Top Tech Trends 2020

February 11 2020

The Gartner top 10 strategic technology trends for 2020  highlight trends that will drive significant disruption and  opportunity over the next five to 10 years.  For several years, the top trends focused on the intelligent digital mesh,  which is a future in which smart devices deliver insightful digital services  everywhere. Although intelligent digital mesh is still important, the 2020  trends are structured around the idea of “people-centric smart spaces” —  which means considering how technologies will affect people (i.e.,  customers, employees) and the places where they live (i.e., home,  office, car). “These trends have a profound impact on the people and the spaces  they inhabit,” says David W. Cearley, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner.  “Rather than building a technology stack and then exploring the potential  applications, organizations must consider the business and human  contexts first.”  Remember, these trends don’t exist in isolation; IT leaders must decide  what combination of the trends will drive the most innovation and strategy.  For example, artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of machine learning  (ML) with hyperautomation and edge computing can be combined to  enable highly integrated smart buildings and city spaces. In turn, these  combinations enable further democratization of the technology.


Introduction People-centric Smart spaces Hyperautomation Democratization Human Augmentation Empowered Edge Autonomous  Things Practical Blockchain Transparency and AI Security Traceability Multiexperience Distributed Cloud 2Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020


01.Hyperautomation Automation is organizations using technology to automate tasks  that once required human judgment or action. Hyperautomation  is a state in which organizations use a combination of AI and ML  to rapidly identify and automate all possible business processes.  Hyperautomation extends across a range of tools that can be  automated, but also refers to the sophistication of the automation  (i.e., discover, analyze, design, automate, measure, monitor,  reassess). Hyperautomation has four key implications:  Shifting scope — The scope of automation shifts from individual  discrete tasks to knowledge work that drives more dynamic  experiences and, ultimately, better business outcomes.  Evolving technology — The technologies required to support  hyperautomation will evolve to support a broad range of business  scope and incorporate more ML. Increasing agility — As needs (and threats) evolve, organizations  will need to be more agile to respond.  Engage the workforce — The workforce must be fully engaged,  and perhaps more importantly, fully integrated, to capture the  full value of hyperautomation.  People-centric By 2022, application integrations  delivered with robotic process  automation (RPA) will grow by 40%  year over year. Although automation utilizes a complex,  overlapping, ultimately complementary range  of tools and technologies, there are two core  components:  RPA — Connects legacy systems  Intelligent business process management suites (iBPMSs) — Manage long-running processes 3Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020


02.Multiexperience Multiexperience replaces technology-literate people with peopleliterate technology. In this trend, the traditional idea of a computer  evolves from a single point of interaction to include multisensory  and multitouchpoint interfaces like wearables and advanced  computer sensors. Multiexperience moves across many human  senses, which creates a richer, more immersive experience.  Eventually multiexperience will evolve into the ambient  experience, but the technology faces challenges with privacy  issues, as well as with individual independent creators working  on different experiences. It will be a while, if ever, before a seamless  experience emerges. Most likely, ambient experiences will exist  in proprietary ecosystems.  Domino’s Pizza created a multiexperience  platform that moved beyond simply ordering  food via its app. The company expanded the  experience to include a pizza tracker and smart  speaker communications, and uses technologies  like autonomous vehicles and drones to deliver  the food.  A million ways to order pizza People-centric By 2021, at least one-third of  enterprises will have deployed a  multiexperience development  platform to support mobile, web,  conversational and augmented  reality development. 4Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020


03.Democratization Democratization provides people with easy, low-/no-cost access  to technical or business domain expertise. It focuses on four key  areas — application development, data and analytics, design and  knowledge — and is often referred to as “citizen access,” which  has led to the rise of citizen data scientists, citizen programmers  and more.  This technology trend provides advice, takes action and extends  the expertise of the user. It can also reduce the timeline and resource  lift for a particular project. For example, currently, application  developers have to partner with a professional data scientist to  create AI-enhanced solutions. With the rise of democratization,  the developer could utilize an AI model or easy-to-configure  development tools specifically designed to integrate AI capabilities.  These options will range in sophistication from something  that can be plugged into code to tools that require more data for  a specific project and its pretraining. This means that a model  may be pretrained for image recognition, but needs a training  dataset to recognize a particular set of images. By 2024, 75% of large enterprises will be  using at least four low-code development  tools for both IT application development  and citizen development initiatives. People-centric 5Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020


