Ever wondered, which technology is there behind the digital assistants on your phone or tablets like Siri on iPhone, Cortana on Windows etc. that help you manage more than half of your daily tedious tasks.
Or, how a chat or support bot is actually able to solve your issues just like any human support representative would do. Or, how the latest lighting equipment can adjust lighting based on where you are and what you’re doing – dimmer when watching TV, brighter while cooking etc.
Honda recently unveiled its “Safe Swarm” concept which makes use of bio-mimicry to replicate the behavior of fishes for a safer, enjoyable and efficient driving experience. With this, the cars will be able to communicate with each other using DSRC (dedicated short-range communication) which will help them avoid accidents and even get alerts about any accident that may have happened on the way.
Analytics and research firm, Gartner, at its Gartner Symposium/IT Expo, brought forward 10 technological trends that organizations must look forward to in 2018.
David Carley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, during the event said, “The continuing digital business evolution exploits new digital models to align more closely the physical and digital worlds for employees, partners and customers. Technology will be embedded in everything in the digital business of the future.”
Gartner presented these top ten technology trends under three subsets – Intelligent, Digital and Mesh.
It also defined a strategic technology trend as one with disruptive potential, that will soon break out from an emerging state into broader impact and application.
Intelligent Technology Trends for the future of businesses
1. AI Foundation
AI will be seen playing an important role in how the technology is used to build systems that learn, adapt and act autonomously. It will be a major battleground for technology vendors through 2020. AI-based applications will see its maximum usage in decision-making processes, reinventing business models and ecosystem.
The increasing role of AI will require organizations to start investing in skills, processes and tools to make use of these techniques and exploit them for the best interest of an organization.
Gartner analysts earlier also predicted that “by 2020 AI technologies will be virtually pervasive in almost every new software product and service.”
The term which was not even in top 100 searches at Gartner.com, got 7th position in May 2017 survey results, clearly showing the growing interest on the topic and how CIOs are considering AI to be an important part of their growth strategy.
Related read: Top 4 AI engines to look out for in 2020
2. Intelligent Things
The application of AI will make things smarter, bringing forth the Intelligent Things concept. The way we use devices today and in future might go through a drastic change, thanks to AI.
While the application of AI is developing things that would not have been in existence without it, there are some things which already exist and the involvement of AI has made them smarter. Like the transition from phones to smartphones and cameras to smart cameras.
With growing usage of AI, these intelligent things will evolve and we will see them communicating and interacting with each other. Safe swarms concept is one such example.
3. Intelligent Apps and Analytics
The coming years will see more applications utilizing AI at some level. As we read in the above point, while some things will not exist without it, there may be other apps and things where AI will run unobtrusively in the background.
Software product market will also be affected largely by AI use cases. AI will be used highly in software like ERP and CRM for better decision making and problem-solving capabilities.
David said, “Challenge your packaged software and service providers to outline how they’ll be using AI to add business value in new versions in the form of advanced analytics, intelligent processes and advanced user experiences.”
These intelligent apps and analytics will also redefine workspaces. Though, Gartner also believes that AI should not be taken as a technology that will replace human, but should be used to add more capabilities to human activities.
Digital Trends 2020
4. Digital Twins
Gartner defines Digital Twins as the digital representation of physical objects. Gartner predicts that by 2021, half of large industrial companies will use digital twins, resulting in those organizations gaining a 10% improvement in effectiveness.
With digital representation of assets, organizations can achieve cost efficiency and high performance.
Overall, it will help in asset management to define how products are used and how they can be improved. Many manufacturing firms have already started using digital twin technology for asset management.
Digital twins will be further evolved to improve the efficiency of collecting data, organizing and visualizing the right data and applying the right analytics.
5. Cloud to the Edge
Cloud is maturing and coming times will see more application of edge computing. It defines a computing model where the information is processed and placed nearer to the information sources. This improves latency and connectivity of the network.
While some people might use cloud and edge computing interchangeably, the two concepts are totally different. While cloud is about delivering computing resources over internet, edge computing is about improving the way of delivering content over internet. Thus, edge computing might help in improving the network models of cloud and solve latency and computing issues.
6. Conversational Platforms
Conversational platforms use Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing to perform tasks that earlier required extensive human involvement. They can answer basic user questions like “Is it going to rain today?” or “Open Settings”. While these are some of the most basic questions, in coming times, these conversational platforms will evolve to answer more complex questions.
They also need to overcome the current issues of the system like the user needs, to talk in a structured way to get the desired answer or he might need to repeat the query. This will include working upon the API and event models of these platforms. 2018 will see the development of such platforms.
7. Immersive Experiences
Immersive experiences like mixed, virtual and augmented reality change the way human interacts with the digital world. While the market of VR and AR is new and growing, the interest over the topic is increasing. We also see big market players like Microsoft, coming up with VR based projects and devices.
Application Vendors, development platform vendors and system software vendors will be seen competing to deliver this model.
The coming five years will see a major focus on mixed reality which merges the technical functionalities of both AR and VR. This include head-mounted displays (HMD), tablet-based AR, Google’s Tango and ARCore, Apple’s ARkit etc. Gartner expects the battle for smartphone-based AR to increase in 2018.
Per Gartner, “Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger in which value exchange transactions (in bitcoin or other token) are sequentially grouped into blocks. Each block is chained to the previous block and immutably recorded across a peer-to-peer network, using cryptographic trust and assurance mechanisms.”
Blockchain-based applications have many opportunities in healthcare, government, supply chain, content distribution and more. The market for blockchain is in an evolving stage only and businesses need to follow a practical approach before they start investing in blockchain-based applications.
Businesses need to develop the ability to sense, identify and be ready to exploit new digital business models. They need to get hold of the business events to act faster on any technological changes.
The use of event brokers, cloud computing, AI, IoT, blockchain and in-memory data management helps quick identification of these business events.
Business leaders and CIOs need to get involved in event-thinking to plan and architect digital business models.
10. Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust
Organizations need to follow a CARTA (continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment) approach to allow risk and trust-based, real-time decision making, to support digital initiatives in a world of advanced, security, targeted attacks.
Traditional security techniques involving ownership and control rather than trust will be insufficient to meet the digital business needs.
DevSecOps process to secure developers’ efforts and deception technologies like honeypots are two of the techniques that can be explored to bring CARTA into practice.