Top 10 technology trends for 2020 include hyperautomation, human augmentation and distributed cloud

Gartner identified the top strategic technology trends likely to reach tipping points in the near future.

Technology tipping points for 2020 and beyond: Geopolitics, economics, and digital giants At the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2019 in Orlando, FL, IT leaders got to learn about the latest trends in tech as well as how issues like geopolitics, economics, and the emergence of digital giants will shape the future of business and IT.

The top 10 technology trends for 2020 presented at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo included hyperautomation, multiexperience, human augmentation and distributed cloud.

The key trends have a people-centric approach, explained David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, during a conference session today. The Orlando, FL conference runs through October 24, with more than 9,000 CIOs and IT leaders in attendance. 

Cearley described each of the 10 trends.

Hyperautomation - This is where we're taking automation and automating tasks and processes and integrating processes across organizations. It's the combination of multiple machine learning, packaged software and automation tools to deliver work. It refers to not just the breadth of the pallet of tools, but also all of the steps of automation itself. This trend kicked off with robotic process automation (RPA). But RPA alone is not hyperautomation. Hyperautomation requires a combination of tools to help support replicating pieces of where the human is involved in a task. 

Multiexperience - Multiexperience deals with how we're shifting from this kind of a two-dimensional screen and keyboard interface to a much more dynamic, multimodal kind of interface world where we're immersed in the technology and it surrounds us. Through 2028, the user experience will undergo a significant shift in how users perceive the digital world and how they interact with it. Conversational platforms are changing the way in which people interact with the digital world, and virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) are changing how people perceive the digital world. This combined shift in both perception and interaction will result in the future multisensory and multimodal experience.

SEE: Mixed reality in business (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

Democratization of expertise - This is about how advanced technology is becoming available for end user organizations to be able to explore it through technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Through 2023, Gartner expects four key aspects of the democratization trend to accelerate, including democratization of data and analytics, democratization of development, democratization of design and democratization of knowledge. 

Human augmentation - This is how we are leveraging technology to augment humans both physically and cognitively. With physical augmentation, it changes inherent physical capabilities by implanting or hosting a technology element on their bodies, such as a wearable device. Cognitive augmentation can mean accessing information and exploiting applications on traditional computer systems and the emerging multiexperience interface in smart spaces. 

Transparency and traceability - These two items are becoming increasingly important for organizations as society, people and employees are demanding to understand how their personal data is being secured and managed. Transparency and traceability are critical elements to support digital ethics and privacy needs. It refers to a range of attitudes, actions and supporting technologies, including regulatory requirements, ethics around AI and other advanced technologies. 

The empowered edge - In the area of smart spaces, we have the empowered edge. The empowered edge is really the shift of compute power to edge devices for more centralization, and this allows us to do a couple of things. It allows us to reduce latency, and it allows for some level of autonomy on those edge devices. 

Distributed cloud - Distributed cloud is how we think the cloud is shifting. We've always thought of cloud as being location independent--it's just out there. But now with distributed cloud, physical location of where those data centers are located becomes increasingly important and that addresses regulation issues and latency issues and those kinds of things.
 
Autonomous things - This involves how we're looking at autonomous things, including robots and drones and vehicles and how they're becoming more autonomous and how they share a lot of the core underlying technologies. As technology capability improves, regulation permits and social acceptance grows, more autonomous things will be deployed in uncontrolled public spaces.

Practical blockchain - We call it the practical blockchain because blockchain, while it's been around for a few years and we've been talking about it for a few years, it's been slow to be commercially deployed because of some of the technical and management issues in blockchain. So we want to take a pragmatic look at blockchain to understand what it's useful for today and how it's going to evolve in the future. 

SEE: How blockchain will disrupt business (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

AI security - This is how AI is being infused in security, both to let the bad guys use new attack tools, and let the good guys, hopefully all of us, defend ourselves against those tools. AI and machine learning will continue to be applied to augment human decision making across a broad set of use cases. This creates opportunities to enable hyperautomation and leverage autonomous things to deliver business transformation but also creates new challenges for security teams, with a huge increase in potential points of attack with IoT, cloud computing, microservices and highly connected systems in smart spaces. 

Cearley said, "Really what's happening with security is that the bad guys are using it, and the good guys are using it, too. We think that by 2022, 30% of all cyberattacks will leverage things like training data poisoning, AI model theft or adversarial samples."

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