Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020

Gartner highlighted the top strategic technology trends that organizations need to explore in 2020. They define a strategic technology trend as one with substantial disruptive potential that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which is rapidly growing with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years.

“People-centric smart spaces are the structure used to organize and evaluate the primary impact of the Gartner top strategic technology trends for 2020,” said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “Putting people at the center of your technology strategy highlights one of the most important aspects of technology — how it impacts customers, employees, business partners, society or other key constituencies.”

The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2020 are:

  1. Hyperautomation: Hyperautomation is the combination of multiple machine learning, packaged software and automation tools to deliver work. It refers not only to the breadth of the pallet of tools, but also to all the steps of automation itself. This trend was kicked off with robotic process automation. However, RPA alone is not hyperautomation.
  2. Multiexperience: Through 2028, the user experience will undergo a significant shift in how users perceive the digital world and how they interact with it. Conversational platforms are changing the way in which people interact with the digital world. VR, AR and MR are changing the way in which people perceive the digital world. This combined shift in both perception and interaction models leads to the future multisensory and multimodal experience.
  3. Democratization of Expertise: Democratization is focused on providing people with access to technical expertise or business domain expertise via a radically simplified experience and without requiring extensive and costly training. Through 2023, Gartner expects four key aspects of the democratization trend to accelerate, including democratization of data and analytics, development, design and knowledge.
  4. Human Augmentation: Human augmentation explores how technology can be used to deliver cognitive and physical improvements as an integral part of the human experience. Over the next 10 years increasing levels of physical and cognitive human augmentation will become prevalent as individuals seek personal enhancements. This will create a new “consumerization” effect where employees seek to exploit their personal enhancements, and even extend them, to improve their office environment.
  5. Transparency and Traceability: Transparency and traceability refer to a range of attitudes, actions and supporting technologies and practices designed to address regulatory requirements, preserve an ethical approach to use of AI and other advanced technologies, and repair the growing lack of trust in companies. As organizations build out transparency and trust practices, they must focus on three areas: AI and ML; personal data privacy, ownership and control; and ethically aligned design.
  6. The Empowered Edge: Edge computing is a computing topology in which information processing and content collection and delivery are placed closer to the sources, repositories and consumers of this information. It tries to keep the traffic and processing local to reduce latency, exploit the capabilities of the edge and enable greater autonomy at the edge.
  7. Distributed Cloud: A distributed cloud is the distribution of public cloud services to different locations while the originating public cloud provider assumes responsibility for the operation, governance, updates to and evolution of the services. This represents a significant shift from the centralized model of most public cloud services and will lead to a new era in  cloud computing.
  8. Autonomous Things: Autonomous things are physical devices that use AI to automate functions previously performed by humans. The most recognizable forms of autonomous things are robots, drones, autonomous vehicles/ships and appliances. As the technology capability improves, regulation permits and social acceptance grows, autonomous things will increasingly be deployed in uncontrolled public spaces.
  9. Practical Blockchain: Blockchain has the potential to reshape industries by enabling trust, providing transparency and enabling value exchange across business ecosystems, potentially lowering costs, reducing transaction settlement times and improving cash flow. Assets can be traced to their origin, significantly reducing the opportunities for substitutions with counterfeit goods.
  10. AI Security: AI and ML will continue to be applied to augment human decision making across a broad set of use cases. While this creates great opportunities to enable hyperautomation and leverage autonomous things to deliver business transformation, it creates significant new challenges for the security team and risk leaders with a massive increase in potential points of attack with IoT, cloud computing, microservices and highly connected systems in smart spaces. Security and risk leaders should focus on protecting AI-powered systems, leveraging AI to enhance security defense, and anticipating nefarious use of AI by attackers.

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