5 Technology Predictions That Might Make You Cringe

In an effort to get companies thinking about their future in today's fast-paced digital world, Gartner has made some radical predictions in its report "Top Strategic Predictions for 2016 and Beyond: The Future Is a Digital Thing". The growing popularity of Internet-connected devices, smart machines, and smart buildings are the driving forces behind them.

Here are five forecasts that might make you cringe:

1. Six Billion Internet-Connected Devices Will Be Requesting Support

More and more companies and consumers are connecting thermostats, lights, refrigerators, and other unconventional devices to the web. This phenomenon is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Gartner predicts that there will be billions of IoT devices by 2018, almost half of which will have the ability to request support.

Although many of the IoT devices will have simple requests like "replace my battery," more sophisticated IoT devices might ask for other types of support. For instance, an Internet-connected vending machine or soap dispenser might ask for refills, while an Internet-connected refrigerator or air conditioner might remind you it is time for its routine maintenance.

2. Two Million Employees Will Be Required to Wear Fitness Trackers as a Condition of Employment

Many companies currently provide employees with fitness trackers as part of wellness programs, but participation is usually optional. Gartner believes that this will change by 2018. It is predicting that 2 million people employed in jobs that are dangerous (e.g., police officers, firefighters) or physically demanding (e.g., professional athletes, industrial workers) will be required to wear fitness trackers. That way, employers can monitor their employees' heart and respiration rates, providing medical assistance if needed.

3. Smart Machines Will Outnumber Employees in 50 Percent of the Fastest-Growing Companies

By 2018, half of the fastest-growing companies will have more smart machines than employees, according to Gartner. Smart machines use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to make decisions and solve problems without human involvement. Driverless cars and smart locks that send a message to your smartphone when someone knocks on your door are examples of smart machines.

Gartner believes that startups and other newer companies will be the first to fully embrace smart machines because the machines are scalable. Plus, it will be cheaper and faster for the companies to set up and use smart machines compared to recruiting, hiring, training, and employing staff.

4. Robo Bosses Will Supervise More Than 3 Million Workers

Robo bosses are not robots or androids reminiscent of Star War's C-3PO or Star Trek's Data. Rather, they are smart machines that take on supervisory duties. For instance, robo bosses might route work or monitor workers' performance based on measurements directly tied to their output. As such, robo bosses will be making decisions that were previously made by only human managers. Gartner is predicting that robo bosses will be supervising more than 3 million workers worldwide by 2018.

5. Digital Vandals Will Strike 20 Percent of the Smart Buildings Connected to the Internet

Twenty percent of the smart buildings connected to the Internet will be the target of digital vandalism by the end of 2018, according to Gartner. In most instances, the digital vandals will simply be trying to see what they can get away with. For example, they might change the message on a digital sign or turn off all the lights in a building. As such, their exploits will be more of a nuisance than a threat. In some instances, though, their actions could be more harmful. For example, turning off all the lights in a hospital could have more serious consequences.


About the Author

Geoff Stewart is a highly experienced and skilled IT Challenger at Surety IT. His knowledge is based on years of industry experience having created customised, stable, well performing systems both for multi-national companies in the UK and Australia and Surety IT customers.

Surety IT’s mission is to address and overcome the 4 biggest problems businesses have with their IT systems and support which are: poorly performing systems, unreliable systems, unresponsive IT support and poor IT related advice. 

We’ve developed a proprietary process that allows us to do that by: thoroughly understanding your business requirements, gaining an in-depth knowledge of your IT systems, identifying mission critical technology issues vital to your business performance and ensuring our ‘Solution Path’ process is specifically designed and tailored for you with value based solutions and support.

Call us today at 1300 4 SURETY (787389) or email geoff@suretyit.com.au to find out more about how we go about achieving these outcomes.

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