Today, trend analysis is carried out by eminent scientists, businessmen and futurologists. Observing trends allows you to prepare for the upcoming changes – use them to your advantage or protect yourself against their negative effects.
The study of trends covers many levels of our existence. It examines social, cultural, economic and architectural trends. Among them, a special role is played by the observation of technological trends. Today, as never before, technology has an extremely strong impact on all other aspects of human life.
The analysis of technological trends is carried out by, among others, industry media, scientific institutes or large consulting companies. The Gartner Institute (https://www.gartner.com/en) is a unit that specializes in this kind of research. Every year, the Institute publishes 10 key technological trends. These defined for 2018 are not surprising: artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cyber security are phenomena whose importance for the economy is growing. The Gartner Institute described them as follows:
- The development of artificial intelligence. 59% of the institutions surveyed collect data to build their own AI (Artificial Intelligence) systems. Artificial Intelligence is supposed to become the foundation of decision making processes in companies.
- Intelligent applications and analysts – and therefore the significance of AI continues. The Garner Institute predicts that soon artificial intelligence will be used in every application to create a new relationship between the user and the system. The associated extended analytics will allow systems to learn to automatically prepare data for and about the user.
- Intelligent objects. Gartner anticipates a rapid development of the market for devices which, thanks to the use of artificial intelligence and learning skills, will interact more and more intelligently with humans. Autonomous cars, cameras, vacuum cleaners – these are just a few examples of such devices. This phenomenon is facilitated by the number of devices connected to the Internet (the so-called Internet of Things).
- Digital twins. Creating a digital equivalent, working in the real world, will allow to perform many simulations of the work of the latter, improve its management and repair in real time. For example, a device which works in depths or in space, will have its equivalent in the command centre.
- Edge computing is an approach based on the fact that information can be collected and processed as close to its source as possible. This will allow to shorten analytical and decision-making processes.
- Communication platforms. Gartner forecasts intensive development of platforms enabling information exchange between the user and the computer. The system will not only be able to provide answers to simple questions (e.g. about weather), but also to carry out searches and actions (e.g. finding and booking a hotel for a weekend).
- The development of virtual reality (Virtulal Reality) and augmented reality (Augmented Reality) will increase the need for the user to interact with them and use digital experiences available in this way. The importance of mixed reality will also increase, where the user experience will be based on both digital and real (physical) feeling.
- Blockchain, through its decentralised and dispersed blocks of information, will go beyond the crypto currency market and attract those market sectors where information and commercial transactions are exchanged between non-trusted participants, e.g. in healthcare or supply chains.
- Event management. Marketing in many industries is directed towards the rapid identification of important digital events (e.g. launching applications, placing orders) and the rapid response to them. Technologies should enable and accelerate these processes.
- The growing importance of digitalisation in business reinforces the need to protect data and processes. CARTA (Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust Assessment) solutions are to serve this purpose, consisting in constant monitoring, reacting and improving actions aimed at improving security.
The awareness of trends allows us to prepare for the upcoming changes and find market opportunities for ourselves. It is worth looking at your company and its technological solutions in terms of the trends listed here. Will our company survive on the market in five years without adapting to these changes? Will there be new competitors? Or maybe we will outclass our rivals?