Gartner: Three Future Tech Trends To Drive Digital Business Into The Next Decade

US research and advisory company Gartner has identified three technological megatrends that, if adopted properly, would give businesses an unfair advantage over the next 10 years.

“Artificial intelligence (AI) everywhere, transparently immersive experiences and digital platforms are the trends that will provide unrivaled intelligence, create profoundly new experiences and offer platforms that allow organizations to connect with new business ecosystems”, said Gartner in its newly published 2017 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle report.

Gartner Hype Cycle is a visual presentation of new technological adoption intended to “discern the hype from what’s commercially viable”. According to it, new technologies go through several phases, starting from a Technology Trigger, to Peak of Inflated Expectations where most failures take place, going on through the Trough of Disillusionment where public interest declines and only the fittest survive and improve. The Slope of Enlightenment is where we see a lot of second and third generation improved products and ending off with the Plateau of Productivity during which technologies move into mainstream adoption.

In the 2017 emerging tech report, the company provides insights into more than 2,000 technologies and identifies the trends in a few select sets of technologies that have the potential to play a vital role for many businesses and industries.

“Enterprise architects who are focused on technology innovation must evaluate these high-level trends and the featured technologies, as well as the potential impact on their businesses,” explains Gartner’s research director Mike J. Walker. “In addition to the potential impact on businesses, these trends provide a significant opportunity for enterprise architecture leaders to help senior business and IT leaders respond to digital business opportunities and threats by creating signature-ready actionable and diagnostic deliverables that guide investment decisions.”

Not surprisingly, AI technologies are considered to be the most disruptive type of technologies over the next decade. This is possible thanks to “radical computational power, near-endless amounts of data, and unprecedented advances in deep neural networks”.

All of these make it possible for businesses to apply big data in an unprecedented way and solve previously unsolvable problems.

To maximize the potential in the AI realm, organizations are advised to look at the following technologies: Deep Learning, Deep Reinforcement Learning, Artificial General Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles, Cognitive Computing, Commercial Drones, Conversational User Interfaces, Enterprise Taxonomy and Ontology Management, Machine Learning, Smart Dust, Smart Robots and Smart Workspace.

Technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Computer-Brain Interface and others will make it possible for people-to-people interaction on the one hand, and human-to-tech interaction on the other, to become more transparent, “adaptive, contextual and fluid”, the report says.

Some of the key types of technologies for enterprises to consider will be: 4D Printing, Augmented Reality (AR), Computer-Brain Interface, Connected Home, Human Augmentation, Nanotube Electronics, Virtual Reality (VR) and Volumetric Displays.

A number of new technologies, including 5G, the blockchain, quantum computing and others, in turn, are providing the needed infrastructure necessary for the ever increasing volumes of data processed and computational capabilities needed to power these new technological developments. Here’s where a number of digital platform come into play, disrupting and revolutionizing the status quo.

The report names the following key platform-enabling technologies: 5G, Digital Twin, Edge Computing, Blockchain, IoT Platform, Neuromorphic Hardware, Quantum Computing, Serverless PaaS and Software-Defined Security.

“When we view these themes together, we can see how the human-centric enabling technologies within transparently immersive experiences — such as smart workspace, connected home, augmented reality, virtual reality and the growing brain-computer interface — are becoming the edge technologies that are pulling the other trends along the Hype Cycle,” added Walker.

In terms of the specific phases of the cycle that the said technologies are going through, the report states that “AI Everywhere” like deep learning, autonomous learning and cognitive computing were “just crossing the peak”. They were identified as “key enablers of “technologies that create transparent and immersive experiences.”

The most revolutionary impact over the next 10 years is expected by technologies like Quantum Computing, which is “climbing the Innovation Trigger”, and the Blockchain, which has crossed the peak, Gartner said.