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Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top strategic technology trends thatorganizations need to explore in 2019. Analysts presented their findingsduring Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place here through Thursday.Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with substantialdisruptive potential that is beginning to break out of an emerging state intobroader impact and use, or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degreeof volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years.“The Intelligent Digital Mesh has been a consistent theme for the past twoyears and continues as a major driver through 2019. Trends under each of thesethree themes are a key ingredient in driving a continuous innovation processas part of a ContinuousNEXT strategy,” said David Cearley, vice president andGartner Fellow. “For example, artificial intelligence (AI) in the form ofautomated things and augmented intelligence is being used together with IoT,edge computing and digital twins to deliver highly integrated smart spaces.This combinatorial effect of multiple trends coalescing to produce newopportunities and drive new disruption is a hallmark of the Gartner top 10strategic technology trends for 2019.”The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2019 are:Autonomous Things Autonomous things, such as robots, drones and autonomous vehicles, use AI toautomate functions previously performed by humans. Their automation goesbeyond the automation provided by rigid programing models and they exploit AIto deliver advanced behaviors that interact more naturally with theirsurroundings and with people.“As autonomous things proliferate, we expect a shift from stand-aloneintelligent things to a swarm of collaborative intelligent things, withmultiple devices working together, either independently of people or withhuman input,” said Mr. Cearley. “For example, if a drone examined a largefield and found that it was ready for harvesting, it could dispatch an“autonomous harvester.” Or in the delivery market, the most effective solutionmay be to use an autonomous vehicle to move packages to the target area.Robots and drones on board the vehicle could then ensure final delivery of thepackage.”Augmented AnalyticsAugmented analytics focuses on a specific area of augmented intelligence,using machine learning (ML) to transform how analytics content is developed,consumed and shared. Augmented analytics capabilities will advance rapidly tomainstream adoption, as a key feature of data preparation, data management,modern analytics, business process management, process mining and data scienceplatforms. Automated insights from augmented analytics will also be embeddedin enterprise applications — for example, those of the HR, finance, sales,marketing, customer service, procurement and asset management departments — tooptimize the decisions and actions of all employees within their context, notjust those of analysts and data scientists. Augmented analytics automates theprocess of data preparation, insight generation and insight visualization,eliminating the need for professional data scientists in many situations.“This will lead to citizen data science, an emerging set of capabilities andpractices that enables users whose main job is outside the field of statisticsand analytics to extract predictive and prescriptive insights from data,” saidMr. Cearley. “Through 2020, the number of citizen data scientists will growfive times faster than the number of expert data scientists. Organizations canuse citizen data scientists to fill the data science and machine learningtalent gap caused by the shortage and high cost of data scientists.”AI-Driven Development The market is rapidly shifting from an approach in which professional datascientists must partner with application developers to create most AI-enhancedsolutions to a model in which the professional developer can operate aloneusing predefined models delivered as a service. This provides the developerwith an ecosystem of AI algorithms and models, as well as development toolstailored to integrating AI capabilities and models into a solution. Anotherlevel of opportunity for professional application development arises as AI isapplied to the development process itself to automate various data science,application development and testing functions. By 2022, at least 40 percent ofnew application development projects will have AI co-developers on their team.“Ultimately, highly advanced AI-powered development environments automatingboth functional and nonfunctional aspects of applications will give rise to anew age of the ‘citizen application developer’ where nonprofessionals will beable to use AI-driven tools to automatically generate new solutions. Toolsthat enable nonprofessionals to generate applications without coding are notnew, but we expect that AI-powered systems will drive a new level offlexibility,” said Mr. Cearley.Digital TwinsA digital twin refers to the digital representation of a real-world entity orsystem. By 2020, Gartner estimates there will be more than 20 billionconnected sensors and endpoints and digital twins will exist for potentiallybillions of things. Organizations will implement digital twins simply atfirst. They will evolve them over time, improving their ability to collect andvisualize the right data, apply the right analytics and rules, and respondeffectively to business objectives.“One aspect of the digital twin evolution that moves beyond IoT will beenterprises implementing digital twins of their organizations (DTOs). A DTO isa dynamic software model that relies on operational or other data tounderstand how an organization operationalizes its business model, connectswith its current state, deploys resources and responds to changes to deliverexpected customer value,” said Mr. Cearley. “DTOs help drive efficiencies inbusiness processes, as well as create more flexible, dynamic and responsiveprocesses that can potentially react to changing conditions automatically.”Empowered Edge The edge refers to endpoint devices used by people or embedded in the worldaround us. Edge computing describes a computing topology in which informationprocessing, and content collection and delivery, are placed closer to theseendpoints. It tries to keep the traffic and processing local, with the goalbeing to reduce traffic and latency.In the near term, edge is being driven by IoT and the need keep the processingclose to the end rather than on a centralized cloud server. However, ratherthan create a new architecture, cloud computing and edge computing will evolveas complementary models with cloud services being managed as a centralizedservice executing, not only on centralized servers, but in distributed serverson-premises and on the edge devices themselves.Over the next five years, specialized AI chips, along with greater processingpower, storage and other advanced capabilities, will be added to a wider arrayof edge devices. The extreme heterogeneity of this embedded IoT world and thelong life cycles of assets such as industrial systems will create significantmanagement challenges. Longer term, as 5G matures, the expanding edgecomputing environment will have more robust communication back to centralizedservices. 