As VP and Gartner Fellow David Cearley reports, the world is becoming an intelligent, digital mesh of things and services. Technology is increasingly embedded in the physical world, which enables us (through the power of digital) to blur the lines of traditional human experience. We are moving towards an environment where virtual and physical reality are inextricably intertwined, and that combination will re-define how we operate in our surroundings. Consider, for instance, the impact of the fifth strategic technology trend, the digital twin. Through embedded sensors on physical objects, it is possible to create a digital parallel world that allows you to virtualize numerous tasks, which opens up new doors of productivity.
For instance, GE is working to create a "digital wind farm" prior to the construction of the wind farm. Once it is physically built, each virtual turbine will be fed data from its physical counterpart. The prediction is 20% gains in efficiency. "For every physical asset in the world, we have a virtual copy running in the cloud that gets richer with every second of operational data," says Ganesh Bell, chief digital officer and general manager of Software & Analytics at GE Power & Water. "The Digital Twin is not a generic model. It's a collection of actual physics-based models reflecting the exact operating conditions, such as lifting, performance and failure modes, in the real world."
But the digital twin isn't the only trend that will transform the digital landscape over the next five years. Here is Gartner's top ten list:
- Advanced Machine Learning and AI – The confluence of extreme processing power, massive amounts of data and advanced algorithms has unleashed the potential for systems to learn and change future behavior, creating more intelligent devices and programs.
- Intelligent Apps & Intelligent Things-- Intelligent apps can transform our world by making every day tasks easier, and transform the digital workplace by helping with everything from prioritizing emails to AI enabled ERP capabilities.
- Intelligent operational applications – IoT devices will deliver the power of AI to all our systems - from our homes to offices to our hospitals and modes of transportation. As IoT devices increase in number, the world will become increasingly interconnected and all devices will communicate with each other to accomplish tasks.
- Augmented & Virtual Reality -- Via the immersive digital world of AR and VR, humans can gain access to a number of previously unreachable environments. This technology will be used increasingly to create training scenarios and remote experiences.
- Digital Twin – The digital twin acts as a proxy, which can be used to analyze and simulate real world conditions, to help add value to physical things.
- Blockchain & Distributed Ledger -- Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger which creates a dynamic data record for transactions. While not yet widely adopted, distributed ledger concepts have the industry-altering potential to reduce business friction by providing transparent access to information.
- Conversational Systems – Conversational systems make use of multiple modalities to communicate across devices, creating a seamless expanded user experience. Just imagine a world where your computer "hears" and adapts to your behavior.
- Digital Technology Platforms – Digital tech platforms are a necessity for digital business, and this new approach of “platformizing” delivery will have resounding impacts for the evolution of the business landscape through 2020.
- Mesh App & Service Architecture – MASA is a multichannel solution architecture that leverages serverless computing to deliver dynamic solutions that provide a cohesive & consistent user experience,
- Adaptive Security Architecture--The increasingly connected digital world means that security threats have an increasingly greater impact. Adaptive security architecture provides continuous analysis of user and entity behavior, external identity and threat intelligence, as well as adaptive and built in security awareness.