Analysts Answer: What Technology Should CIOs Experiment With in 2020?

September 20, 2019

Contributor: Kasey Panetta

Blockchain, augmented intelligence, IoT and machine learning top the list for the upcoming year.

CIOs who know how and when to invest in emerging technologies are able to make strategic decisions that can take digital to the core of a company and make a real difference in competitive differentiation. Ahead of Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™ 2019, we reached out to Gartner analysts presenting at the event to find out what technologies should be on the CIO radar for 2020.

Graph technologies and augmented intelligence

Svetlana Sicular, VP Analyst

CIOs should start looking at graph technologies. These technologies have been around for a while, but haven’t been in the spotlight. Suddenly, modern data and analytics requirements caused a flip when graphs started drawing tremendous interest because of their ability to combine structured and unstructured data, real-time analysis and contextualization.

For example, graphs are faster, more efficient and are more compelling for a customer 360 view, because you have not just individual data entities about customers, but also connections among those elements. Other examples of graph effectiveness are route optimization, recommendations, fraud detection and anti-money laundering.

Secondly, augmented intelligence is quickly emerging as a design approach to get the most value from artificial intelligence (AI). It employs AI to compensate for human limitations and enables people to expand the possibilities for AI. Many early-adopter enterprises had thought initially that full automation was the way to use AI. Now, they have started to realize that full automation is very expensive and complex. They are taking a more realistic view, where augmented intelligence compensates for automation's limitations with people's creativity, flexibility and adaptability. They treat AI as a human assistant, and humans as AI assistants.

See Svetlana at her IT Symposium/Xpo sessions:

  • Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence (Orlando)

Augmented analytics

Rita Sallam, Distinguished VP Analyst

Analytics has become a strategic component of how value is created in most businesses. However, it is at a critical inflection point. As data complexity increases, business people across the enterprise are awash in data, struggling to identify what is most important and what best actions to take. Larger and more varied dataset combinations also mean more variables and relationships to analyze, explore and test. Augmented analytics has become a crucial set of capabilities for presenting to users across the business only what they need to know. 

By automating many aspects of development, management and deployment, augmented analytics makes expert data scientists more productive and extends data science and machine learning model development to a broader range of less skilled users including new citizen data science roles (business analysts, developers and others). 

See Rita at her IT Symposium/Xpo sessions:

  • Can Diversity Bridge the Digital Divide? (Barcelona)
  • Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms (Barcelona and Orlando) 
  • Top 10 Data and Analytics Technology Trends That Will Change Your Business (Barcelona and Orlando)

Internet of Things and digital twins

Alfonso Velosa, Research VP

CIOs should be experimenting with and working on IoT technology and business policies, architectures and strategies. Most enterprises are accelerating their IoT adoption, either because they are buying new, IoT-enabled assets for normal operations or because they are working to improve business processes and lower operating costs.

Enterprises want to use data from their assets, employees and customers to open new productivity or potential new revenue streams. Enterprises without a coherent IoT business strategy and policy are exposed to challenges such as incompatible technical implementations, loss of data rights, cultural resistance and potential exposure to penalties from regulations such as GDPR.

CIOs should also experiment with digital twins, fundamental building blocks for digital initiatives. Their teams need to be figuring out how the enterprise builds, uses and integrates them. It is important to start now to map the enterprise’s journey to achieve the value that digital twins open up and to understand the opportunities and risks they bring. Now is also the time to experiment before ecosystems and competition impose their digital twin vision on your enterprise.

See Alfonso at his IT Symposium/Xpo sessions:

  • The IoT Scenario: Three Steps to Drive Strategic Impact (Orlando and São Paulo) 
  • Digital Twin — Building the Digital Future (Orlando and São Paulo) 


David Furlonger, Distinguished VP Analyst

The fundamental impact that tokenization used in a decentralized context will have on markets and enterprises requires CIOs to have a clear understanding of blockchain technology. This is not just about pure R&D. CIOs will need to evaluate how the digital giants and mega-multinationals can use centralized strategies to reinforce market domination. Using all five elements of blockchain will afford CIOs alternate competitive responses.

See David at his IT Symposium/Xpo sessions:

  • The Real Business of Blockchain: How Leaders Can Create Value in a New Digital Age (Orlando, Tokyo, Gold Coast and Barcelona)

Machine learning

Alexander Buschek, Sr Director Analyst

Midsize enterprise CIOs must start experimenting with machine Learning. First, they must understand how machine learning actually works, for instance, compared to time series analyses. Machine learning relies on data of not only high quantity, but also high quality. It is difficult to apply machine learning if the data provided is not consistent (i.e., contains too much “noise”).

See Alexander at his IT Symposium/Xpo sessions:

  • Hype Cycle for Midsize Enterprises (Barcelona)

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