Quantum Computing, Digital Twins and Blockchain: Gartner Named 10 Tech Trends of 2019

14 November 2018

Every year an analytical company Gartner names 10 core technologies and trends that will be of strategic importance for most businesses and organizations. According to the predictions for 2019, the trends of 3D printing and cloud services will lose their popularity and recede into the background. Popular in 2018 technologies will be replaced by more promising ones: AI development, smart spaces, and quantum services.


We present a short review of the Gartner’s list of technological trends, comment on them and make our own predictions.

1. Autonomous things

Gartner analytics believes that in the coming years, autonomous things like robots, drones and vehicles will begin using artificial intelligence to automate the functions that people now perform. In particular, experts predict that by 2021 10% of new cars and trucks will go off the conveyors with built-in autonomous driving.

Gartner’s Vice President, David Cearley, states that these devices occupy different types of environment: sea, land, air, and digital. Autonomization trend has already been observed in the mining sector, for example, and in future we can expect an imminent emergence of delivery services by autonomous road transport or drones. According to David Cearley, it’s not so much the capabilities of the isolated devices themselves that are important, as how these devices are connected and coordinated.

“It is about digital world bringing a virtual world and a real world together into a new digital reality. It’s about connections: connecting people, connecting processes, connecting things together in new and interesting ways. It’s a convergence of all of this and using it to support continuous innovation process” – Cearley says.

2. Augmented analytics

Today data scientists are highly demanded professionals. However, according to the Gartner report, by 2020 data science will get so simplified that even amateurs will be able to deal with it, and more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated. This will be possible thanks to augmented analytics – the branch of augmented intelligence, which uses machine learning to automatically analyze large amounts of data, visualize it and obtain new information.

Software based on augmented analytics will be embedded in existing business processes and will soon begin to help in optimizing solutions and actions not only to analysts and data scientists, but also to specialists from the human resources, accounting, sales, marketing, customer service, and supply departments.

3. AI-driven development

Gartner predicts that by 2022, at least 40% of new application development projects will include artificial intelligence acting as developers in their teams. Through solutions such as Google AutoML, a professional developer will be able to act alone, gaining “virtual” helpers with pre-installed functionality to perform such tasks as software testing, interface design, and even to generate software code.

There are certain tools, which make AI-driven development possible. These tools evolve along three dimensions:

  • expansion from tools targeting data scientists to tools targeting the professional developer community.
  • empowerment with AI-driven capabilities that assist professional developers and automate tasks related to the development of AI-enhanced solutions.
  • evolution from assisting and automating functions related to application development (AD) to being enhanced with business domain expertise and automating activities higher on the AD process stack.

4. Digital twins

The digital twin is a virtual model of a physical entity or system that is constantly updated following the change in its real prototype. The Gartner report shows that already 24% of enterprises, which implement the Internet of Things, use digital twins. Virtual models help identify the weak points of the real system for preventive technical maintenance. They are also used for research and development, data monetization and testing of new business strategies.

This technology has great potential. For example, using people’s digital twins of online stores will soon be able to accurately pick up clothes for clients, and doctors will determine the most appropriate surgery for the patient without risking his health. According to the Gartner’s forecast, the imminent appearance of “digital twins of organizations” will open up enormous prospects, which will simulate the operation of business processes.

5. Empowered edge

Edge calculations are decentralized data processing that occurs at the boundary between the device (sensor, instrument) and the network, which means as close as possible to the place of data generation. Information is processed on the spot, and final results and reports are transferred to the cloud. This technology is important for the development of the Internet of Things. It allows connected devices to communicate with the analytical system without delay and eliminates the dependence from the Internet connection.

Thanks to improved edge computing, the increased power of the devices and the emergence of ultra-high-speed connection, Edge technology will gain in strength in the coming years.

According to Gartner, Edge computing will keep growing. It will no longer be a simple addition to cloud computing but will use cloud architecture for its needs. Edge devices will get built-in AI for solving complex problems, and will also be equipped with ever-increasing computing capabilities and databases. 5G development, which will cover most of the world in the next 5 years, will create an appropriate environment for the connection of millions of Edge devices.

6. Immersive technologies

Gartner predicts that by 2022, 70% of enterprises will experiment with immersive technologies, applying them to work with their customers and employees, and 25% of enterprises will begin to use them also in production. This includes means of virtual, mixed and augmented reality, which will conduct training and simulation, marketing, design visualization, and maintenance.

The model of interaction with clients will reverse. As a result, systems will learn to adapt to people, and not vice versa. Applications such as text chatbots and voice chatbots will develop into highly experienced helpers who can communicate with a person through different senses and adapt to it.

7. Blockchain

Gartner experts believe that businesses on blockchains will continue to grow in volume, and their total turnover will exceed $3 trillion by 2030. But before reaching maturity, this market has a long way to go. Today’s blockchains are generally not reliable, not decentralized, slow, and in conflict with lawmakers and regulators. Yet, according to Gartner, the world is moving towards more advanced blockchain platforms, which will be widely used for shopping, funds storage, accounting and real estate registries. It could potentially lead to costs and transaction settlement times reduction and improve cash flow.

8. Smart spaces

Smart space is a physical or virtual environment, in which people and tech systems interact with each other and unite in a connected, intelligent and autonomous ecosystem. In the near future, this trend will lead to the emergence of connected industries in which digital supply chains will be integrated using such advanced technologies as augmented intelligence and digital twins.

The “smart space” trend will manifest itself in smart homes, digital workplaces and smart cities. First in line are London, which reveals its urban data, Dubai, which is implementing the blockchain, Singapore, focused on the development of the Internet of Things and the city’s digital twin, and Montreal, which develops smart technology for removing snow.

9. Digital ethics and privacy

According to Gartner’s prediction, organizations, which store confidential users’ data, will suffer greater monetary and reputational losses due to non-compliance with privacy regulations. There are already billions of data gathering points in the world. By processing this data, companies can receive useful information, but to avoid major losses, Gartner recommends that managers examine international laws, such as the General Regulations for the Protection of Personal Data of the European Union.

Experts observe that individual members of the public, as well as organizations and governments, are worried that personal data may be used for malicious invasions of privacy, for building control systems or for commercial and political manipulation. The companies that ignore new rules risk losing their reputations. Whereas, adherence to digital ethics in running business can help strengthen consumer confidence in brands.

10. Quantum computing

Quantum computing is a type of nonclassical computing based on the quantum state of subatomic particles that represent information in form of quantum bits. Gartner predicts that 20% of organizations will invest in quantum projects by 2023.

Currently, the quantum computing sector is in its infancy. Nevertheless, Gartner advises managers to be on the alert and to monitor what is happening in this area. Those who are the first to gain access to serious quantum computing systems will be able to simulate chemical reactions at the atomic level and find new materials, such as luminescent molecules for displays or new types of batteries. According to tech experts, many will be able to make innovative discoveries without major investments in the purchase of revolutionary computers, since quantum computing can be acquired as services.

“The future will be characterized by smart devices delivering increasingly insightful digital services everywhere,” – makes his prediction David Cearley. The future of technologies is seen by Gartner as the “intelligent digital mash”. Intelligence of future technologies will lead to the creation of entirely new categories based on AI. Digitalization will move toward blending physical and virtual worlds in order to develop immersive technologies. These altogether will result in exploiting connections between expanding sets of people, businesses, devices, content, and services.