Top 25 emerging technologies: Which ones will live up to the hype?

Immersive experiences, AI automation and new data platforms are among the innovations topping Gartner's 2022 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
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Gartner has identified 25 key emerging technologies to watch in its latest Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies study, with the metaverse, NFTs, causal AI and industry cloud platforms amongst those topping the list in 2022.

The research firm put together this list by identifying key insights from more than 2,000 technologies and applied frameworks that it profiles each year. Gartner grouped emerging technology trends around three themes: expansion of immersive experiences, acceleration of AI Automation and optimization of technologist delivery. 

Technology that evolves and expands immersive experiences is important because the future of digital experiences lies in immersive technology, the analyst said. It identified the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), super apps and Web3, decentralized identity, digital humans and digital twin of the customer and internal talent marketplaces as the technologies to watch in this category. 

SEE: What are NFTs? A beginner's guide to digital assets 

Technology that accelerates AI automation is valuable because AI is becoming an integral part of products, services and solutions. Gartner identified autonomic systems, causal AI, foundation models, generative design AI and machine learning code generation as the technologies to watch in this category. 

Lastly, the set of technologies that fall under the optimized technologist delivery focus on the products, service and solution builder communities and the platforms they use. Gartner identified augmented FinOps, cloud data ecosystems, cloud sustainability, computational storage, cybersecurity mesh architecture, data observability, dynamic risk governance, industry cloud platforms, minimum viable architecture, observability driven development, OpenTelemetry and platform engineering as the technologies to look out for in this subset. 

SEE: What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know about the cloud explained

Understanding and embracing emerging technologies is important for businesses to grow in efficiency, despite the challenges and doubts surrounding newer technologies, said Melissa Davis, VP analyst at Gartner.

Gartner (August 2022)

"Emerging technologies offer transformational potential for businesses, but CIOs and technology innovation leaders are challenged to scale digital capabilities while improving sustainability in the face of expanding resource constraints," Davis added.

Gartner's Hype Cycle graph identifies when each technology will reach its 'innovation trigger', 'peak of inflated expectations', 'trough of disillusionment', 'slope of enlightenment' and 'plateau of productivity'. The time range for when the plateau will be reached for each technology ranges anywhere from two to 10 years.

"All technologies on this Hype Cycle are at an early stage, but some are nascent and great uncertainty exists about how they will evolve. Such technologies present greater risks for deployment, but potentially greater benefits for early adopters who can assess and exploit them in line with their organization's ability to handle unproven technologies," said Gary Olliffe, analyst at Gartner.

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