Gartner’s top predictions for 2016 and beyond continue to offer a look into the digital future

Barcelona, March 7, 2016.- AndSoft has a predilection for all studies, analyzes and forecasts of tech consultancy Gartner. Then Gartner describes the major trends in 2016, but from 2018 to 2020. Incredible advances and descriptions of robotics, communications and all within a 100% digital future.

The dramatic rise of smart machines and autonomous devices is driving radical shifts in business practices and individual behaviors. Enterprises and individuals face the urgent need to define and develop harmonious relationships between people and machines.

Strategic Planning Assumptions

  • By 2018, 20% of all business content will be authored by machines.
  • By 2018, 6 billion connected things will be requesting support.
  • By 2020, autonomous software agents outside of human control will participate in 5% of all economic transactions.
  • By 2018, more than 3 million workers globally will be supervised by a “roboboss.”
  • By YE18, 20% of smart buildings will have suffered from digital vandalism.
  • By 2018, 50% of the fastest-growing companies will have fewer employees than instances of smart machines.
  • By YE18, customer digital assistants will recognize individuals by face and voice across channels and partners.
  • By 2018, 2 million employees will be required to wear health and fitness tracking devices as a condition of employment.
  • By 2020, smart agents will facilitate 40% of mobile interactions, and the post-app era will begin to dominate.

Through 2020, 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.

Gartner’s top predictions for 2016 and beyond continue to offer a look into the digital future, a world driven by algorithms and smart machines, where people and machines will need to define and develop harmonious relationships. These predictions help our clients understand the radical changes they face in the digital world. Those changes are coming fast. We predict, for example, that in 2016 spending on new Internet of things (IoT) hardware will exceed $2.5 million a minute. And, as mind boggling as that number is, it pales in comparison with the corresponding prediction that, by 2021, 1 million IoT devices will be purchased and installed every single hour. That level of density of deployment and use will present dramatic challenges to enterprises and IT organizations that need to manage and track IoT activities.The changes that are coming extend far beyond the IoT. The increasingly smart, autonomous nature of machines means that we’re seeing the beginning of “robos” rising — the worldwide spread of autonomous hardware and software machines to assist human workers in practical escenarios. Robowriters are now creating business content. Roboagents are conducting ever more critical economic transactions. And robobosses are emerging that will eventually supervise significant portions of the workforce. The rise of robots is a serious challenge, but it’s also an opportunity to increase the use of smart machines to develop more effective work strategies.

Gartner's top predictions for 2016 and beyond continue to offer a look into the digital future

The “robotrend,” the increasing practicality of artificial intelligence, and the fact that enterprises and consumers alike are now embracing the advancement of these technologies, is also driving the development of risky scenarios. The risk to human jobs when roboworkers enter the workforce in volume is obvious, but it’s balanced by the need for talent capable of developing smart systems and autonomous processes. Companies like GE, GM and IBM see Silicon Valley talent as an inducement to move more of their operations to those locations. The future will belong to the companies that can create the most effective autonomous and smart software solutions. So in the near future, at least, jobs are more likely to be created than to be eliminated on a massive scale.

The real risks are less obvious. As digital capabilities are included in more and more systems, the ability of unscrupulous individuals — including software-based thieves — grows. Digital smart buildings are being attacked as more access to software systems means more control surfaces will become vulnerable. Digital signage; heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; and even lighting and environment controls are subject to attack, especially in industries where few policies for detecting and preventing hacks on these kinds of systems are in place. The savvy digital officer must now contend with risks that fall outside the normal assumptions of risk related to computing technologies. This year’s 10 seemingly disparate top predictions are more closely related than they might seem at first glance.

Among the high-level trends that emerge from these predictions are:

  • The relationships between machines and people are moving from the cooperative to the co-dependent to the competitive:
  • In last year’s predictions, we stated that the world was rapidly moving to a future in which machines and humans would be co-workers, and possibly even co-dependents — and this is now a reality. We’re seeing an increase in the use of autonomous and smart machines, and in the ability of those machines to depend on human partners. Forty-seven percent of devices will soon have the necessary intelligence to request support. Things everywhere, from connected engines to connected prostheses, will be requesting support from humans and human-managed businesses. Vending machines, vacuum cleaners, printers, air fresheners, security cameras, parking meters, soap dispensers and aircraft are just a few examples of things that will be asking for repair. The next frontier is a world where machines compete with people to perform more and more daily activities.
  • “Smartness” is being applied across the entire fabric of the work environment:
  • We need to be asking ourselves, “How smart is smart enough?” when it comes to software systems and devices. When devices become smart enough to go beyond simple autonomous behavior, to behavior that is less predictive, we open the door to unexpected — and potentially unwanted — results. The prevalence of metacoin platforms driven by software algorithms, for example, allows the emergence of a fully programmable economy operating beyond the control of centralized institutions or even governments. Will this lead to software agents acting as robothieves, making unauthorized economic transactions? Will the rise of smart machine instances in the workforce drive a psychological wedge between businesses and their employees, making them feel increasingly like parts of an all-encompassing business machine? These are questions that, while not yet fully answered — and perhaps not fully answerable, are examined implicitly as part of our predictions on the future of smart machines.
  • The Nexus of Forces is evolving and expanding into an entirely new set of scenarios:
  • Security responsibility, personal identification and the evolution of the post-app era are three areas where we see the converging factors that Gartner has identified as the Nexus of Forces — social networking, cloud computing, mobile communications and information — continuing to evolve. As security concerns take center stage for digital customers, it is becoming clear that security is everyone’s problem. We predict that cloud security will evolve to become more of a customer maturity issue than a provider issue. We allude to the fact that password identification will no longer be enough, and much of our personal “image” will become our digital signature. We also state categorically that mobile apps are not the final word when it comes to the way individuals interact with businesses. These three issues expose us to the notion that the maturity of cloud and mobile, and the need for more effective approaches to security, are now becoming core value propositions for business.

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