Each year, Gartner identifies ten technology trends that will make a significant impact on companies in the next five years. Here they are:

1. Autonomous things

2019 marks the shift from autonomous to a collaborative swarm network of intelligent things. Intelligence things are psychical objects that incorporate autonomous technology and respond to real-world conditions automatically. Intelligent user interfaces, home automation or sporting equipment that adapts to various conditions without being fully automated are examples of autonomous things. This year’s focus is on making the interaction with these Ai powered devices easier and more naturally. Collaborative autonomous things such as drone swarms will increasingly drive the future of Ai systems.

2. Augmented analytics

The organisation of the future will be data-centred. Companies will use machine learning algorithms to deconstruct, learn, and predict how content is created, consumed and shared. Data will be used to improve decision making and thus to impact all members of the organisation. The example given by David Cearley, Gartner Vice President, is that through augmented intelligence, salespeople will be able to pull out the right data sets that could be instrumental in closing a sale.

3. AI-driven Development

AI-driven development is about making it easier to create AI-driven systems for development processes. AI-driven solutions are expanding from creating tools that target data scientists to tools targeting the developer community. According to Gartner, by 2020, 40% of the data science tasks will be automated.

4. Digital twins

The concept of digital twins was introduced in 2002, by Michael Grieves, a researcher at the University of Michigan. Digital twins are digital representations of people, objects, or processes. In the manufacturing industry, digital twins are used to design and test aircraft, trains, offshore platforms and turbines before going into production, therefore, generating considerable cost savings and improved efficiency. The enabling technology behind digital twins is IoT with projects like smart cities or autonomous vehicles.

5. Empowered Edge

Edge computing is technology that enables mobile computing and IoT technologies. Data is processed on the local device where it was produced rather than being transferred to a data warehouse. Instant data processing allows applications to respond almost instantly, making it a critical technology for self-driving cars that can bring many business benefits. By 2028, Gartner predicts a considerable increase in the number of companies that will embed sensors, storage, and advanced Ai capabilities in edge devices.

6. Immersive experience

Gartner predicts that by 2028 the way we interact with the world will change significantly. Virtual reality, Augmented reality and Mixed reality will change how we perceive the world and lead to an immersive experience.  Companies use this technology to offer their clients virtual or remote assistance and to build conversational platforms that deliver superior customer service.

7. Blockchain

Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, a collection of chronologically ordered, cryptographically signed transaction records shared by a network. The main selling points of blockchain are transparency and security, being a system that allows companies to make transactions without the need for an intermediary like a bank or a public institution. Blockchain has applications in finance, medicine, manufacturing and supply chain management.

8. Smart Spaces

Smart spaces are physical or digital spaces in which people and digital enabled systems meet.  Smart spaces are defined by openness, connectedness, collaboration, coordination and scope. The most famous application is intelligent cities.

9. Digital ethics and privacy

There are many issues related to the use of Ai. Just because a company can use Ai technology and own a considerable amount of data, doesn’t mean they should use it. In this interconnected digital world, privacy has become one of the main concerns of individuals, companies, and governments. 2019 will be the year of cybersecurity. Many companies will open departments that deal with data security or will externalise the service to specialised companies.

10. Quantum Computing

Quantum computing takes another approach to problem-solving than classical computing.  A way to understand the difference between traditional computing and quantum computing is to imagine that while a classical computer can read a library of books one by one, in a linear way; a quantum computer can read all the books at once. Its applications run from medicine to pattern recognition technologies.