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Gartner has added 25 emerging technologies to watch on its Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2022, which the firm said are enabling the evolution and expansion of immersive experiences, accelerating artificial intelligence (AI) automation and optimizing technologist delivery.

The emerging technologies differ sharply from the three themes on Gartner’s 2021 hype cycle. Gartner explained that the topics are intended to be dynamic, and they are “featured for a year or two, after which it doesn’t track them to make room for other emerging technologies.”

These technologies and trends have the potential to deliver a high degree of competitive advantage over the next two to 10 years.

“Emerging technologies offer transformational potential for businesses, but CIOs and technology innovation leaders are challenged to scale digital capabilities while improving sustainability in the face of expanding resource constraints,” said Melissa Davis, VP analyst at Gartner, in a statement. “It is essential that organizations cut through the noise surrounding emerging technologies to accelerate change by leveraging innovations that drive competitive differentiation and efficiency.”

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All technologies on the Hype Cycle are at an early stage, but some are nascent and there is “great uncertainty” about how they will evolve, said Gary Olliffe, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, in a statement. “Such technologies present greater risks for deployment, but potentially greater benefits for early adopters who can assess and exploit them in line with their organization’s ability to handle unproven technologies.”

Earlier this year, industry experts cited emerging technologies that would shape corporate strategy in 2022, including composable apps, cybersecurity mesh and privacy-enhancing computation.

Gartner’s three emerging technology trends themes

Evolving and expanding immersive experiences

The future of digital experience is immersive. A collection of emerging technologies supports such experiences through dynamic virtual representations, environments and ecosystems of customers and people, as well as new modes of user engagement.

“With these technologies, individuals can control their own identities and data and experience virtual ecosystems that can be integrated with digital currencies. These technologies help reach customers in new ways to strengthen or open new revenue streams,’’ Gartner said.

The technologies to watch that deliver evolving and expanding immersive experiences are metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), super apps and Web3, decentralized identity, digital humans, digital twin of the customer and internal talent marketplaces.

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Accelerated AI automation

AI adoption is expanding as an integral part of products, services and solutions. This is accelerating the creation of specialized AI models that can be applied to automate model development, training, and deployment. AI automation refocuses the role of humans in AI development, resulting in more accurate predictions and decisions and faster time to expected benefits.

The technologies that are supporting accelerated AI automation are autonomic systems, causal AI, foundation models, generative design AI and machine learning code generation.

Optimized technologist delivery

Successful digital businesses are built, not bought. A set of emerging technologies focuses on the product, service and solution builder communities, such as fusion teams, and the platforms they use. These technologies provide feedback and insight that optimize and accelerate product, service and solution delivery and increase the sustainability of business operations.

The critical technologies that are optimizing technologist delivery are augmented FinOps, cloud data ecosystems, cloud sustainability, computational storage, cybersecurity mesh architecture, data observability, dynamic risk governance, industry cloud platforms, minimum viable architecture, observability-driven development, OpenTelemetry and platform engineering.

Gartner said the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies identifies key insights from more than 2,000 technologies and applied frameworks that the firm profiles each year into a succinct set of “must-know” emerging technologies and trends.

The report also details most of the technologies that appeared in the 2021 version of the hype cycle that the firm has removed. While they are still tracked in other hype cycles, some have been retired while others have updated profiles, Gartner said.

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