process management, process mining and data science platforms.
Furthermore, automated insights from augmented analytics will be embedded in enterprise applications for functions like HR, finance, sales, marketing, customer service, procurement and asset management.
3) AI-Driven Development
After long being entwined in a symbiotic relationship, professional data scientists and application developers are expected to be decoupled in 2019.
Specifically, the latter will have easier access to technologies like AI delivered in pre-defined, as-a-service models. Gartner believes this trend will gather enough momentum so as to create so-called ‘citizen’ application developers: non-professionals able to use AI-driven tools to automatically generate new solutions.
In 2019 expect to see another level of opportunity for professional application development as AI is applied to the development process itself to automate various data science, application development and testing functions.
By 2022, Gartner predicts at least 40 percent of new application development projects will have AI co-developers on their team.
4) Digital Twins
A digital twin is the digital representation of a real-world entity or system.
By 2020, Gartner estimates there will be more than 20 billion connected sensors and end-points, with digital twins existing for potentially billions of things.
They will be implemented simply at first, evolving next year and beyond, getting better at collecting and visualising the right data, applying the right analytics and rules, and meeting business objectives.
Beyond the Internet-of-Things (IoT), enterprises will implement digital twins of their organisations (DTOs). A DTO is a dynamic software model that relies on operational or other data to understand how an organisation actions its business model, connects with its current state, deploys resources and responds to changes to deliver expected customer value.
5) Empowered Edge
The Edge is a general term for describing the world of end-point devices used by people or embedded in the world around us. It’s a topology in which information processing, and content collection and delivery, are placed closer to these end-points.
In the near-term, the Edge is being driven by IoT and the need to keep the processing close to the end rather than on a centralised cloud server.
However, rather than create a new architecture, 2019 will see cloud computing and Edge computing complement each other with cloud services being managed as a centralised service executing, not only on centralised servers, but in distributed servers on-premises and on the Edge devices themselves.
The imminent 5G mobile standard will play an important role driving this transition.
6) Immersive Experiences
Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) 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.
The multichannel and multimodal experience will connect people with the digital world across hundreds of Edge devices that surround them, including traditional computing devices, wearables, and vehicles.
The multichannel experience will use all human senses as well as advanced computer senses (such as heat, humidity and radar) across these multimodal devices.
Expect to see important new advances in blockchain technologies, leasing to greater trust, transparency and friction across business ecosystems potentially lowering costs, reducing transaction settlement times and improving cash flow.
The notion of banks, clearinghouses and governments as custodians of a centralised, ‘single version’ of the truth will be further challenged, leading to easier, frictionless, more secure and cost-effective transaction processing.
8) Smart Spaces
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. IN other words, people, processes, services and things all come together.
It’s a trend that’s been bubbling for some time around elements such as smart cities, digital workplaces, smart homes and connected factories. ‘We believe the market is entering a period of accelerated delivery of robust smart spaces with technology becoming an integral part of our daily lives, whether as employees, customers, consumers, community members or citizens,’ said Mr. Cearley.
9) Digital Ethics and Privacy
This years’ Cambridge Analytica scandal brought the issue of customer privacy to the forefront like never before.
Meanwhile two watershed regulations – NDB in Australia and GDPR in Europe – came into effect giving users more control over their personal information while flagging punitive measures for organisations and people that fail to protect it.
The matter has given rise to so-called ‘digital ethics’, whereby organisations come to view data protection as the ‘right’ thing to do, rather than mere ‘compliance’.
10) Quantum Computing (QC)
Quantum Computing (QC) isn’t easy to explain simply, suffice to say that it represents an entirely new ‘scientific’ approach to problem solving that far outstrips the conventional/x86 technologies most organisations depend on today.
Industries grappling with massive data sets stand to benefit from QC the most. Think pharmaceutical/medical research entities, financial services, insurance, and defence/military organisations.
In 2019 Gartner predicts that CIOs and IT leaders will feel more pressure to improve their understanding, and plan for the deployment, of QC technologies in order to ensure their competitiveness.
Brennan IT prides itself as being at the vanguard of the key technologies and trends of importance to Australian organisations, with our expert and experienced digital and business specialists ready to help bring your organisation up to speed.