Investing in the tech trends that can help you meet your company’s goals
Invest in your tech priorities: With inflation running high and a global recession likely lying in wait for us come next year, businesses are facing an uncertain future. But that doesn’t mean they should let investing in tech infrastructure fall by the wayside. Whether a company’s goal is to save costs, boost margins, grow existing business, or pivot to a new business model, the right tech can help you get there. Gartner — a member of the S&P 500 — is a research and advisory firm that delivers technology-related insights to its clients. Its 2023 Top Strategic Technology Trends report (pdf) runs through the key tech that businesses should take advantage of over the next three years.
2023’s top ten tech trends include the metaverse; super apps, which we covered in detail in a recent three-part What’s Next series, here, here, and here; adaptive AI, which many international schools in Egypt have already been using for a while; and sustainable tech. There are five of Gartner’s top trends that are a little lesser-known to the average layperson. We break them down for you here:
#1- Digital Immune System (DIS): In order for a business to be cyber resilient, it needs a data-driven defense strategy against viruses (in the form of a technical solution) that can serve as the digital immune system (DIS) to a firm’s IT environment. Much like a biological immune system, a DIS is “adaptable and constantly evolving” to tackle unforeseen attacks. Once a DIS overcomes a virus, it is able to do so over and over again. However, if a DIS is not evolving consistently, it will be unable to take on new threats and eventually lose its effectiveness.
DIS applications: Brazilian bank Banco Itaú was able to increase the amount of events that are automatically remedied by 37% and lower mean resolution time for resolving issues by 45% after adding capabilities for prevention and correction to its monitoring systems, according to the Gartner report. American Airlines also ramped up its DIS to tackle growing system complexity and fix unknown vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
#2- Applied observability: Data observability is a company’s “ability to understand, diagnose, and manage data health across multiple IT tools throughout the data lifecycle.” Applied observability takes things a step further by allowing IT executives to make faster, more accurate future decisions by using real data as opposed to predictions, according to Gartner. Tesla, for example, uses aspects of applied observability to determine the cost of car ins. for drivers. The company uses features in some of its models to determine the ins. premium for a vehicle based on a driver’s Safety Score — an assessment of driving behavior to generate a score that determines the probability of a future collision. Daily Safety Scores are combined into a 30-day mileage-weighted average to calculate the Safety Score used to update a driver’s premium every month.
#3- AI trust, risk and security management (AI TRiSM): AI TRiSM exists to tackle ethical, business, and legal issues raised by artificial intelligence. While AI is a strong and versatile instrument used to solve and ease our daily lives — from giving song suggestions on Spotify to saving us hours with Google Maps — the benefit a tool provides from its success is often comparable to the impact of its failure, warns governance, risk, and compliance firm Fairly. In other words, with great power comes great responsibility: An unintentional bias from an AI algorithm can lead to qualified individuals not getting a life-altering job, digital privacy service provider, Triple Blind reports. Enter AI TRiSM — a “framework that supports AI model governance, trustworthiness, fairness, reliability, robustness, efficacy and privacy,” according to Gartner.
Real world AI TRiSM, groundbreaking results: The Danish Business Authority (DBA) devised a system of applying ethical principles to AI models, according to the report, by linking its ethical guidelines to real actions. They established a model monitoring framework to check predictions against fairness tests in 16 AI models that monitor financial transactions worth EUR bns.
#4- Industry cloud platforms: Industry clouds are collections of cloud services, applications, and other tools that are built for strategic use cases in specific industries. They bring together cloud services that would otherwise be purchased individually in a pre-integrated and adjustable manner. Businesses that use industry clouds to utilize carefully considered, cutting-edge digital solutions will probably gain a considerable competitive advantage. By 2027, over 50% of companies will use industry cloud platforms to expedite their business initiatives, Gartner predicts.
Industry cloud platforms in action: One of the most heavily populated cities in China, Hangzhou, collaborated with multinational tech player Alibaba to address its congestion problem by developing a cloud-based system called the City Brain. The system monitors every vehicle in the city and stores information that it gathers from public transportation data, thousands of cameras, and a mapping app, among other sources. AI then processes the data and uses it to control city congestion by controlling traffic lights to speed up traffic and alerting authorities about collisions and illegal parking incidents. Following implementation, the city's congestion ranking plummeted from the fifth-most crowded city in the country to the 57th spot, according to CNN.
#5- Platform engineering: Having an efficient system to cut the time it takes to deliver apps and increase the pace of producing business value can give companies a competitive edge. Platform Engineering is a term used to describe the process of creating common platforms as a product — having a dedicated team that builds and maintains a platform used to accelerate the delivery of apps. Nike's use of platform engineering has enabled it to adapt to change more rapidly, accelerating the time it takes to market and saving operating costs while boosting its scalability, according to the report.