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Top 10 strategic tech trends to watch out for in 2018

Top 10 strategic tech trends to watch out for in 2018

AI, intelligent apps, intelligent things and the intelligent twin should be on the radar next year

Cloud to the edge

Edge computing puts information processing closer to the source of the information being processed. According to Gartner, connectivity and latency challenges, bandwidth constraints and greater functionality embedded at the edge favors distributed models.

While cloud and edge may sometimes be viewed as competing approaches, the former is a style of computing where elastically scalable technology capabilities are delivered as a service and it doesn’t inherently mandate a centralised model. For Gartner, this means the two technologies could work well together.

"When used as complementary concepts, cloud can be the style of computing used to create a service-oriented model and a centralised control and coordination structure with edge being used as a delivery style allowing for disconnected or distributed process execution of aspects of the cloud service," said Cearly said.

Conversational Platforms

Gartner predicts that over the next few years conversational interfaces will become a primary design goal for user interaction and be delivered in dedicated hardware, core operating system features, platforms and applications.

This means that conversational platforms are likely to drive the next big paradigm shift in how humans interact with the digital world.  

"Conversational platforms have reached a tipping point in terms of understanding language and basic user intent, but they still fall short," Cearley said. "A primary differentiator among conversational platforms will be the robustness of their conversational models and the application programming interface (API) and event models.”

Immersive experience

The virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) market is currently adolescent and fragmented, in Gartner’s view, even if the novelty value is high.

To drive real tangible business benefit, enterprises should be examining specific real-life scenarios where VR and AR can be applied to make employees more productive and enhance the design, training and visualisation processes.

Mixed reality, on the other hand, is emerging as the immersive experience of choice, providing a compelling technology that optimises its interface to better match how people view and interact with their world. As such, it represents the span of how people perceive and interact with the digital world.


The hype surrounding blockchain has been largely focused on the financial services industry, but blockchain technology have many potential applications, including government, healthcare, manufacturing, media distribution, identity verification, and supply chain.

Although the technology holds long-term promise and may yet create disruption, blockchain promise outstrips blockchain reality, according to Gartner, and many of the associated technologies are likely to remain immature for the next two to three years.

That said, Blockchain still offers a radical and tangible departure from the current centralised transaction and record-keeping mechanisms and can serve as a foundation of disruptive digital business for both established enterprises and start-ups.

Event driven

Business events may be anything that is noted digitally, reflecting the discovery of notable states or state changes. Such digital business events can be detected faster and analysed in greater detail with the use of event brokers, IoT, cloud computing, blockchain, in-memory data management and AI, according to Gartner.

However, technology alone, without cultural and leadership change, does not deliver the full value of the event-driven model.

As such, digital business drives the need for IT leaders, planners and architects to embrace event thinking. Indeed, central to digital business is the idea that the business is always sensing and ready to exploit new digital business moments.

Continuous adaptive risk and trust

A continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment (CARTA) approach to digital business allows for real-time, risk and trust-based decision making with adaptive responses.

Gartner suggests that organisations should adopt a CARTA approach if they want to securely enable digital business initiatives in a landscape of increasing advanced, targeted attacks, security and risk management requirements.

As part of a CARTA approach, organisations should work to overcome the barriers between security teams and application teams, much as DevOps tools and processes overcome the divide between development and operations, the analyst firm said.

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