Strategic Technology Trends for 2018

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Every year, Gartner identifies strategic technology trends that can provide a competitive advantage for supply chains. According to them, in 2018 we should change our perception of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the way we see our digital lives and our perception of developing intelligent apps. Internet of Things (IoT), Advanced Analytics and Blockchain are just some of the trends that we should focus on this year.

David W. Cearley, VP & Gartner Fellow, Gartner Research, explains why we should pay attention to three categories of trends if we want to be competitive in the next five years. According to Cearley, it`s all about Intelligent, Digital, and Mesh.

When it comes to Intelligent – the experts from Gartner Research talk about a very important set of trends – AI Foundations. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning is increasingly a foundation component of all of the applications, all of the services and all of the things in the world around us. This leads us to Intelligent Apps and Analytics and Intelligent Things“, explains David W. Cearley.

Intelligent Apps and Analytics needs to add intelligent capabilities to systems. Some of the most important things we need to look at are intelligent user interfaces that will evolve and will improve their functions with things like conversational interfaces, intelligent actions, so applications itself can have autonomous processes.

“Look how AI improves the Business intelligence and Analytics systems for end users and enhancing what data scientist do. As we look of all of these, I want you to think about that term – AI – not just as Artificial Intelligence and Robotic things replacing people, but think of augmented intelligence and assisting humans.

Collaborative Intelligence, multiple intelligence things, drones, robots, autonomous vehicles working cooperative together. It`s the collaborative notion and the augmented notion that really can drive powerful AI capabilities in the future”, explains Cearley.


When referring to Digital, experts from Gartner suggests that we should focus more on merging the real world with the virtual one into a combined digital experience. They speak about Digital Twins, Cloud to the Edge or Conversational Platforms that together will change the way we build applications.

“As we do this, the world of the IoT starts itself with the theme of Digital Twins – digital representations of real world things and we can operate on these digital representations to drive better maintains and repair and operations on physical assets”, mentions Cearley.

Also, in order to be successful in the future, we got to think about edge computing and using the processing power at the edge. When speaking about Cloud to the Edge, the VP from Gartner explains that the edge devices that we hold in our hand or in the IoT or near servers by that can act as gateways. This is why we have to think of clouds as a style of computing, not a physical delivery system. “We`ll have far away Cloud Services that we`ll deliver capabilities to the near servers and out on to the edge as well”.

The last two trends Cearley speaks about are Conversational Platforms and Immersive Experience.

The Conversational Platforms needs to be looked at as the way we interact with systems through language and other types of systems, while the Immersive Experience is about artificial and virtual reality, mixed reality and how we process the digital world. According to Cearley, between these two, the User Interface we think of today will radically change over the next five years for the Apps we buy and the ones we build.


The Mesh is all about dynamic connections of people, processes, applications, technologies and devices.

The first trend from this category is Blockchain.

“This is about creating a shared distributed ledger with cryptographic validation of the transactions that go on the ledger. The key value of Blockchain is the fact that it isn`t tied to an individual enterprise or to an individual application. It deals with the connections across that in a very dynamic way to reduce technical and business friction”, explains Cearley.

A second trend we need to approach refers to Event-Processing. For the dynamic world that Gartner talks about, we need to approach this in a more flexible way.

Finally, Cearley speaks about Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust, that refers to the way we approach security as a continuous adaptive process.

“There are two key things that are really new and interesting that you particularly want to look about. The first one is Dev Sec Ops – it brings development and operations together but inserts security in the whole process as well. The second one is Deception Technologies. If you set up some fake servers or fake applications, your users are never going to get to that in the normal course of the day, but if you`ve been penetrated and you don`t know it, those bad guys might be going after them and you can highly identify that those “bad guys” are in your network”, explains the VP from Gartner.

These trends developed by Gartner offers strategic guidance for companies. Even so, lots of transitions and changes are expected as improvement is a key notion in technology.

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