Strategic Technology Trends for 2017

OPINIE – CEO’s moeten rekening houden met de impact van opkomende technologieën voor de toekomst van hun organisatie. De onderzoeken van de bekende technologie autoriteit Gartner geven een zeer realistische blik op de toekomst, inclusief de zakelijke kansen, uitdagingen en disrupties van strategisch technologische trends. Een introductie van Don Scheibenreif, VP bij Gartner en key-note op het innovatieforum Moonshot op 23 maart 2017.

Transforming business

Digital business is an overarching theme that covers how the blurring of the physical and virtual worlds is transforming business designs, industries, markets and organizations. The continuing digital business evolution exploits new digital models to align more closely the physical and digital worlds for employees, partners and customers. Technology will be embedded in everything in the digital business of the future. Rich digital services will be delivered to everything, and intelligence will be embedded in everything behind the scenes. We call this mesh of people, devices, content and services the intelligent digital mesh. It’s enabled by digital models, business platforms and a rich intelligent set of services to support digital business.

“Technology will be embedded in everything in the digital business of the future.”
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Gartner´s top 10 strategic technology trends for 2017

Gartner has developed a list of the top 10 strategic technology trends made up of three groupings of complementary trends (see Figure 1) that are mutually reinforcing, with amplified disruptive characteristics:

  • The intelligent theme builds on the way in which data science and programming approaches are evolving to include AI and advanced machine learning. This is enabling the creation of intelligent physical and software-based systems that are programmed to learn and adapt, rather than programmed only for a finite set of prescribed actions. AI and machine-learning capabilities are seeping into virtually every technology, and represent a major battleground for technology providers over the next five years.
  • The digital theme focuses on blending the digital and physical worlds to create an immersive, digitally enhanced environment. In the digitally enhanced mesh, the digital world is an increasingly detailed representation of the physical world. Rich digital services, connections and interfaces connect the two. Digital trends, along with opportunities enabled by AI and machine learning, such as digital twins, are driving the next generation of digital business.
  • The mesh theme refers to exploiting connections between an expanding set of people and businesses, as well as devices, content and services, to deliver digital business outcomes. The mesh demands new interface modalities (for example, conversational interfaces), security models, technology platforms and approaches to solution design.

Figure 1. Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017

Source: Gartner (February 2017)

Disruptive Potential

Strategic technology trends have substantial disruptive potential. Our top 10 list highlights strategic trends with broad industry impact that aren’t yet widely recognized. Technologies related to the strategic trends are experiencing significant changes or reaching critical tipping points in capability or maturity. Examine the business impact of our top 10 strategic technology trends, and adjust your business and IT strategies and operational models appropriately. If you don’t, you’ll risk losing competitive advantage to those who do.

Implications for the Netherlands

As organizations in the Netherlands consider the impact of these technology trends on the economy and society, consider these important implications:

  • Conversational User Experience. Plan for a radical, long-term (2020 to 2025) evolution of the user experience for both customers and employees as conversational systems, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and continuous/contextual user experiences radically change the way people interact with systems.
  • Artificial Intelligence. Explore opportunities to create new systems that require AI and machine learning, and showcase their intelligent feature systems (such as virtual personal assistants [VPAs], robots and autonomous vehicles), and augment existing apps and things (for example, customer service, enterprise applications, consumer electronics and medical devices).
  • Digital Twins. Examine specific, targeted and high-value use cases to apply AR/VR, build digital twins to support IoT initiatives, and embrace blockchains and distributed ledgers in 2017 to 2019.
  • Security. Build a security mindset into application design and operations, while augmenting preventive controls and security monitoring with user and entity behavior analytics

Implications for business

Gartner’s top strategic technology trends for 2017 will drive the future of the intelligent digital mesh. CIOs and IT leaders must prepare for the impacts of these disruptive trends on people, businesses and IT departments, and determine how they can provide competitive advantage. If you are business leader, work with your organizations technology innovation professionals to consider the implications of these trends on your current and future business activities.


Don Scheibenreif is Vice President, Distinguished Analyst bij Gartner’s Enterprise Architecture Group. Hij werkt met enterprise architecten en andere IT leiders aan hoe opkomende trends en digitale zaken impact zullen hebben op enterprise architectuur en digitale transformatie. Voorheen was Don Director Consumer Marketing bij The Coca-Cola Co., en Brand Management en Consumer Marketing bij The Quaker Oats Co.


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