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Gartner picks megatrends to power digital businesses into the future

The 2017 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle identifies AI, immersive experiences and digital platforms as key to digital transformation

Gartner picks megatrends to power digital businesses into the future
Walker says these trends provide a significant opportunity for business and IT leaders to respond to digital business opportunities.

Artificial intelligence (AI) everywhere, transparently immersive experiences and digital platforms are the three megatrends that will drive digital business into the next decade, according to Gartner.

In its Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, Gartner said the megatrends will provide unrivalled intelligence, create profoundly new experiences and offer platforms that allow organisations to connect with new business ecosystems.

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 AI 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, Gartner says.

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 compartmentalised 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.

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


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