Intelligence Abound: 4 Trends from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016 Orlando

If there was one key theme that dominated conversations during last week’s sold out Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016 in Orlando, it was that technology is getting more intelligent, and it’d be wise for IT pros to embrace that intelligence.

From artificial intelligence and intelligent architectures to intelligent apps and intelligent things, technology is getting smarter.

Here we look at four major intelligence-focused trends for 2017 that Gartner highlighted during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016.

Artificial intelligence is here

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are typically thought of with technologies such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing. But according to Gartner, AI and ML can also include advanced systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously.

What’s that mean for IT?

AI and ML will lead to environments in which systems can learn and change future behavior, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs.

“The combination of extensive parallel processing power, advanced algorithms and massive data sets to feed the algorithms has unleashed this new era,” Gartner wrote.

For example, in banking, IT could leverage AI and ML techniques to model current real-time transactions and predictive models of transactions based on their likelihood of being fraudulent.

Gartner recommends that organizations seeking to drive digital innovation with this trend should evaluate a number of business scenarios in which AI and ML could deliver business value and consider experimenting with one or two high-impact scenarios.

Prepare for intelligent applications

According to Gartner, every category of software, from security to marketing to ERP will have some form intelligence built in by 2017.

Vendors will leverage artificial intelligence in several areas, including advanced analytics, autonomous business processes and immersive interfaces.

Gartner said it expects most of the world’s largest companies will leverage intelligent applications and use the full toolkit of big data and analytics tools to “refine their offers and improve their customer experience.”

Adaptive, intelligent security architectures

As digital technology platforms and application architectures evolve, security must evolve with it.  According to Gartner, that means security has to be fluid, adaptive and intelligent.

Security in an IoT (Internet of Things) environment, for example, is a challenge, and security teams must work with application, solution and enterprise architectures to ensure security is not an afterthought, but woven into the IoT fabric as early as the design phase.

Fluid, multilayered and intelligent security and analytics will be an enterprise requirement in the very near future, Gartner said.

The rise of intelligent things

Intelligent things typically fall into three categories: robots, drones and autonomous vehicles, Gartner said, noting that each of these areas will evolve and impact a larger segment of the market and fuel a new phase of digital business.

But those three categories only represent one facet of intelligent things, Gartner cautioned. IoT devices will also become intelligent things and deliver the power of AI-enabled systems in the home, office, factory floors and medical facilities.

According to Gartner, the rise in popularity of intelligent things will prompt a shift from a stand-alone to a collaborative model in which these intelligent things communicate with one another and work in concert to accomplish tasks. This opens the door to non-technical issues such as liability and privacy, as IT shops determine how to leverage these intelligent things within their environments.

Those are just four of the many IT technology trends Gartner discussed last week during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando. What trends stood out most for you? Which are you looking forward to most, and which present the biggest challenges? Leave a comment below.

*Photo courtesy of Gartner Pictures.

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