10 tech predictions for 2020 and beyond

Gartner has unveiled its biggest predictions for IT organisations and users for 2020 and beyond.

These predictions analyse how technology is changing society and the expectations of users.

“Technology is changing the notion of what it means to be human,” said Daryl Plummer, VP and Fellow at Gartner.

“CIOs in end-user organizations must understand the effects of the change and reset expectations for what technology means.”

According to Gartner, the four key aspects that are forging a new reality of the human use of technology are:

  • Augmentations
  • Decisions
  • Emotions
  • Companionship

“This year’s predictions help us move beyond thinking about mere notions of technology adoption and draw us more deeply into issues surrounding what it means to be human in the digital world,” said Plummer.

These are the top 10 strategic predictions that Gartner has made regarding the future of technology.

1. More disabled workers employed

  • By 2023, the number of people with disabilities employed will triple due to AI and emerging technologies, reducing barriers to access.

“People with disabilities constitute an untapped pool of critically skilled talent,” said Plummer.

“Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and other emerging technologies have made work more accessible for employees with disabilities.”

2. AI identification of emotion

  • By 2024, AI identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements you see.

Gartner said that Artificial emotional intelligence (AEI) is the next big task for AI development, and can assist companies in detecting their customers’ emotions so that they can influence their buying decisions.

28% of marketers ranked AI and machine learning among the top three technologies for future marketing impact, while 87% of marketing organizations are currently trying to implement personalization within their strategies, said Gartner.

3. Bring your own enhancement

  • Through 2023, 30% of IT organizations will extend BYOD policies with “bring your own enhancement” (BYOE) to address augmented humans in the workforce.

“IT leaders certainly see these technologies as impactful, but it is the consumers’ desire to physically enhance themselves that will drive the adoption of these technologies first,” said Plummer.

“Enterprises need to balance the control of these devices in their enterprises while also enabling users to use them for the benefit of the organization. This means embracing and exploiting the benefits of physical human augmentation through the implementation of a BYOE strategy.”

4. Cryptocurrency adoption

  • By 2025, 50% of people with a smartphone but without a bank account will use a mobile-accessible cryptocurrency account.

Payment via cryptocurrency is seen as a powerful alternative for those who do not have bank accounts.

“This will open trading opportunities for buyers and sellers in growing economies like sub-Saharan Africa and Asia/Pacific,” said Gartner.

5. Regulatory AI associations

  • By 2023, a self-regulating association for oversight of AI and machine learning designers will be established in at least four of the G7 countries.

“The immediate impact of regulation of process will be to increase cycle times for AI and ML algorithm development and deployment,” said Gartner.

“Enterprises can also expect to spend more for training and certification for practitioners and documentation of processes, as well as higher salaries for certified personnel.”

6. Business applications meet music streaming

  • By 2023, 40% of professional workers will orchestrate their business application experiences and capabilities like they do their music streaming experience.

“Applications used to define our jobs. Nowadays, we are seeing organizations designing application experiences around the employee,” said Plummer.

“For example, mobile and cloud technologies are freeing many workers from coming into an office and instead supporting a ‘work anywhere’ environment, outpacing traditional application business models.”

7. Blockchain used to counter deep fakes

  • By 2023, up to 30% of world news and video content will be authenticated as real by blockchain countering deep fake technology.

Fake news has risen dramatically in recent times, which Gartner attributes to bot-controlled social media accounts which manipulate and proliferate information that is not truly representative of the facts.

“The IT organization must work with content production teams to establish and track the origin of enterprise-generated content using blockchain technology,” said Plummer.

8. Gap between digital ambition and reality

  • Through 2021, digital transformation initiatives will take large traditional enterprises on average twice as long and cost twice as much as anticipated.

“In most traditional organizations, the gap between digital ambition and reality is large,” said Plummer.

“We expect CIOs’ budget allocation for IT modernization to grow 7% year over year through 2021 to try to close that gap.”

9. Internet of Behaviour

  • By 2023, individual activities will be tracked digitally by an “Internet of Behaviour” (IOB) to influence benefit and service eligibility for 40% of people worldwide.

“Within Western countries, the most notable example of a usage-based and behaviorally based business model is in property and casualty insurance,” said Plummer.

“Over the long term, it is likely that almost everyone living in a modern society will be exposed to some form of IoB that melds with cultural and legal norms of our existing predigital societies.”

10. Online shopping addiction

  • By 2024, the World Health Organization will identify online shopping as an addictive disorder, as millions abuse digital commerce and encounter financial stress.

“The side effects of technology that promote addictive behavior are not exclusive to consumers. CIOs must also consider the possibility of lost productivity among employees who put work aside for online shopping and other digital distractions,” said Plummer.

“In addition, regulations in support of responsible online retail practices might force companies to provide warnings to prospective customers who are ready to make online purchases, similar to casinos or cigarette companies.”

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10 tech predictions for 2020 and beyond