Gartner’s predictions and the series of assumptions supporting them illustrate how CIOs must seek out and excel in the role of business strategist first, technologist second. In 2018 and beyond CIOs will be more accountable than ever for revenue generation, value creation, and the development and launch of new business models using proven and emerging technologies. Gartner’s ten predictions point to the future of CIOs as collaborators in new business creation, selectively using technologies to accomplish that goal.
The following are Gartner’s ten predictions for IT organizations for 2018 and beyond:
- By 2021, early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual- and voice-search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30%.
Gartner has found that voice-based search queries are the fastest growing mobile search type. Voice and visual search are accelerating mobile browser- and mobile app-based transactions and will continue to in 2018 and beyond. Mobile browser and app-based transactions are as much as 50% of all transactions on many e-commerce sites today. Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft’s investments in AI and machine learning will be evident in how quickly their visual- and voice-search technologies accelerate in the next two years.
- By 2020, five of the top seven digital giants will willfully "self-disrupt" to create their next leadership opportunity.
The top digital giants include Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Tencent. Examples of self-disruption include AWS Lambda versus traditional cloud virtual machines, Alexa versus screen-based e-commerce, and Apple Face ID versus Touch ID.
- By the end of 2020, the banking industry will derive $1B in business value from the use of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies.
Gartner estimates that the current combined value of cryptocurrencies in circulation worldwide is $155B (as of October 2017), and this value has been increasing as tokens continue to proliferate and market interest grows. Cryptocurrencies will represent more than half of worldwide blockchain global business value-add through year-end 2023 according to the Gartner predictions study.
- By 2022, most people in mature economies will consume more false information than true information.
Gartner warns that while AI is proving to be very effective in creating new information, it is just as effective at distorting data to create false information as well. Gartner predicts that before 2020, untrue information will fuel a major financial fraud made possible through high-quality falsehoods moving the financial markets worldwide. By the same year, no significant internet company will fully succeed in its attempts to mitigate this problem. Within three years a significant country will pass regulations or laws seeking to curb the spread of AI-generated false information.
- By 2020, AI-driven creation of "counterfeit reality," or fake content, will outpace AI's ability to detect it, fomenting digital distrust.
AI and machine learning systems today can categorize the content of images faster and more consistently accurate than humans. Gartner cautions that by 2018, a counterfeit video used in a satirical context will begin a public debate once accepted as real by one or both sides of the political spectrum. In the next year, there will be a 10-fold increase in commercial projects to detect fake news according to the predictions study.
- By 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will be spending more per annum on bots and chatbot creations than traditional mobile app developments.
Gartner is predicting that by 2020, 55% of all large enterprises will have deployed (used in production) at least one bot or chatbot. Rapid advances in natural-language processing (NLP) make today's chatbots much better at recognizing the user intent than previous generations. According to Gartner’s predictions study, NLP is used to determine the entry point for the decision tree in a chatbot, but a majority of chatbots still use scripted responses in a decision tree.
- By 2021, 40% of IT staff will be versatilists, holding multiple roles, most of which will be business, rather than technology-related.
By 2019, IT technical specialist hires will fall by more than 5%. Gartner predicts that 50% of enterprises will formalize IT versatilist profiles and job descriptions. 20% of IT organizations will hire versatilists to scale digital business. IT technical specialist employees will fall to 75% of 2017 levels.
- In 2020, AI will become a positive net job motivator, creating 2.3M jobs while eliminating only 1.8M jobs.
By 2020, AI-related job creation will cross into positive territory, reaching 2 million net-new jobs in 2025. Global IT services firms will have massive job churn in 2018, adding 100,000 jobs and dropping 80,000. By 2021 Gartner predicts, AI augmentation will generate $2.9T in business value and recover 6.2B hours of worker productivity.
- By 2020, IoT technology will be in 95% of electronics for new product designs.
Gartner predicts IoT-enabled products with smartphone activation emerging at the beginning of 2019.
- Through 2022, half of all security budgets for IoT will go to fault remediation, recalls and safety failures rather than protection.
Gartner predicts IoT spending will increase sharply after 2020 following better methods of applying security patterns cross-industry in IoT security architectures, growing at more than 50% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over current rates.The total IoT security market for products will reach $840.5M by 2020, and a 24% CAGR for IoT security from 2013 through 2020. Combining IoT security services, safety systems, and physical security will lead to a fast-growing global market. Gartner predicts exponential growth in this area, exceeding more than $5B in global spending by year-end 2020.