Gartner bills itself as the world’s leading research and advisory company. It does serve more than 15,000 organizations in over 100 countries, and its top tech trends for the coming year are always popular.

For 2020, it lists 10 strategic technology items divided into two categories: people-centric and smart space. A strategic trend is defined as “one with substantial disruptive potential that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which is rapidly growing with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years.”

The breakdown by category: People-centric includes hyperautomation, multiexperience, democratization, human augmentation, and transparency and traceability. The smart space list features empowered edge, distributed cloud, autonomous things, practical blockchain and AI security.

We offer a little more, from Gartner, on some of the items. Full details are online. 

Hyperautomation deals with the application of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, to increasingly automate processes and augment humans. Hyperautomation often results in the creation of a digital twin of the organization, allowing organizations to visualize how functions, processes and key performance indicators interact to drive value.

Multiexperience replaces technology-literate people with people-literate technology. For example, Domino’s Pizza created an experience beyond app-based ordering that includes autonomous vehicles, a pizza tracker and smart speaker communications.

Democratization of technology means providing people with easy access to technical or business expertise without extensive (and costly) training.

Human augmentation is the use of technology to enhance a person’s cognitive and physical experiences.

Empowered edge: Edge computing is a topology where information processing and content collection and delivery are placed closer to the sources of the information, with the idea that keeping traffic local and distributed will reduce latency. 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 refers to the distribution of public cloud services to locations outside the cloud provider’s physical data centers, but which are still controlled by the provider. Distributed cloud allows data centers to be located anywhere.
Adam H. Berry is vice president of economic development and technology at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He joined the organization in 2019.