CIOs watch out: Here are 7 disruptions you might not see coming

There are several categories of disruption that organizations may not be prepared for and need to work to pre-empt, according to Gartner.

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Digital transformation means that businesses are moving at a faster pace. Not only the pace at which your business can create value, but also how quickly it can be disrupted.

While some of the disruptions facing your industry may be obvious, others can be difficult to predict. At its Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2018, research firm Gartner detailed some of the most critical disruptions that CIOs might not anticipate.

"The single largest challenge facing enterprises and technology providers today is digital disruption," Daryl Plummer, vice president and Gartner Fellow, said in a press release. "The virtual nature of digital disruptions makes them much more difficult to deal with than past technology-triggered disruptions. CIOs must work with their business peers to pre-empt digital disruption by becoming experts at recognizing, prioritizing and responding to early indicators."

SEE: Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (Tech Pro Research)

Here are the seven digital disruptions that CIOs should be on the lookout for:

1. Quantum computing

Based on the quantum state of subatomic particles, quantum computing goes beyond the standard bits of traditional computing to offer high computational strength and parallelized computing, the release noted. Advances in quantum computing could provide a stronger foundation for machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics, Plummer said in the release.

2. Real time language translation

This will have a strong impact on companies with an international presence and may render human translator roles obsolete. Companies with international employee should begin piloting this technology soon to better equip their workforce, the release said.

3. Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology has a huge potential to impact material science and could help define the future of electronics and health tech like bio-printing, the release noted.

4. Swarm intelligence

The release defines this technology as a "collective behavior of decentralized, self-organized systems, natural or artificial." Swarm intelligence is highly scalable and can be used to help businesses answer questions about unpredictable events in real time.

5. Human-machine interfaces

By working with robotics and AI-based tools, human employees can work more effectively and productively. Additionally, this could help employees with disabilities further expand their workflows within their organization.

6. Software distribution revolution

The way users find and purchase software is changing, especially in the enterprise. Software distribution marketplaces are growing as part of the cloud revolution, removing much of the friction previously associated with acquiring software.

7. Smartphone disintermediation

Digital assistants and satellite devices (like a smartwatch) are changing how consumers use their phones. Instead of walking around with their eyes on their phones, "consumers will use a combination of voice-input and VPA technologies and other wearable devices to navigate a store or public space, such as an airport or stadium, without walking down the street with their eyes glued to a smartphone screen," Plummer said in the release. As such, CIOs must consider how wearable a technology is in the future.

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