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Top predictions for IT organisations and users for 2014 and beyond - Part 2

16 Oct 2013

Continuing from yesterday, Gartner has revealed its top predictions for IT organisations and IT users for 2014 and beyond.

Combining several disruptive topics – Digital Industrial Revolution, Digital Business, Smart Machines and the Internet of Things – the analyst firm believes these are set to have an impact well beyond just the IT function.

“Gartner’s 2013 CEO survey suggests CEOs feel that business uncertainties are declining and yet, CIOs awake each day into a world of technology uncertainty and change,” says Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and analyst, Gartner.

“The savvy CIO will get his or her CEO to recognise the change being brought about by disruptive shifts is coming at an accelerated pace and at a global level of impact.”

Presenting their findings during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Gartner’s top 10 predictions are broken out into four categories and include:

Smart Machines

The emergence of smart machines adds opportunity and fear as "cognizant and cognitive systems" and can enhance processes and decision making, but could also remove the need for humans in the process and decision effort.

CIOs will see this as a means of delivering greater efficiency, but will have to balance between the active human workforce and the cold efficiency of machines that can learn.

By 2024, at least 10 percent of activities potentially injurious to human life will require mandatory use of a nonoverideable "smart system." Near Term Flag:

Economically priced cars with "automated assist" technology added as standard equipment will increase by through 2014 as an indicator of adoption.

The increasing deployment of "smart systems" capable of automatically responding to external events is increasing all the time, but there remains a deep-seated resistance to eliminating the option for human intervention.

The capability, reliability and availability of appropriate technology are not the issue. The willingness of the general population to accept initial widespread deployment and increasing removal of manual override options is the issue.

By 2020, a majority of knowledge worker career paths will be disrupted by smart machines in both positive and negative ways. Near Term Flag:

Virtual personal assistant usage in business grows more quickly in 2017 and 2018 than iPad usage did in 2010 and 2011.

Gartner forecasts that smart machines will upend a majority of knowledge workers' career paths by 2020. Smart machines exploit machine learning and deep-learning algorithms.

They behave autonomously, adapting to their environment. They learn from results, create their own rules and seek or request additional data to test hypotheses. They are able to detect novel situations, often far more quickly and accurately than people.

IT professionals need to recognise that smart machines can create substantial competitive advantages, as well as entirely new businesses.

By 2017, 10 percent of computers will be learning rather than processing. Near Term Flag:

In 2014, the number of speech recognition applications running on deep neural network algorithms will double.

Deep learning methods, based on deep neural networks, are currently being applied in speech recognition systems as well as some object recognition applications.

Quality of life improves when society is able to derive useful information from the copious amounts of unstructured data collecting in the Internet. The most important implication of a learning computer is that it expands much less energy to recognise more complex patterns.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things cements the connection between machines, people and business interactions in the modern era.

With the advent of massively connected devices, businesses, governments and people now have access to more information about themselves and their surroundings than they can actually act on.

Gartner's prediction focuses on the opportunity to build applications and services that can use that information to create new engagement models for customers, employees and partners, and to foster a new set of business and marketing models that make the word "engagement" a truly valuable asset.

By 2020, consumer data collected from wearable devices will drive 5 percent of sales from the Global 1000. Near Term Flag:

The number of smartphone apps requesting to share consumer data will increase twofold by 2015, indicating a rise in the number of marketers or proprietors who seek access to customer profile data.

Wearable computing, or wearables, is quickly moving into mainstream society, led by the growing, multibillion dollar health and fitness markets.

Within five years, consumer wearables will become more sophisticated, capturing what the user sees, hears or even feels through biorhythmic responses.

The technical hurdles that have stalled the adoption of wearables (battery life, augmented reality, chip evolution and bandwidth) are quickly eroding; opening doors to creative minds determined to exploit this technology for commercial gain as evidenced by sizable investments in wearable technology from Samsung, Google, Apple and Microsoft.

"While some of these disruptive topics might seem as if they do not have a direct impact on the IT function, we must embrace the notion that IT is now a part of everything," said Mr. Plummer.

"As the structure of businesses and industries change, the IT systems that support them will change and so will the skills, processes and controls needed to keep them functioning.

The day when 3D-printed computer architecture exists is upon us, and the days when the digital business, smart machines or the Internet of Things change what computers are may not be far off."

To read the first part of Gartner’s predictions click here

Do you agree with Gartner’s forecast? Tell us your predictions in the comments below