Round about this time of the year the top consultancy firms publish what they believe will be the most important technology trends for 2018. Gartner provide arguably the best analysis and technology trends predictions and it is those that i will summarise in this post. The key theme highlighted by Gartner refers to “the entwining of people, devices, content and services the intelligent digital mesh“:
- Intelligent – The use of AI in technology enabling more autonomous systems
- Digital – Merging the virtual and real world to create a digitally connected environment
- Mesh – connecting people, business, devices, content and services
Check out the Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018 for complete details, in the meantime here is a kick-ass summary of each technology trend.
Technology Trend 1: AI Foundation
I don’t know if AI is intentionally the first technology trend that Gartner mention. Either way, Gartner talk about using AI to improve decision making, reinvent business models and revive the customer experience. Interestingly Gartner distinguish between:
- General AI, where systems can replicate any intellectual tasks that a human can do – which should be left to researchers and science fiction writers – and
- Narrow AI, where high scoped machine-learning solutions that perform a specific task, with algorithms optimised to perform a specific taks
Technology Trend 2: Intelligent Apps & Analytics
This trend puts AI at the centre of every app, application and service that we use. The key question to ask your software and service providers is – how are you using AI to add value in the form of analytics, intelligent processes and to deliver an enhanced user experience?
Virtual assistants and advisors are forming an intermediary layer between people and systems, which may transform the work we do and the workplace itself according to Gartner.
Technology Trend 3: Intelligent Things
Gartner explain that intelligent things use AI and machine learning to interact in a more intelligent way with people and their surroundings. An example would be the self-operating vacuum – a semi-autonomous or autonomous object that operates unsupervised on a specific task for a defined period of time.
Technology Trend 4: Digital Twins
So this one is all about the Internet of Things (IoT). The frequently quoted statistic is that by 2020 there will be 21 billion connected sensors and endpoints and as a result digital twins will exist for billions of things too! Gartner describe a digital twin as the digital representation of a real world entity or system.
Technology Trend 5: Cloud to the Edge
- Edge computing is where processing, content and computing happen closer to the user/things or “edge” of the networking
- Cloud as a system to technology services are delivered using internet technologies
- Edge and Cloud implemented together allow the cloud to deliver a service oriented model and edge computing to propose a delivery that enables the execution of disconnected aspects of cloud service
I must admit i need to look into this one a bit more!
Technology Trend 6: Conversational Platforms
This is where you can interact with a digital assistant to ask what is the weather like today? Gartner propose that these conversational platforms will evolve and be able to complete complicated tasks. Ooo-err missus!
Technology Trend 7: Immersive Experience
Augmented reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and mixed reality together with conversational platforms are transforming the user experience, and changing the way in which we now look at the digital world. Gartner believe that a invisible and immersive experience will emerge.
Technology Trend 8: Blockchain
Gartner describe blockchain as “a shared, distributed, decentralized and tokenized ledger that removes business friction by being independent of individual applications or participants”. As a result blockchain allows untrusted parties to exchange commercial transactions with trust.
Gartner speak about the transformative potential of blockchain but warn that to date many blockchain technologies are immature, unproven and mostly unregulated
Technology Trend 9: Event-Driven
Gartner suggest that with AI, the IoT and other new technologies specific events can be detected more easily, quickly and analysed in much more details than previously. Once such an event has been identified a specific business rule or action may be invoked. Gartner advocate “event thinking” as part of a digital business strategy.
Technology Trend 10: Continuous Adaptive Risk & Trust
This technology trend is about using “Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust Assessment (CARTA) approach to allow for real-time, risk and trust-based decision making with adaptive responses to security-enable digital business“.
In short, protecting the perimeter is not enough since an attacker may already (somehow) be on the inside of your organisation. So now Gartner recommend people-centric security and allowing developers to take responsibility for security – referred to as “DevSecOps”.