Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2018

Where Does Artificial Intelligence Fit In?

The world is ever-changing – new research constantly leads to more efficient and effective ways of doing things. The technological advancement and disruption, whether perceived as a threat or opportunity, is the only constant factor.

Research shows Narrow Artificial Intelligence (AI) driving three of the top ten strategic technology trends shaping businesses in 2018 (Gartner, 2017). It will be the primary game changer for businesses over the coming years. Moreover, Garner Research noted that we will see AI creeping into business through three different areas: AI Foundations, Intelligent Apps and Analytics, and Intelligent Things.


AI Foundations:

This involves applying AI to reinforce relevant and informed decision making within an organisation and to strengthen the customer experience. Approximately 59% of organisations are in the process of gathering information to formulate AI strategies (Gartner, 2017). The remaining organisations are further ahead in the development or implementation stages.

These strategies use Narrow AI, where a computer system is initiated to learn a specific task (such as recognising human speech), using processes such as machine learning and data science.


Intelligent Apps and Analytics:

Companies are incorporating AI and machine learning into their applications and services to make their products and services more intuitive, responsive, and relevant in an increasingly competitive business environment. Arthur Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. This magic that businesses and consumers have and will be seeing in applications is due to adoption of machine learning and AI.

These apps and analytics are applied as a layer of intelligence between people and the business, helping to augment and influence human decisions through information (David Cearley, Gartner 2017). When used effectively, AI makes the services offered by a company more personalised and helps the business perform at a higher standard – increasing customer value.


Intelligent Things:

AI and machine learning can also be applied to objects in everyday life to improve their performance and autonomous functionality. An object can operate semi-autonomously or fully autonomously with a set purpose and time frame, aided by the data it gathers as it does its tasks (e.g. a self-directing vacuum cleaner operating at set hours and familiarising itself with the space it works in; or a self-driving car deciding when to turn a corner based on the road and surrounding vehicles).

Brands are motivated to use this application as the intelligent enhancements makes their products and services intuitively interfaced and personalised to each individual and their surroundings, increasing its usability and functionality.

In short, the presence of AI is ever-increasing, and there is a constant pressure for companies to integrate their products and users as seamlessly as possible.



Panetta, K 2017 ‘Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018’ Gartner