Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020

Every year Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, produces a list of the trends that CIOs and other senior executives should be paying attention to. Gartner’s Vice President Brian Burke has presented the Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2020. The trends in the Gartner’s list were grouped into “people-centric” technologies and “smart spaces”.


People-centric trends:

1. Hyperautomation

This involves automating everything, starting with process automation. According to Burke, today most organizations are doing simple task automation, but that we are moving toward process automation, and will eventually end up with “DigitalOps” in which an entire organization is automated.

As part of this, “digital twins” of organizations, which take into account the operations model, business processes, and operational intelligence, will be created.

2. Multiexperience

This phrase describes how we are consistently shifting to a multi-modal interface rule, including voice, eye tracking, motion control, and other technologies.

Multiexperience will be put to use in the service, retail, training, and design sectors. However, there are many other opportunities for using it on various devices, from smart speakers to cars. This will be supported by a lot of the new technologies, but the goal is to build “consistent ambient experience”.

Gartner believes that by 2021, at least one-third of enterprises will have deployed a multiexperience development platform to support mobile, web, conversational, and augmented reality development.

3. IT Democratization

This is focused on how advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence, is becoming available to end users.

According to Gartner, we will see “virtual employee assistants” to help employees do their job more effectively, predictive analytics, such as salespeople finding high-value leads; and increased process and application automation.

However, there are also challenges to IT democratization related to insufficient analytical data and a lack of skilled developers.

Gartner predicts that by 2022, 30 percent of organizations using AI will face the issues of shadow IT as the biggest risk to effective and ethical decisions.

4. Human Augmentation

This trend includes various components such as physical augmentation, from prosthetics to implanted AR glasses and RFID tags. It also includes cognitive augmentation, including using machine learning to help train people, or to perform tasks. Still, a human is needed to make the final decision.

In the long run it will help us do things we currently consider impossible. However, the expert notes that additional discussions about what we should and should not do are needed.

5. Transparency and Traceability

In Burke’s opinion, there is a lack of trust in technology in the modern world. For instance, when AI is used, it can be hard to explain why a loan was denied. Other issues include omnipresent IOT data collection, fake news and reviews, and algorithmic bias.

To deal with this, Garther discusses six pillars of trust: applying integrity and ethics, openness, accountability, competence, and consistency. This has big implications for IT sector development.

Gartner predicts that by 2023, over 75 percent of large organizations will hire artificial intelligence specialists in behavior forensic, privacy, and customer trust to reduce brand and reputation risk.

Smart spaces

6. Empowered Edge

Burke said we are seeing a shift of computing power to “edge devices” allowing us to reduce latency and provide for autonomy on those devices. This is due to the accelerating development of peripheral devices.

Gartner predicts that by 2023, more than 50 percent of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud, up from less than 10 percent in 2019.

7. Distributed Cloud

Burke said that the physical location of data is becoming more important, both because of latency concerns and regulation. As a result, we will see more of a push for the distributed cloud. 

He added that the current push for “hybrid cloud” sets the stage for this but that “true private cloud is hard to do”. Instead, he thinks we will move from private cloud to a public cloud architecture, with cloud services residing sometimes in data centers, to deal with issues such as data residency and low latency. 

Gartner predicts that by 2024, the majority of cloud service platforms will provide services that execute at the point of need.

8. Autonomous Things

More things are becoming autonomous, Burke said. By that he meant robots, drones, and self-driving cars. Over time these devices will be able to collaborate and work together, such as autonomous drone swarms used by the military. To enable all of this, we need improved technological capabilities, from computer vision to robot fleet management. Today, he said, autonomous things make sense in a controlled environment, but regulation and social acceptance will determine how these can get deployed in public environments. 

Gartner predicts that by 2025, 12 percent of newly produced vehicles will have Level 3 or higher autonomous driving hardware capability.

9. Practical Blockchain

By 2023, Gartner predicts that blockchain-inspired technology will support the global movement and tracking of $2 trillion of goods and services annually.

But Burke said that most of these solutions will not support the full blockchain technology.

Only by 2025, we should start to see blockchain complete solutions, including tokenization features, and “smart contracts”.

10. AI Security

New technologies give rise to new information security threats, and give more opportunities for cyberattacks due to a growing number of peripherals used.

Information security experts will have to take these threats into account and pay attention to protecting the systems using AI, as well as to prevent the malicious use of artificial intelligence in cyberattacks.

Gartner predicts that through 2022, 30 percent of all cyberattacks will leverage training data poisoning, or AI model theft.


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