Gartner: Top 10 technology trends
As technology continues to advance, there is no stopping the digital disruption impacting organisations and industries around the world.
For many years, digitalisations was centered around devices delivering insightful digital services, although this is still important, Gartner highlights that digital trends are becoming more structured around ‘people-centric smart spaces’.
With this in mind, Business Chief USA takes a closer look at Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends that are predicted to continue the drive towards global digitalisation creating disruption and new opportunities over the next decade.
Over the next 10 years, organisations will see an increase in hyper-automation, a term which is defined as organisations combining artificial intelligence and machine learning to swiftly identify and automate as many business processes as possible.
“By 2022, applications integrations delivered with robotic process automation (RPA) will grow by 40% year on year.”
Multi-experience, the concept of replacing technology-literate people with people-literate technology. Multi-experience builds upon the traditional concept of a computer evolving from a single point of interaction, to include multiple human senses creating a high quality and more immersive experience.
“By 2021, at least one-third of enterprises will have deployed a multi-experience development platform to support mobile, web, conversational and augmented reality development.”
Democratisation focuses on four key areas: application development, data and analytics, design, and knowledge. Democratisation is often referred to as ‘citizen access’, the technology provides advice, takes action and extends the expertise of its user.
“By 2024, 75% of large enterprises will be using at least four low-code development tools for both IT application development and citizen development initiatives.”
Using technology and science, human augmentation is used to heighten a person’s cognitive and physical experiences. While this concept isn’t new, it is evolving. Technology is now on the brink of moving beyond replacing human capabilities with augmentation, to creating superhuman capabilities.
“Through 2023, 30% of IT organizations will extend BYOD policies with ‘bring your own enhancement’ (BYOE) to address augmented humans in the workforce.”
Transparency and traceability
Currently, organisations are facing a trust crisis. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how organisations are using data. Over the next decade, both from an ethical and business standpoint, organisations should embrace explainable AI and transparent data policies, in addition to increasing legislations and regulatory issues.
“By 2020, Gartner expects companies that are digitally trustworthy will generate 20% more online profit than those that aren’t.”
Edge computing is where information processing and content collection and delivery is placed closer to the information’s source to keep traffic local and distributed to reduce latency. Empowered edge looks at how this technology is building the foundations for smart spaces, as well as moving key applications and services closer to those using them.
“By 2023, there could be more than 20 times as many smart devices at the edge of the network as in conventional IT roles.”
Distributed cloud - the distribution of public cloud services, outside of the providers physical data center, but still controlled by the provider. With distributed cloud, the provider is responsible for all aspects of the service including: architecture, delivert, operations, governance and updates.
“By 2024, most cloud service platforms will provide at least some services that execute at the point of need.”
Autonomous things, the concept of using artificial intelligence to automate functions previously conducted by humans.
“By 2023, over 30% of operational warehouse workers will be supplemented by collaborative robots.”
Blockchain, a type of distribution ledger which expands chronologically ordered lists of cryptographically signed and irrevocable transactional records shared by all network participants. A complete blockchain includes five key elements: distribution, immutability, decentralisation, encryption and tokenization.
“By 2023, blockchain will be scalable technically, and will support trusted private transactions with the necessary data confidentiality.”
While artificial intelligence brings a multitude of opportunities and benefits, these new digital innovations will inevitably increase the potential points of attack. Organisations should look to use artificial intelligence for security to protect the artificially powered systems, as well as leverage artificial intelligence to enhance security and anticipate criminal uses of the technology.
“Through 2022, 30% of all AI cyberattacks will leverage training-data poisoning, AI model theft or adversarial samples to attack AI-powered systems.”
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How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.