04.Human  Augmentation Human augmentation is the use of technology and science  to heighten a person’s cognitive and physical experiences.  Human augmentation is not a new concept — humans have  been augmenting themselves with glasses and prosthetics for  hundreds of years — but the introduction of computers added  a new dimension to the possibilities. For example, instead of  glasses, people can choose to have corrective laser eye surgery.  Technology is now on the cusp of moving beyond augmentation  that replaces a human capability and into augmentation that  creates superhuman capabilities, like an implant that links a  human brain directly to a computer or an exoskeleton device  that offers superhuman strength.  Physical versus cognitive  Physical augmentation: Changes an inherent physical  capability via implanting or hosting a technology element  on the body  • Sensory augmentation (hearing, vision, perception) • Appendage and biological function augmentation  (exoskeletons, prosthetics) • Brain augmentation (implants to treat seizures)  • Genetic augmentation (somatic gene and cell therapy) Cognitive augmentation: Enhances a human’s ability to  think and make better decisions • Exploiting information and applications to enhance  learning or new experiences • Augmented intelligence scenarios (AI working with  humans)  • Physical implants that deal with cognitive reasoning Through 2023, 30% of IT organizations  will extend BYOD policies with “bring  your own enhancement” (BYOE) to  address augmented humans in the  workforce.  People-centric 6Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020


05. As consumers become more aware and savvy about how  organizations are using their data — and organizations are using  increasing amounts of AI and ML to drive business decisions — a  trust crisis has emerged.  Enterprises must embrace ideas like explainable AI and transparent  data policies for both ethical and business reasons. In addition to  increasing legislation and potential regulatory issues, consumers  will begin to judge and select organizations based on these policies.  The six elements of trust  Ethics: Does the organization have strong moral principles on the  use of personal data, algorithms and the design of systems that go  beyond regulations and are transparent to all interested parties? Integrity: Does the organization have a proven track record of  designing systems that reduce or eliminate bias and inappropriate  use of personal data? Openness: Are the ethical principles and privacy commitments  clear and easily accessible — and do changes to such policies bring  the appropriate constituencies into the decision-making process? Accountability: Are mechanisms in place for testing, assurance and  auditability so that privacy or ethical concerns can be identified  and addressed? This applies not only to adherence to regulatory  requirements, but also to new ethical or privacy concerns that arise  from future technologies. Competence: Has the organization implemented design principles,  processes, testing and training so that concerned constituencies can  feel comfortable that the organization can execute on its promises? Consistency: Are policies and processes handled consistently? Transparency and  Traceability People-centric By 2020, Gartner expects companies  that are digitally trustworthy will  generate 20% more online profit than  those that aren’t. 7Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020


06. Edge computing is a topology where information processing and  content collection and delivery are placed closer to the sources  of the information, with the idea that keeping traffic local and  distributed will reduce latency. This includes all the technology  on the Internet of Things (IoT). Empowered edge looks at how these devices are increasing  and forming the foundations for smart spaces. It also moves key  applications and services closer to the people and devices that  use them. Through 2028, there will be a steady increase in the embedding  of sensor, storage, compute and advanced AI capabilities in edge  devices. However, these devices will range from simple sensors to  mobile phones and autonomous vehicles, with life spans ranging  from one to 40 years. This, in addition to a push to increase  functionality in edge devices, creates a complex and ongoing  management and integration challenge.  By 2023, there could be more than  20 times as many smart devices at the  edge of the network as in conventional  IT roles.  Empowered Edge Smart spaces 8Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020


