TOP TECH - Trends for 2018

19 February 2018

A lot of new and cutting-edge technogies are being discussed now that can have a big impact on insurance and financial service companies.

Some of these technologies are just in the initial stages and some are being adopted.

LOMA monitors these, and  report on them from time to time. This article presents the outlook of Gartner, Inc., the well-known advisory and research firm. Although the predictions focus on technology for all organizations, the trends discussed (including blockchain, AI etc.) can also apply to insurance.

Gartner, Inc. recently highlighted the top strategic technology trends that will impact most organizations in 2018.

Analysts presented their findings at the Gartner Symposium/ ITxpo.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with substantial disruptive potential that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years.

“Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends for 2018 tie into the Intelligent Digital Mesh. The intelligent digital mesh is a foundation for future digital business and ecosystems,” said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

“IT leaders must factor these technology trends into their innovation strategies or risk losing ground to those that do.”

The first three strategic technology trends explore how artificial intelligence (AI) are seeping into virtually everything and represent a major battleground for technology providers over the next five years. The next four trends focus on blending the digital and physical worlds to create an immersive, digitally enhanced environment. The last three refer to exploiting connections between an expanding set of people and businesses, as well as devices, content and services to deliver digital business outcomes.

 The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2018 are:

 AI Foundation

 Creating systems that learn, adapt and potentially act autonomously will be a major battleground for technology vendors through at least 2020. The ability to use AI to enhance decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience will drive the payoff for digital initiatives through 2025.

Intelligent Apps

 AI has become the next major battleground in a wide range of software and service markets, including aspects of enterprise resource planning (ERP). Packaged software and service providers should outline how they’ll be using AI to add business value in new versions in the form of advanced analytics, intelligent processes and advanced user experiences.

 Intelligent Things

 Intelligent things are physical things that go beyond the execution of rigid programming models to exploit AI to deliver advanced behaviors and interact more naturally with their surroundings and with people. AI is driving advances for new intelligent things (such as autonomous vehicles, robots and drones) and delivering enhanced capability to many existing things (such as Internet of Things [IoT] connected consumer and industrial systems).

 Digital Twin

 A digital twin refers to the digital representation of a real-world entity or system. Organizations will implement digital twins simply at first, then evolve them over time, improving their ability to collect and visualize the right data, apply the right analytics and rules, and respond effectively to business objectives.

 Cloud to the Edge

 Edge computing describes a computing topology in which information processing, and content collection and delivery, are placed closer to the sources of this information. Connectivity and latency challenges, bandwidth constraints and greater functionality embedded at the edge favors distributed models. Enterprises should begin using edge design patterns in their infrastructure architectures—particularly for those with significant IoT elements.

 Conversational Platforms

 Conversational platforms will drive the next big paradigm shift in how humans interact with the digital world. The burden of translating intent shifts from user to computer. The platform takes a question or command from the user and then responds by executing some function, presenting some content or asking for additional input.

 Immersive Experience

 While conversational interfaces are changing how people control the digital world, virtual, augmented and mixed reality are changing the way that people perceive and interact with the digital world. The virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) market is currently  fragmented.

 Blockchain

 Blockchain is evolving from a digital currency infrastructure into a platform for digital transformation. Blockchain technologies offer a radical departure from the current centralized transaction and record-keeping mechanisms and can serve as a foundation of disruptive digital business for both established enterprises and startups. Although the hype surrounding blockchains originally focused on the financial services industry, blockchains have many potential applications, including government, healthcare, manufacturing, media distribution, identity verification, title registry and supply chain. Although it holds long-term promise and will undoubtedly create disruption, blockchain promise outstrips blockchain reality, and many of the associated technologies are immature for the next two to three years.

 Event Driven

 Central to digital business is the idea that the business is always sensing and ready to exploit new digital business moments. Business events could be anything that is noted digitally, reflecting the discovery of notable states or state changes, for example, completion of a purchase order, or an aircraft landing. With the use of event brokers, IoT, cloud computing, blockchain, in-memory data management and AI, business events can be detected faster and analyzed in greater detail.

But technology alone without cultural and leadership change does not deliver the full value of the event-driven model. Digital business drives the need for IT leaders, planners and architects to embrace event thinking.

 Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust

 To securely enable digital business initiatives in a world of advanced, targeted attacks, security and risk management leaders must adopt a continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment (CARTA) approach to allow real-time, risk and trust-based decision making with adaptive responses.

Security infrastructure must be adaptive everywhere, to embrace the opportunity—and manage the risks—that comes delivering security that moves at the speed of digital business.

 Additional detailed analysis on each tech trend can be found in the Smarter With Gartner article “Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018.”

Gartner, Inc. is a leading research and advisory company.

 For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

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