Credit by: Peter High

Today Gartner, Inc. announced its top ten strategic technology trends for 2020. Analysts presented their findings during Gartner IT Symposium in Orlando.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as “one with substantial disruptive potential that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which is rapidly growing with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years.”

David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow said, “People-centric smart spaces are the structure used to organize and evaluate the primary impact of the Gartner top strategic technology trends for 2020. Putting people at the center of your technology strategy highlights one of the most important aspects of technology — how it impacts customers, employees, business partners, society or other key constituencies. Arguably all actions of the organization can be attributed to how it impacts these individuals and groups either directly or indirectly. This is a people-centric approach.”

The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2020 are:

1. Hyperautomation

Hyperautomation is the combination of multiple machine learning (ML), packaged software, and automation tools to deliver work. Gartner notes, “Hyperautomation refers not only to the breadth of the pallet of tools, but also to all the steps of automation itself (discover, analyze, design, automate, measure, monitor and reassess). Understanding the range of automation mechanisms, how they relate to one another and how they can be combined and coordinated is a major focus for hyperautomation.”

Gartner’s report notes that this trend was kicked off with robotic process automation (RPA). The report notes that, “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.”

2. Multiexperience

Gartner hypothesizes that through 2028, user experience will evolve significantly in how users perceive interact with the digital world. Conversational platforms are partially the reason, as are virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). The change in perception and interaction models leads to the future multisensory and multimodal experience.

Cearley notes, “The model will shift from one of technology-literate people to one of people-literate technology. The burden of translating intent will move from the user to the computer. This ability to communicate with users across many human senses will provide a richer environment for delivering nuanced information.”

3. Democratization of Expertise

Democratization, in this case, refers to wider access to technical expertise (e.g., ML, application development) or business domain expertise (e.g., sales process, economic analysis) for users via “a radically simplified experience and without requiring extensive and costly training. “Citizen access” (e.g., citizen data scientists, citizen integrators), as well as the evolution of citizen development and no-code models, are examples of democratization.”

Through 2023, Gartner expects four key aspects of the democratization trend to accelerate:

  • Democratization of data and analytics (tools targeting data scientists expanding to target the professional developer community)

  • Democratization of development (AI tools to leverage in custom-developed applications)

  • Democratization of design (expanding on the low-code, no-code phenomena with automation of additional application development functions to empower the citizen-developer)

  • Democratization of knowledge (non-IT professionals gaining access to tools and expert systems that empower them to exploit and apply specialized skills beyond their own expertise and training).