Top 10 Strategic Technology Predictions for 2015 and Beyond

Gartner’s Top 10 Predictions for 2015 and beyond examines the shift in the relationship between humans and machines, and a re-examination of the roles machines play in our everyday lives.

The Gartner top 10 strategic technology predictions for 2015 and beyond indicate that computer-based machines are now being used to create an ever-expanding variety of experiences that extend human endeavors.

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Machines are taking on more human characteristics to develop a more personalized relationship with human beings, says Daryl Plummer, vice president and Gartner Fellow, pictured above at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. All in all, the trends indicate a near-term future in which machines and humans are co-workers and, possibly, even codependents.

The top 10 predictions are:

By 2018, digital business will require 50 percent less business process workers and 500 percent more key digital business jobs, compared with traditional models.
–Near-Term Flag: By year-end 2016, 50 percent of digital transformation initiatives will be unmanageable due to lack of portfolio management skills, leading to a measurable negative lost market share.

By 2017, a significant disruptive digital business will be launched that was conceived by a computer algorithm.
–Near-Term Flag: Through 2015, the most highly valued initial public offerings (IPOs) will involve companies that combine digital markets with physical logistics to challenge pure physical legacy business ecosystems.

By 2018, the total cost of ownership for business operations will be reduced by 30 percent through smart machines and industrialized services.
–Near-Term Flag: By 2015, there will be more than 40 vendors with commercially available managed services offerings leveraging smart machines and industrialized services.

By 2020, developed world life expectancy will increase by 0.5 years due to widespread adoption of wireless health monitoring technology.
–Near-Term Flag: By 2017, costs for diabetic care are reduced by 10 percent through the use of smartphones.

By year-end 2016, more than $2 billion in online shopping will be performed exclusively by mobile digital assistants.
–Near-Term Flag: By year-end 2015, mobile digital assistants will have taken on tactical mundane processes such as filling out names, addresses and credit card information.

By 2017, U.S. customers’ mobile engagement behavior will drive mobile commerce revenue in the U.S. to 50 percent of U.S. digital commerce revenue.
–Near-Term Flag: A renewed interest in mobile payment will arise in 2015, together with a significant increase in mobile commerce (due in part to the introduction of Apple Pay and similar efforts by competitors, such as Google increasing efforts to drive adoption of its NFC-enabled Google Wallet).

By 2017, 70 percent of successful digital business models will rely on deliberately unstable processes designed to shift as customer needs shift.
–Near-Term Flag: By the end of 2015, five percent of global organizations will design “supermaneuverable” processes that provide competitive advantage.

By 2017, 50 percent of consumer product investments will be redirected to customer experience innovations.
–Near-Term Flag: By 2015, more than half of traditional consumer products will have native digital extensions.

By 2017, nearly 20 percent of durable goods e-tailers will use 3D printing (3DP) to create personalized product offerings.
–Near-Term Flag: By 2015, more than 90 percent of durable goods e-tailers will actively seek external partnerships to support the new “personalized” product business models.

By 2020, retail businesses that utilize targeted messaging in combination with internal positioning systems (IPS) will see a five percent increase in sales.
–Near-Term Flag: By 2016, there will be an increase in the number of offers from retailers focused on customer location and the length of time in store.

Gartner clients can get more detailed analysis around these trends in the report, “Research Guide: The Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015”. The research looks at these trends’ disruptive power, which stems from merging virtual and physical worlds, the growth of intelligence everywhere, and the emerging new realities of IT. A reply of David Cearley’s presentation on this topic is also available on Gartner Events on Demand.