Henrik Allert, Strategic Product Management, represented Itello on site during the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona. In view of the rapid pace of change within IT, more and more corporate managers are facing numerous challenges which, in many cases, are diametrically opposed to each other: stability or change, tech company or traditional company, analyse or implement, apply the brakes or step on the accelerator. In other words, the focus of the event was, to a large extent, about finding a balance between decision-making and management in our digital society. Here we take a look at several hot trends in technology that are expected to make a great impact in the years to come.
“As far as the position between being a traditional or a digital company is concerned, it’s not a straightforward case of traditional companies maximising their digital strategy. Rather, it’s about understanding where the balance between the two dimensions is for your own company. This also applies to the digital giants that are now taking up their position in physical business. How digital and traditional should it be? TechQuilibrium is the new term that has been devised to describe this. What would a Gartner event be without a new buzz word to take home with you,” says Henrik Allert, Strategic Product Management, Itello.
”Winning in the turns” – changes lead to opportunities
“Winning in the turns” means that, in a changing world with a great deal of instability (geopolitics, trade barriers, fake news, etc.), it’s extremely important for companies to have the ability to change and adapt. The 2008 financial crisis was highlighted during the event as an example of this, where a number of companies seized the opportunity to advance their positions considerably, by investing instead of reducing their costs.
TechQuilibrium – find the right balance
As far as the position between being a traditional or a digital company is concerned, it’s not a straightforward case of traditional companies maximising their digital strategy. Rather, it’s about understanding where the balance between the two dimensions is for your own company. This also applies to the digital giants that are now taking up their position in physical business. How digital and traditional should it be? TechQuilibrium is the new term that has been devised to describe this. What would a Gartner event be without a new buzz word to take home with you!
Not all industries need to digitalise to the same extent, however (they need only be as digital as their customers, society and the market “allow”), but it’s important to remember that the balance between technology and tradition in different industries can be moved. Not least by the digital giants that are capable of re-drawing the whole playing field by reconstructing an entire infrastructure, for example, if they’re not satisfied with the existing one.
AI – hot or not?
Everybody’s talking about AI, but few people have implemented it. The most common applications that are currently in practical usage relate to chatbots (text and speech analysis), video and image analysis. An important point made by Gartner during the event is that AI is no longer seen as an easy “silver bullet”, but that the basis for success is quality-assured data and sound knowledge of your data. There is also a lot of debate today around the ethical aspects of AI and about setting requirements for explaining why the application of AI has arrived at the present response. Moreover, it’s important to ensure that there is no inherent partiality in its logic. It’s crucial, therefore, to have control of what data is used for providing training and instruction on AI logic.
Furthermore, AI creates opportunities for hyper-automation, but it also presents new challenges in the area of IT security. The main focus of security managers in the future should be on three key areas: protecting AI-driven systems, using AI to reinforce your own protection and trying to predict how an attacker can use AI.
Edge Computing – the big talking point
Edge computing is exactly what it sounds like: running calculations and data processing “on the edge of the network” instead of centrally on servers or in the cloud. In a scenario where people are users, this would mean that software is run on computers, tablets and mobile phones. But there are other, more exciting and autonomous applications in the form of drones, driverless cars and smart sensors. The advantage with these is their sheer speed. So far, this trend has been most noticeable in the industrial IoT world, but it is spreading, in principle, to other industries. Gartner predicts that by 2023 over half of all company-generated data will be created and processed outside the data centre or the cloud. The figure is currently less than 10 per cent.
Human Augumentation – a paradigm shift that changes everything?
We are witnessing the beginning of an exciting or “disturbing” paradigm shift where new physical technology such as smart fabrics, AR/MR contact lenses, exoskeletons, combined with more integrated technology such as transcranial direct current stimulation, CRISPR and brain-computer interface, can lend support to both our everyday life and our working life. By extension, it is probably such a dramatic shift that we are dealing with something that may eventually force us to redefine what it is to be human.
Blockchain – from hype to application
Blockchain has cooled off a little since the hype-peak of recent years. People are now talking of “blockchain-like solutions” instead, but where key components are stripped away, such as tokenisation and the networks’s proof-of-work, which are not regarded as applicable from a business perspective. What remains is basically a distributed database with strong encryption, which we believe can be addressed with more conventional and tried and tested technology. But some use cases that are still trusted are the tracking of products and goods through physical supply chains and the ability to determine the validity of content in order to counteract fake news, which is a growing societal problem.