​Top 10 forecasts for IT organisations and users for 2016 and beyond

Top strategic predictions for 2016 and beyond, looking at the digital future, as well as an algorithmic and a smart machine-driven world.

Gartner has revealed its top strategic predictions for 2016 and beyond, looking at the digital future, as well as an algorithmic and smart machine-driven world where people and machines must define harmonious relationships.

“The 'robo' trend, the emerging practicality of artificial intelligence, and the fact that enterprises and consumers are now embracing the advancement of these technologies is driving change,” says Daryl Plummer, vice president, distinguished analyst, Gartner.

“Gartner's Top Predictions begin to separate us from the mere notion of technology adoption and to draw us more deeply into issues surrounding what it means to be human in a digital world.”

1) By 2018, 20 per cent of business content will be authored by machines

Technologies with the ability to proactively assemble and deliver information through automated composition engines are fostering a movement from human- to machine-generated business content.

Data-based and analytical information can be turned into natural language writing using these emerging tools.

Business content, such as shareholder reports, legal documents, market reports, press releases, articles and white papers, are all candidates for automated writing tools.

2) By 2018, six billion connected things will be requesting support

In the era of digital business, when physical and digital lines are increasingly blurred, enterprises will need to begin viewing things as customers of services - and to treat them accordingly.

Mechanisms will need to be developed for responding to significantly larger numbers of support requests communicated directly by things.

Strategies will also need to be developed for responding to them that are distinctly different from traditional human-customer communication and problem-solving.

Responding to service requests from things will spawn entire service industries, and innovative solutions will emerge to improve the efficiency of many types of enterprise.

3) By 2020, autonomous software agents outside of human control will participate in five per cent of all economic transactions

Algorithmically driven agents are already participating in our economy.

However, while these agents are automated, they are not fully autonomous, because they are directly tethered to a robust collection of mechanisms controlled by humans — in the domains of our corporate, legal, economic and fiduciary systems.

New autonomous software agents will hold value themselves, and function as the fundamental underpinning of a new economic paradigm that Gartner calls the programmable economy.

The programmable economy has potential for great disruption to the existing financial services industry.

We will see algorithms, often developed in a transparent, open-source fashion and set free on the blockchain, capable of banking, insurance, markets, exchanges, crowdfunding - and virtually all other types of financial instruments.

4) By 2018, more than 3 million workers globally will be supervised by a "robo-boss”

Robo-bosses will increasingly make decisions that previously could only have been made by human managers. Supervisory duties are increasingly shifting into monitoring worker accomplishment through measurements of performance that are directly tied to output and customer evaluation.

Such measurements can be consumed more effectively and swiftly by smart machine managers tuned to learn based on staffing decisions and management incentives.

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