The next year will focus on technologies that influence how users interact with the world, according to Gartner in its list of top 10 strategic technology trends for 2019.

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

The IT research and analyst firm announced the upcoming trends at its annual Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in October.

2019’s trends will be all about building the “Intelligent Digital Mesh,” which David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, says has been a consistent theme in recent years

That intelligent digital mesh focuses on three things:
1. Intelligence: AI drives everything we do across many systems going into the future
2. Digital: The digital world brings the virtual and real worlds together in a new digital reality
3. Mesh: Connecting people, processes, and things together in new and interesting ways

The convergence of these three things supports a continuous innovation process, outlined in detail in this video

The forecasted technology trends can be organized according to the three categories.

1. Autonomous things, such as robots, drones, and autonomous vehicles, use AI to automate functions previously performed by humans. Their automation goes beyond the automation provided by rigid programming models and they exploit AI to deliver advanced behaviors that interact more naturally with their surroundings and with people.

2. Augmented analytics focuses on a specific area of augmented intelligence, using machine learning (ML) to transform how analytics content is developed, consumed, and shared. Augmented analytics capabilities will advance rapidly to mainstream adoption, as a key feature of data preparation, data management, modern analytics, business process management, process mining, and data-science platforms.

3. In AI-driven development, the market is rapidly shifting from an approach in which professional data scientists must partner with application developers to create most AI-enhanced solutions to a model in which the professional developer can operate alone using predefined models delivered as a service. This provides the developer with an ecosystem of AI algorithms and models, as well as development tools tailored to integrating AI capabilities and models into a solution.

4. A digital twin refers to the digital representation of a real-world entity or system. By 2020, Gartner estimates there will be more than 20 billion connected sensors and endpoints and digital twins will exist for potentially billions of things. Organizations will implement digital twins simply at first. They will evolve them over time, improving their ability to collect and visualize the right data, apply the right analytics and rules, and respond effectively to business objectives.

5. The empowered edge refers to endpoint devices used by people or embedded in the world around us. Edge computing describes a computing topology in which information processing, and content collection and delivery, are placed closer to these endpoints. It tries to keep the traffic and processing local, with the goal being to reduce traffic and latency. In the near term, edge is being driven by IoT and the need keep the processing close to the end rather than on a centralized cloud server. However, rather than create a new architecture, cloud computing and edge computing will evolve as complementary models with cloud services being managed as a centralized service executing, not only on centralized servers, but in distributed servers on-premises and on the edge devices themselves.

6. Conversational platforms are changing the way in which people interact with the digital world. Virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality  are changing the way in which people perceive the digital world. This combined shift in perception and interaction models leads to the future immersive user experience.

7. Blockchain, a type of distributed ledger, promises to reshape industries by enabling trust, providing transparency and reducing friction across business ecosystems potentially lowering costs, reducing transaction settlement times, and improving cash flow.

8. A smart space is a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems. Multiple elements–including people, processes, services and things–come together in a smart space to create a more immersive, interactive and automated experience for a target set of people and industry scenarios.

9. Digital ethics and privacy is a growing concern for individuals, organizations and governments. People are increasingly concerned about how their personal information is being used by organizations in both the public and private sector, and the backlash will only increase for organizations that are not proactively addressing these concerns.

10. Quantum computing is a type of nonclassical computing that operates on the quantum state of subatomic particles (for example, electrons and ions) that represent information as elements denoted as quantum bits (qubits). The parallel execution and exponential scalability of quantum computers means they excel with problems too complex for a traditional approach or where a traditional algorithms would take too long to find a solution.

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura