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Gartner Reveals Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends For 2018

Conducted every year, research and analytics firm, Gartner, has released its list of the Top 10 strategic technology trends forecast for next year.

Gartner defines ‘strategic technology trends’ as having “substantial disruptive potential [which] is beginning to break out of an emerging state, into broader impact and use, or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years”.

The Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2018 are:

Trend No. 1: AI Foundation

Gartner states companies will better use AI (artificial intelligence) to revamp the customer experience and reinvent internal business models through to 2025.

Trend No. 2: Intelligent Apps and Analytics

The company predicts that over the next few years every app and service will incorporate AI at some level. Virtual assistance will run in the background of many familiar applications, and is already set to become the next major battlefield in a wide range of software and service markets,

Trend No. 3: Intelligent Things

‘Intelligent things’ utilise AI and machine learning to intelligently interact with people and surroundings. As intelligent things increase in market penetration, society can expect a shift from stand-alone intelligent devices to a range of collaborative intelligent things – i.e. multiple devices will work together, independently or with human input.

Trend No. 4: Digital Twins

Gartner states of the upcoming ‘digital twins’ wave:

“A digital twin is a digital representation of a real-world entity or system. In the context of IoT, digital twins are linked to real-world objects and offer information on the state of the counterparts, respond to changes, improve operations and add value. With an estimated 21 billion connected sensors and endpoints by 2020, digital twins will exist for billions of things in the near future”

Trend No. 5: Cloud to the Edge

The company forecasts that next year enterprises will begin using edge design patterns in infrastructure architectures, especially those with significant IoT elements.

Trend No. 6: Conversational Platforms

‘Conversational platforms’ are set to drive a radical shift wherein translating intent shifts from a user to a computer. Here, systems are capable of answering simple answers (e.g. ‘how’s the weather?’) or more complicated interactions (e.g. book a reservation at a restaurant on Market St). Gartner forecasts that these platforms will continue to evolve to more complex actions, including collecting oral testimony from crime witnesses

Trend No. 7: Immersive Experience

Gartner states of the upcoming evolution:

“Over the next five years the focus will be on mixed reality, which is emerging as the immersive experience of choice, where the user interacts with digital and real-world objects while maintaining a presence in the physical world”

Trend No. 8: Blockchain

Blockchain is a “shared, distributed, decentralized and tokenized ledger that removes business friction by being independent of individual applications or participants”. The technology allows untrusted parties to exchange commercial transactions, and has the capability to radically change industries.

Trend No. 9: Event-Driven

‘Business events’ reflect notable process changes within organisations such as the completion of a purchase order.

Gartner states with the advent of AI, IoT and other technologies, business events will be detected more quickly and analysed in greater detail. The firm predicts that by 2020, “event-sourced, real-time situational awareness” represent 80% of digital business solutions, and 80% of new business models will require support for event processing.

Trend No. 10: Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust

In light of the cumulative effect of the trends above, Gartner forecasts a need to embrace people-centric security and empowering developers to take responsibility for added security measures.

Individuals can read Gartner’s full report here.


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