Gartner highlights disruptions CIOs might not see coming

CIOs must take time to consider “what if” scenarios to avoid being blindsided by social, behavioral and technological disruptions, according to Gartner, Inc.

Speaking at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Australia, David Yockelson, VP analyst at Gartner, said many disruptions that seem futuristic may be closer than we think.

“Disruptions are fundamental shifts that create lasting change, and successful organizations will be those that are prepared to address them,” Yockelson said. “We need to keep asking “what if” to remain open to opportunities presented by disruptions.”

Yockelson highlighted seven key disruptions that technology executives should consider in the next five years.

1. Metaverse Work Experiences

Gartner defines a metaverse as “the next level of interaction in the virtual and physical worlds.” Today, organizations are harnessing metaverse technologies to provide better engagement, collaboration and connection to their employees through better immersive workspaces in virtual offices and the use of internal metaverse experiences called intraverses.

Gartner predicts that fully virtual workspaces will account for 30% of the investment growth in metaverse technologies and will reimagine the office experience through 2027.

2. Flying cars

Flying autonomous vehicles, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are for carrying passengers, primarily over short distances in urban areas. These encompass self-operating aircrafts that are sometimes referred to as “flying cars” or passenger drones and are designed to operate without a human pilot. Several companies are working on new aircraft piloted by artificial intelligence and designed to create a faster, less expensive, safer, and lower carbon way to execute air travel, primarily in congested areas. The first flying taxi service is scheduled to launch in 2024.

Notwithstanding potential regulatory challenges, CIOs should assess what problems in transportation — moving people and cargo — might be solved by using these vehicles.

3. The Digital Human Economy

From medical care, customer service, virtual influencers and HR training to bringing the deceased “back to life”, the possible uses for digital humans are endless. A digital human economy provides the opportunity for a new digital ecosystem, underpinned by technology that brings individuals and organizations together to innovate and interact in new ways.

Gartner predicts that by 2035, the digital human economy will become a $125-billion market and continue to grow.

4. The “Decentralized Autonomous Organization”

Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) represent a new type of organization model emerging in the IT services marketplace. Gartner defines a DAO as a digital entity, running on a blockchain, which can engage in business interactions with other DAOs, digital and human agents, and corporations, without conventional human management.

Many high-value digital workers will be attracted to working in DAOs. Though in their infancy, DAOs have the potential to be highly disruptive to many current norms of the technology industry.

5. Wireless Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging

As it becomes available, wireless charging will make the most sense for fleet vehicles such as buses and taxis. These vehicles can make effective use of dynamic charging to extend range and reduce costs.

Subsequently, residential installations will be the biggest market for wireless vehicle charging, as EV owners enjoy the modest convenience of not having to plug a cable in. However, looking out beyond that time, Gartner expects that private housing estates and campus sites will overtake in-home installations by volume.

6. Graphene Replaces Silicon

During the next seven to 10 years, there is a huge potential for carbon-based field-effect transistors (FETs) to replace silicon in traditional transistors when they reach their minimum size limits. One example is graphene, a one-atom thick material of pure carbon, bonded together in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. Graphene could displace current silicon devices, especially for wireless communications, where these carbon-based FETs can carry a much higher current in a small area, enabling super quick processing.

CIOs should consider new possibilities enabled by graphene-based technologies and start to identify emerging suppliers.

7. Tech Becomes Disposable

What if the technology industry starts to mirror the fashion industry, with “throwaway” applications designed to be made, used and disposed of quickly? While elements of business composability are already widely practiced, there are opportunities for CIOs to take it to the next level and prepare for the flexibility of disposable technology.

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