Gartner’s 2017 Hype Cycle: Trends to Watch for

Review of Gartner’s latest research highlighting emerging technologies to seize in the coming years.

What’s in a Hype?

We are fortunate enough to live in fast-moving, fascinating times, when the advances in technology and computing make artificial thinking, assistants and realities seem like the norm. From smart dust to quantum computing, tech forecasts may seem farfetched and removed to most of us today, though, there are some emerging trends that are more promising and grounded in reality than others. 

The empirically correct Gartner came out with research earlier this year that shows what all the hype with regards to emerging technologies may look like in the coming years. They identified blockchain, artificial intelligence, human augmentation, autonomous vehicles, virtual assistants, smart workspaces, augmented reality and cognitive computing among the longer-term trends who are slated to peak and reach a plateau within the next 5 to 10 years or beyond.

In the nearer term, Gartner expects IoT platforms, machine learning, virtual reality, commercial UAVs (drones) and software-defined security to be among the tech trends we will see developing and maturing by 2022. To help put all this tech talk into perspective, Gartner has gone further in their predictions and grouped their hype trends into three main categories: AI, Transparently Immersive Experiences and Digital Platforms.
Most of the trends mentioned in the so-called Gartner Hype Cycle are well-known and amply-publicised in the media, however, there are some which have garnered less attention, yet, are worth an explanation and a brief outlook summary.

Deep and Machine Learning

The higher the level of sophistication for learning algorithms, the more useful they will be to data scientists, who, permeate almost all sectors and corporate functions today, including but not limited to finance and investments, banking and insurance, industrial manufacturing and logistics, medicine and healthcare, marketing and advertising, and countless others. The race is on among the digital giants of our world on developing and patenting robust processes for taking advantage of all the data we continue collecting from all aspects of our physical and digital realities. 

5G Adoption 

The proliferation of 5G networks is expected to lead to improvements for the speed and security of mobile networks around the world. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 3% of network-based mobile communications service providers will launch 5G networks commercially. The Hype Cycle report mentions that from in the next 5 years organisations will most often utilise 5G networks to support IoT communications, high definition video and fixed wireless access. Most large North American CSPs have already announced plans to launch 5G services in 2017-2018. 

Artificial is the New Intelligence

Gartner, like the majority of us working in tech, envisions that AI will finally succeed at being more than an experimental framework and take over many human-driven functions, leading to the convergence of many digital platforms and concepts and to the emergence of artificial intelligence as a service. 

Digital Platforms

With some cryptocurrencies currently trading at €4500 a piece, it seems like blockchain is a hype that every able physical or legal entity should be engaging and profiting from. However, we are yet to see if bitcoin and its competitive currencies will get through this period of volatility and lack of regulation, proving to be more than just an overrated hype. Even if cryptocurrencies cease to exist in their current shape or form, Gartner still believes decentralised technologies have the potential to disrupt and revolutonise entire sectors and traditional transaction processes. 

Are you ready to ride the hype cycle? Combining mature and innovative tech could prove a worthwhile use of your CIO’s time in the coming years. 

Copywriter: Ina Danova

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