looking over shoulder in front of neon sign
Gartner released its latest hype cycle and predicts three megatrends will shake up the business world in the next 10 years PHOTO: Ari He

Gartner identified three technology trends it predicts will dominate the enterprise space in the coming years.

The Stamford, Conn-based research organization analyzed the enterprise use and deployment of more than 2000 technologies and identified three areas where businesses striving to gain a competitive edge are turning their focus. 

The trends, or "megatrends," outlined in the recently released Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2017 (fee charged), will gain prominence and develop over the coming years. They are:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Everywhere 
  2. Transparently Immersive Experiences and
  3. Use of Digital Platforms.

While all three already have a presence in some cutting-edge enterprises, as they pass through the Hype Cycle, Gartner argues they will become omnipresent in the next two to 10 years.

Emerging Technology Hype Cycle

Gartner Hype Cycles provide a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems.

In this latest cycle, the company sees digital technologies entering the "Peak of Inflated Expectations Phase," and predicts the use of these technologies in the enterprises is set to explode.

The Peak phase covers the initial use stage where early publicity produces many success stories — often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies act, many do not.

This is followed by "Disillusionment," where interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. 

Gartner predicts the following areas will gain momentum in the coming years:

AI Everywhere

Given the current level of investment into AI-based applications and platforms, it's unsurprising Gartner predicts it will play such a prominent role.

According to Gartner, AI will be the most disruptive force in enterprise technology in the next 10 years, as organizations struggle to manage and use huge data sets
to gain market insights and advantage.

As deep neural networks develop, AI will help organizations adapt to new situations faster and solve problems previously unencountered.

The report recommends enterprise should look at the following technologies, among others: Deep Learning, Artificial General Intelligence, Enterprise Taxonomy and Ontology Management, and Machine Learning.

Use of Digital Platforms

Digital platforms are already well established in most enterprises, but are nowhere near as prevalent as they will become in the coming years.

The Hype Cycle report notes the shift from compartmentalized technical infrastructure to ecosystem-enabling platform is already laying the foundations for new business models that enable easier and better technology interactions by humans.

Among the technologies Gartner cites here are 5G, Digital Twin, Edge Computing, Blockchain and IoT Platforms.

Use of Transparently Immersive Experiences (TIE)

As new technologies grow more adaptive, contextual and fluid, the relationship between people, businesses and "things" will become tighter, resulting in what Gartner identifies as Transparently Immersive Experiences (TIE).

This will apply in the workplace, at home as well as blurring the lines between the two.

Gartner points to the emergence of 4-D Printing, Augmented Reality (AR), Computer-Brain Interface and Virtual Reality among others as the technologies to watch in this area.

Differing Timelines, But Similar Results

Although Gartner predicts these technologies will dominate the enterprise technology landscape in two to 10 years, at the current speed of development, we could see them established in the enterprise long before that.

A report from the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) and Oracle published yesterday suggests it is possible, if not likely, the pace of development will be quicker than Gartner predicts.

The report entitled, "Next Generation Service: The Role of AI, IoT and Automation in Contact Center Transformation," predicts that within the next six to 12 months, 57 percent of organizations intend to support or offer IoT/connected technologies, a 21 percent increase on current levels of use.

Forty-one percent of respondents expect their contact centers' use of bots and/or AI to increase in the next 12 to 18 months.

The research cites the perceived benefits of using new technologies in these situations as the reason for rapid adoption.

Organizations offering IoT/connected technologies reported a 50 percent increase in customer satisfaction, while 44 percent of organizations offering IoT/connected technologies reported satisfaction remaining the same.

While the scope of the ICMI report was limited to contact centers, it is arguable that once leadership of an organization sees the benefits of a technology in one area of business, they are more likely to try it in another.

Predicting a Dynamic Future

No matter the timeframe, digital platforms, AI and even TIE are on the way.

“These megatrends illustrate that the more organizations are able to make technology an integral part of employees', partners' and customers' experiences, the more they will be able to connect their ecosystems to platforms in new and dynamic ways,” Mike J. Walker, research director at Gartner said of the Hype Cycle findings in a statement.