2020 has been the kind of year that historians will spend a lot of time poring over, but there are a few tech trends that emerged this year that will have a lasting impact well beyond 2020. Let’s take stock and gaze into the crystal ball as we ponder the strategic trends highlighted by Gartner that will impact businesses large and small in 2021.
Internet of Behaviors (IoB)
The Internet of Behaviors (IoB) captures the “digital dust” of people’s lives from a variety of sources, and that information can be used by public or private entities to influence behavior. For certain geographical areas, much of the scope and execution of an IoB will depend on local privacy laws, which may affect how data can be used and in what way. Collecting data to influence behavior has the potential to be a powerful tool or weapon, and its social reception might depend on just how heavy-handed organizations are with what they’re trying to do.
Total experience combines traditionally siloed disciplines like multiexperience (MX), customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX) and user experience (UX), and links them to create a better overall experience for all parties. Not only does this streamline the experience for everyone, because organizations are optimizing across all experiences, it offers an excellent opportunity to differentiate an organization from competitors.
With an overall goal of transforming the entire experience, total experience enables organizations to lean into the challenges created by COVID-19 and identify new activities that they can integrate and build on.
Privacy-enhancing computation comprises three types of technologies that protect data while it’s being used to enable secure data processing and data analytics:
- The first provides a trusted environment in which sensitive data can be processed or analyzed. It includes trusted third parties and hardware-trusted execution environments (also called confidential computing).
- The second performs processing and analytics in a decentralized manner. It includes federated machine learning and privacy-aware machine learning.
- The third transforms data and algorithms before processing or analytics. It includes differential privacy, homomorphic encryption, secure multiparty computation, zero-knowledge proofs, private set intersection and private information retrieval.
Distributed cloud provides public cloud options to different physical locations. Essentially, the public cloud company maintains, operates and evolves the services, but physically executes at the point of need. This helps with latency issues, and also privacy regulations that require certain data to remain in a specific geographical location. It allows customers to benefit from public cloud and avoid costly and complicated private cloud solutions
Anywhere operations refers to an IT operating model designed to support customers everywhere, enable employees everywhere and manage the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructure. The model for anywhere operations is “digital first, remote first.”
However, it’s not as simple as just operating remotely — the model must offer unique value-add experiences. Providing a seamless and scalable digital experience requires changes in the technology infrastructure, management practices, security and governance policies, and employee and customer engagement models.
The cybersecurity mesh is a distributed architectural approach to scalable, flexible and reliable cybersecurity control. COVID-19 has accelerated an existing trend wherein most assets and devices are now located outside traditional physical and logical security parameters. The cybersecurity mesh enables any person or thing to securely access and use any digital asset, no matter where either is located, while providing the necessary level of security.
As organizations accelerate digital business, security must keep pace with the rapid change. Cybersecurity mesh enables a security model that retains the plasticity necessary to operate in the current conditions and offers security without hindering growth for the company. These tools are already being deployed in some capacity by leading organizations.
Intelligent composable business
Organizations have spent the past years focusing on efficiency, which meant when hit with a major disruption like COVID-19, many business processes were too brittle to quickly adapt and they simply broke.
But what does this change look like in action? Decision making must change to focus on increasing the autonomy and augmentation of decisions. Technology platforms must change to prioritize democratization and composition, resulting in more personalized application experiences. Application vendors’ products must change from single solutions to preassembled collections of business capabilities. Business units must change from deploying packaged applications to assembling capabilities that deliver more role-specific application experiences.
Additionally, CIOs must become strategic advisors to the CEO and board to advise them on how this level of plasticity is key to the future of the composable business.
AI projects often fail due to issues with maintainability, scalability and governance. However, a robust AI engineering strategy will facilitate the performance, scalability, interpretability and reliability of AI models while delivering the full value of AI investments.
Without AI engineering, most organizations will fail to move AI projects beyond proofs of concept and prototypes to full-scale production.
Hyperautomation is a process in which businesses automate as many business and IT processes as possible using tools like AI, machine learning, event-driven software, robotic process automation, and other types of decision process and task automation tools.
In a world where digital acceleration is the name of the game, business leaders are clamoring for digital operational excellence. This was further accelerated by Resilient delivery COVID-19, which rapidly pushed organizations to allow more remote, digital-first options. Hyperautomation is the key to both digital operational excellence and operational resiliency for organizations.