5 technologies that will transform enterprises, according to Gartner

No, generative AI isn't number one.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
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Adopting new technologies can help enterprises transform their business processes to increase productivity and profitability. Gartner identified five technologies enterprises should consider adopting to reach new business capabilities. 

The five technologies identified by Gartner include digital humans, satellite communications, tiny ambient IoT, secure computation, and autonomic robots. 

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The technologies were chosen because of their wide scope and ability to transform organization's digital futures. 

"All five of these technologies are potentially transformational and should be investigated now due to their wide scope and ability to enable new business models or significant new capabilities," said  Nick Jones, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner. 

Transformative technologies chart

1. Satellite communications 

Satellite communications refers to technology like SpaceX's Starlink that provides low latency connectivity on Earth from low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. 

There has been an increased interest in LEO because it can revolutionize how people and businesses communicate. 

Also: Do you have a satellite communication device yet? It could save your life

"The industry remains nascent, with a lot of evolution expected, so take a cautious approach to adopting LEO early as this is an emergent technology in a complex market," said Jones.

Gartner identifies potential enterprise use cases for LEO, such as direct satellite connection for small IoT devices and broadband coverage for remote locations. 

2. Tiny ambient IoT 

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the communication and data sharing of physical devices amongst each other in real-time to create a seamless, interconnected device ecosystem. 

Tiny ambient IoT, as described by Gartner, "enables tagging, tracking, and sensing of anything without the complexity or cost of battery-powered devices." 

Also: These medical IoT devices carry the biggest security risks

The results of forgoing battery-powered devices include the ability to get more information about more things at a lower cost, which can enable a series of positive benefits such as new ecosystems, new business models, and more innovative products, according to Gartner. 

The research firm does warn that before businesses adopt the technology, they should asses social and regulatory issues.  

3. Secure computation

Protecting data is more critical than ever as the interconnectivity of devices continues to grow, and so do the risks of revealing private information. Secure computation is a technology that allows users to compute over data while keeping the specific inputs of the data itself encrypted and private. 

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According to Gartner, implementing secure computation is challenging for enterprises because of cost, skills, and performance, but emerging technologies such as optical accelerators will be crucial to enabling deployment. 

4. Digital humans 

Even though the umbrella term of generative AI didn't specifically make the list, digital humans, a subset of generative AI, did. Digital humans refer to AI-created representations of humans that embody an actual person in different aspects, such as personality, physique, humor, knowledge, and more. 

Many businesses have adopted some form of digital human to boost engagement and embrace the interest in AI happening right now. One example is Kuki, an AI character created by ICONIQ that has been used as a brand ambassador for H&M, modeled for Vogue, starred in its own Roblox game, and even partnered with Viber

Also: What technology analysts are saying about the future of generative AI

Gartner warns businesses to beware when implementing digital humans since they can be prone to inappropriate behavior channeling bias or stereotypes, as seen by the rise of AI chatbots. As a result, constant regulations are necessary. 

5. Adaptive autonomic drones and robots

This term refers to robots or drones that can perform functions on their own with little or no human intervention and can adjust to a series of different environments. 

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These devices will be able to help businesses in many ways, including through lifting, monitoring, data input, supervising, and more. There have been several attempts at creating these types of robots, including Tesla's Optimus, and Apptronik and NASA's Apollo

Of course, Gartner warns against the many challenges surrounding these types of technologies, such as limitations of what they can or can't do and business, legal, and ethical consequences. 

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