5G provides lower latency, higher bandwidth, and (very importantlyfor edge) a dramatic increase in the number of nodes (edge endoints) persquare km.Immersive Experience Conversational platforms are changing the way in which people interact withthe digital world. Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixedreality (MR) are changing the way in which people perceive the digital world.This combined shift in perception and interaction models leads to the futureimmersive user experience.“Over time, we will shift from thinking about individual devices andfragmented user interface (UI) technologies to a multichannel and multimodalexperience. The multimodal experience will connect people with the digitalworld across hundreds of edge devices that surround them, includingtraditional computing devices, wearables, automobiles, environmental sensorsand consumer appliances,” said Mr. Cearley. “The multichannel experience willuse all human senses as well as advanced computer senses (such as heat,humidity and radar) across these multimodal devices. This multiexperienceenvironment will create an ambient experience in which the spaces thatsurround us define “the computer” rather than the individual devices. Ineffect, the environment is the computer.”BlockchainBlockchain, a type of distributed ledger, promises to reshape industries byenabling trust, providing transparency and reducing friction across businessecosystems potentially lowering costs, reducing transaction settlement timesand improving cash flow. Today, trust is placed in banks, clearinghouses,governments and many other institutions as central authorities with the“single version of the truth” maintained securely in their databases. Thecentralized trust model adds delays and friction costs (commissions, fees andthe time value of money) to transactions. Blockchain provides an alternativetrust mode and removes the need for central authorities in arbitratingtransactions.”Current blockchain technologies and concepts are immature, poorly understoodand unproven in mission-critical, at-scale business operations. This isparticularly so with the complex elements that support more sophisticatedscenarios,” said Mr. Cearley. “Despite the challenges, the significantpotential for disruption means CIOs and IT leaders should begin evaluatingblockchain, even if they don’t aggressively adopt the technologies in the nextfew years.”Many blockchain initiatives today do not implement all of the attributes ofblockchain — for example, a highly distributed database. These blockchain-inspired solutions are positioned as a means to achieve operational efficiencyby automating business processes, or by digitizing records. They have thepotential to enhance sharing of information among known entities, as well asimproving opportunities for tracking and tracing physical and digital assets.However, these approaches miss the value of true blockchain disruption and mayincrease vendor lock-in. Organizations choosing this option should understandthe limitations and be prepared to move to complete blockchain solutions overtime and that the same outcomes may be achieved with more efficient and tuneduse of existing nonblockchain technologies.Smart SpacesA smart space is a physical or digital environment in which humans andtechnology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected,coordinated and intelligent ecosystems. Multiple elements — including people,processes, services and things — come together in a smart space to create amore immersive, interactive and automated experience for a target set ofpeople and industry scenarios.“This trend has been coalescing for some time around elements such as smartcities, digital workplaces, smart homes and connected factories. We believethe market is entering a period of accelerated delivery of robust smart spaceswith technology becoming an integral part of our daily lives, whether asemployees, customers, consumers, community members or citizens,” said Mr.Cearley.Digital Ethics and PrivacyDigital ethics and privacy is a growing concern for individuals, organizationsand governments. People are increasingly concerned about how their personalinformation is being used by organizations in both the public and privatesector, and the backlash will only increase for organizations that are notproactively addressing these concerns.“Any discussion on privacy must be grounded in the broader topic of digitalethics and the trust of your customers, constituents and employees. Whileprivacy and security are foundational components in building trust, trust isactually about more than just these components,” said Mr. Cearley. “Trust isthe acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation.Ultimately an organization’s position on privacy must be driven by its broaderposition on ethics and trust. Shifting from privacy to ethics moves theconversation beyond ‘are we compliant’ toward ‘are we doing the right thing.’”Quantum ComputingQuantum computing (QC) is a type of nonclassical computing that operates onthe quantum state of subatomic particles (for example, electrons and ions)that represent information as elements denoted as quantum bits (qubits). Theparallel execution and exponential scalability of quantum computers means theyexcel with problems too complex for a traditional approach or where atraditional algorithms would take too long to find a solution. Industries suchas automotive, financial, insurance, pharmaceuticals, military and researchorganizations have the most to gain from the advancements in QC. In thepharmaceutical industry, for example, QC could be used to model molecularinteractions at atomic levels to accelerate time to market for new cancer-treating drugs or QC could accelerate and more accurately predict theinteraction of proteins leading to new pharmaceutical methodologies.“CIOs and IT leaders should start planning for QC by increasing understandingand how it can apply to real-world business problems. Learn while thetechnology is still in the emerging state. Identify real-world problems whereQC has potential and consider the possible impact on security,” said Mr.Cearley. “But don’t believe the hype that it will revolutionize things in thenext few years. Most organizations should learn about and monitor QC through2022 and perhaps exploit it from 2023 or 2025.”Gartner clients can learn more in the Gartner Special Report “Top 10 StrategicTechnology Trends for 2019.” Additional detailed analysis on each tech trendcan be found in the Gartner YouTube video “Gartner Top 10 Strategic TechnologyTrends 2019.”About Gartner Symposium/ITxpoGartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world’s most important gathering of CIOs andsenior IT leaders, uniting a global community of CIOs with the tools andstrategies to help them lead the next generation of IT and achieve businessoutcomes. More than 25,000 CIOs, senior business and IT leaders worldwide willgather for the insights they need to ensure that their IT initiatives are keycontributors to, and drivers of, their enterprise’s success.Follow news, photos and video coming from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on SmarterWith Gartner, on Twitter using #GartnerSYM, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo include:October 22-25, 2018; Sao Paulo, BrazilOctober 29-November 1, 2018; Gold Coast, AustraliaNovember 12-14, 2018; Tokyo JapanNovember 4-8, 2018; Barcelona, SpainNovember 13-16, 2018; Goa, IndiaMarch 4-6, 2019, DubaiJune 3-6, 2019; Toronto, Canada

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