07.Distributed Cloud Smart spaces Distributed cloud refers to the distribution of public cloud services  to locations outside the cloud provider’s physical data centers,  but which are still controlled by the provider. In distributed cloud,  the cloud provider is responsible for all aspects of cloud service  architecture, delivery, operations, governance and updates.  The evolution from centralized public cloud to distributed public  cloud ushers in a new era of cloud computing. It also allows  providers to deliver on the promises made by hybrid cloud, a system  that blends external services from a provider and internal services  running on-premises. The problem is that hybrid cloud is incredibly  difficult to implement in a cost-efficient or reasonable manner.  Distributed cloud is in the early stages of development, so  most providers currently offer only a small subset of services in  a distributed manner, with plans to eventually offer full services.  By 2024, most cloud service platforms  will provide at least some services that  execute at the point of need. 9Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020


08.Autonomous  Things Autonomous things are physical devices that use AI to automate  functions previously performed by humans. They range in size  and sophistication from small drones to autonomous ships, and  operate across many different environments (i.e., land, sea and  air.) Increasingly, autonomous things are operating in closed  environments, such as mines or warehouses, but they will  eventually evolve to more open spaces.  Autonomous things operate along a spectrum from  semiautonomous devices to fully autonomous cars. Further,  as the number of autonomous things increases, there will be a  shift from things that operate alone to a swarm of collaborative  intelligent things. For example, a group of robots could operate  a coordinated assembly processes.  By 2023, over 30% of operational  warehouse workers will be supplemented  by collaborative robots. Smart spaces Honda’s Safe Swarm uses vehicle-to-vehicle  communication to allow cars to pass information  to other cars in the vicinity. For example, alerts  about an accident miles up the road could be  relayed to cars several miles back, enabling them  to operate collaboratively and intelligently to avoid  accidents and mitigate traffic.  Honda’s Safe Swarm 10Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020


09. Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, an expanding  chronologically ordered list of cryptographically signed,  irrevocable transactional records shared by all participants  in a network. This enables two (or more) parties who don’t  know each other to exchange value without a need for a  centralized authority.  Complete blockchain includes five elements: Distribution,  immutability, decentralization, encryption and tokenization.  Due to challenges with technology and scalability, today’s  organizations are taking a practical approach to blockchain  that often lacks distribution and tokenization, making them  “blockchain-inspired” solutions. By making the ledger  independent of individual applications and participants — and  replicating the ledger across a distributed network to create  an authoritative record of significant events — organizations  are creating private blockchains.  Everyone with permissioned access is then able to see the  same information, and integration is simplified by having  a single shared blockchain. Consensus is handled through  more traditional private models. Practical Blockchain Smart spaces By 2023, blockchain will be scalable  technically, and will support trusted  private transactions with the necessary  data confidentiality.  Blockchain for shipping containers  In an effort to cut down on costly (and often  unreliable) paper-based and manual systems to  track goods shipped via the ocean, Maersk and  IBM introduced TradeLens — a blockchain-based  platform for tracking shipping containers and  processing paperwork. With major shipping players  now on board, the platform covers more than half  of the world’s ocean container cargo, reducing  inefficiencies and offering visibility for all participants. 11Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020


10. The increase in the number of AI solutions and potential  points of attack, via IoT devices and highly connected  services, creates a true security challenge.  AI security includes three key perspectives:  Protecting AI-powered systems — Securing AI training data,  training pipelines and ML models  Leveraging AI to enhance security defense — Using ML to  understand patterns, uncover attacks and automate parts  of cybersecurity processes  Anticipating nefarious use of AI by attackers — Identifying  attacks and defending against them  How attackers are using AI “Hi Amy, I wanted to share some photos I  took of us in Bermuda. — Love, Mom.” This  might seem like an email from mom, but it  is actually an email from a scammer with a  phishing link. In phishing attacks, ML can  be used to learn the normal communication  patterns of a person via social media, and then  use those patterns to create attacks that mimic  the communication style of the real person.  Through 2022, 30% of all AI cyberattacks  will leverage training-data poisoning,  AI model theft or adversarial samples to  attack AI-powered systems. AI Security Smart spaces 12Learn more.  Dig deep.  Stay ahead. Free content: Visit Smarter With Gartner Stay ahead of the pressing topics, technology  and trends that impact your organization’s growth  and transformations. 

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