Gartner’s just unveiled technology predictions for the next five years, along with strategic steps technology leaders must take to keep up with changes that may require an entirely new way of life and work.
Gartner VP Daryl Plummer delivered the info in a webinar, and it’s no exaggeration to call the predictions mind-blowing, especially as we consider the fast-approaching timeline.
“You’re going to look at some of these and say ‘No Way!,” warns Plummer, who then reminds us of Gartner’s 85% accuracy rate.
Gartner’s predictions for the new IT reality wrap around three themes:
- “Robos” Rising: the appearance of robots in everyday life, delivering more and more significant contributions to society.
- Evolving Nexus of Forces: the conversion of cloud, social, mobile, and big data, changing the way we interact with machines and secure ourselves.
- Smart-Start: Adding intelligence to everything.
Three things to consider as we look into the future, according to Plummer:
- The relationship between people and machines will go from cooperative, to co-dependent, to competitive.
- “Smartness” is being applied across the fabric of the work environment.
- The Nexus of Forces is evolving into a new set of scenarios.
Below, we highlight a handful of those predictions, and what they mean for IT leaders:
By 2018, more than 3 million workers globally will be supervised by a robot boss.
IT Leaders: Train managers to focus on human issues such as creative leadership, worker relations and strategic planning.
By 2018, 20% of smart buildings will have suffered digital vandalism.
Digital Officers: Commission algorithms to detect and avoid obscenities introduced from outside the business.
Technology Managers: Establish firewalls for HVAC controls.
By 2018, customer digital assistants (Siri, Google, Echo, etc.) will recognize individuals by face and voice across channels and partners.
CIOs: Enable customer-led rules of engagement with an opt-in “pull approach” to avoid perceived privacy threats.
By 2018, 2 million employees will be required to wear health & fitness tracking devices as a condition of employment.
IT Leaders: Establish policies for gaining employee permission to share fitness data with wellness providers. (People will accept it if there’s a significant benefit.)
By 2020, autonomous software agents outside of human control will participate in 5% of all economic transactions.
CIOs: Study technologies based on crypto-currencies to become familiar with the predominant decentralized value-exchange platforms. Also, use pattern-matching algorithms to detect robothieves.
By 2020, smart agents will facilitate 40% of mobile interactions, and the post-app era will begin to dominate.
IT Leaders: Evaluate virtual personal assistants (VPAs) for workforce productivity. Develop cloud services with VPA APIs and assess security and privacy concerns for potential data leakage.