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You know that the tech landscape changes quickly. But where’s the smart money headed? That’s a big, important question.

Gartner has some answers. The research and advisory company just published its list of the top 10 strategic tech trends for 2018. I expect you’ll find many of the items surprising.

Before we get to the list, it’s worth noting that Gartner also expects total worldwide IT spending to rise next year by about 4%. That would mean an increase from an estimated $3.5 trillion this year to $3.7 trillion next year. A rising tide lifts all boats!

Now here’s that list of next year’s top 10 tech trends, according to Gartner:

> AI foundation: This includes systems that learn, adapt and act autonomously with artificial intelligence. It’s a foundation because companies will use AI for some big, big tasks: enhancing decision-making, re-inventing business models, and remaking the customer experience.

> Intelligent apps & analytics: More AI. These applications create intermediary layers between people and systems, providing artificial intelligence behind the scenes.

> Intelligent things: Yet more AI. This includes physical devices that go beyond the limits of rigid programming. Examples include autonomous vehicles, robots and drones.

> Digital twin: Basically, the creation of a digital replica of a physical, real-world entity or system. A digital twin can be used to help decision-making; it lets you run simulations of various options and then see and compare the results.

> Cloud to the edge: Cloud-based systems will move from central data centers to the edge, close to their information sources. Why? Because the move can improve major cloud issues, including connectivity, latency, bandwidth and functionality.

> Conversational platforms: Alexa, Cortana et al. are just the start. The way people interact with computers is about to take a big paradigm shift. These “listening” interfaces will soon be delivered in dedicated hardware, operating systems, platforms and applications.

> Immersive experience: Basically, this is the next wave of augmented and virtual reality. These technologies may seem like toys, but serious business applications are on the horizon. These will include design, training and visualizations. Mixed reality, which will combine AR and VR, could become the new interface.

> Blockchain: It’s evolving. What was just a digital currency is fast becoming a platform for distributed applications and digital transformation. And it’s not just for banks anymore. Blockchain applications are now coming for government, healthcare, manufacturing, media distribution and other industries.

> Event-driven: This simply means that a digital business must be always sensing, always ready, always learning, and always responding in real time. To move this quickly, companies will enlist enabling technologies that include IoT, cloud, blockchain and in-memory computing. But companies will also need to make changes in their cultures and leadership.

> Continuous adaptive risk & trust: A new approach to cybersecurity, it involves real-time, risk- and trust-based decision-making with adaptive responses. It’s a needed response to today’s increasingly advanced, targeted cyberattacks.

That’s the list. How many of these 10 top technologies are in your plans for 2018?

 

Also see:

Research roundup: IaaS, industrial IoT, wearables, AR/VR

Don’t overlook the WLAN market — it’s in growth mode

Ransomware: a $301 million problem for your SMB customers

 

Blog Category: 
Advanced Technologies