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Top 3 megatrends CIOs need to evaluate now

Top 3 megatrends CIOs need to evaluate now

Inside Gartner’s 2017 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies

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

Mike J. Walker, Gartner

Artificial intelligence (AI) everywhere, transparently immersive experiences and digital platforms are the three distinct megatrends will enable businesses to survive and thrive in the digital economy over the next five to 10 years, reports Gartner. 

Gartner, in its latest Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, says these three trends will provide unrivaled intelligence, create profoundly new experiences and offer platforms that allow organisations to connect with new business ecosystems.

Gartner says the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report is the longest-running annual Gartner Hype Cycle, providing a cross-industry perspective on the technologies and trends that business strategists, chief innovation officers, R&D leaders, entrepreneurs, global market developers and emerging-technology teams should consider in developing emerging-technology portfolios.

The Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle specifically focuses on the set of technologies that is showing promise in delivering a high degree of competitive advantage over the next five to 10 years.
The Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle specifically focuses on the set of technologies that is showing promise in delivering a high degree of competitive advantage over the next five to 10 years.

"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," says Mike J. Walker, research director at Gartner.

 "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 the digital business opportunities and threats by creating signature-ready actionable and diagnostic deliverables that guide investment decisions."

AI Everywhere

Artificial intelligence technologies will be the most disruptive class of technologies over the next 10 years due to radical computational power, near-endless amounts of data, and unprecedented advances in deep neural networks; these will enable organisations with AI technologies to harness data in order to adapt to new situations and solve problems that no one has ever encountered previously.

Enterprises that are seeking leverage in this theme should consider the following technologies: Deep Learning, Deep Reinforcement Learning, Artificial General Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles, Cognitive Computing, Commercial UAVs (Drones), Conversational User Interfaces, Enterprise Taxonomy and Ontology Management, Machine Learning, Smart Dust, Smart Robots and Smart Workspace.

Transparently Immersive Experiences

 Technology will continue to become more human-centric to the point where it will introduce transparency between people, businesses and things. This relationship will become much more entwined as the evolution of technology becomes more adaptive, contextual and fluid within the workplace, at home, and in interacting with businesses and other people.

Critical technologies to be considered include: 4D Printing, Augmented Reality (AR), Computer-Brain Interface, Connected Home, Human Augmentation, Nanotube Electronics, Virtual Reality (VR) and Volumetric Displays.

Digital Platforms

 Emerging technologies require revolutionising the enabling foundations that provide the volume of data needed, advanced compute power, and ubiquity-enabling ecosystems. The shift from compartmentalized technical infrastructure to ecosystem-enabling platforms is laying the foundations for entirely new business models that are forming the bridge between humans and technology.

Key platform-enabling technologies to track include: 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," says  Walker.

‘AI Everywhere’ emerging technologies are moving rapidly through the Hype Cycle. Technologies such as deep learning, autonomous learning and cognitive computing are just crossing the peak, which shows that they are key enablers of technologies that create transparent and immersive experiences.

Finally, digital platforms are rapidly moving up the Hype Cycle, illustrating the new IT realities that are possible by providing the underlying platforms that will fuel the future.

Technologies such as Quantum Computing (climbing the Innovation Trigger) and Blockchain (having passed the peak) are poised to create the most transformative and dramatic impacts in the next five to 10 years.

‘AI Everywhere’ emerging technologies are moving rapidly through the Hype Cycle

Major Hype Cycle changes

Gartner also advises enterprise architects and technology evaluation leaders to evaluate these four technologies that have moved significantly along the Hype Cycle since 2016.

Blockchain: This concept is gaining traction because it holds the promise of transforming industry operating models, says Gartner.

Multiple business use cases are yet to be proved, and it is likely that — while the hype is around the financial services industry — manufacturing, government, healthcare and education will see more rapid evolution and acceptance.

Commercial UAVs (Drones): Major advances in AI hardware, miniaturisation of computing power, and deep-learning algorithms that continue to be more useful are enabling drones to be used in industries like financial services, manufacturing, retail and automotive.

Software-Defined Security (SDSec): Security vendors continue to shift more of the policy management out of individual hardware elements and into a software-based management plane for flexibility in specifying security policy, regardless of location.

As a result, SDSec will bring speed and agility to the enforcement of security policy, regardless of the location of the user, the information or the workload, says Gartner.

Brain-Computer Interface: As wearable technology advances to become smaller and more powerful, and also becomes pervasive, applications will benefit from hybrid techniques that combine brain, gaze and muscle tracking to offer hands-free interaction.

Over the next five years, as virtual reality (VR) hardware develops, it is likely that noninvasive versions of this technology will be included in VR headset designs.

Brain-Computer Interface has not only shown major progress, but also increased its impact in a transformational way.

"These megatrends illustrate that the more organisations are able to make technology an integral part of employees', partners' and customers' experiences, the more they will be able to connect their ecosystems to platforms in new and dynamic ways," says Walker.

Blockchain: Multiple business use cases are yet to be proved, and it is likely that — while the hype is around the financial services industry — manufacturing, government, healthcare and education will see more rapid evolution and acceptance.
Blockchain: Multiple business use cases are yet to be proved, and it is likely that — while the hype is around the financial services industry — manufacturing, government, healthcare and education will see more rapid evolution and acceptance.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

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Tags customer focusDXBrain-Computer Interfaceemerging technologiesMike J. Walkermachine learningdigital disruptionCIOGartner Hype Cycle for Emerging TechnologiesanalyticsSoftware-Defined SecurityGartnerAIdronesblockchainstrategy

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