AI engineering, cloud-native platforms and autonomic systems were just a few of the trends that topped Gartner's list of the strategic technology trends that organizations need to explore in 2022.
Released on Monday at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas, the list covers the tools and technology that will drive innovation in the next year. David Groombridge, research vice president at Gartner, said CEOs and boards are striving to find growth through direct digital connections with customers. CIOs' priorities need to reflect the same business imperatives.
"CIOs must find the IT force multipliers to enable growth and innovation, and create scalable, resilient technical foundations whose scalability will free cash for digital investments," Groombridge said. "These imperatives form the three themes of this year's trends: engineering trust, sculpting change and accelerating growth."
First on the list was generative AI, which Gartner described as machine learning methods that learn about content or objects from their data and use it to generate brand-new, completely original, realistic artefacts.
Tasks like software code creation, drug development facilitation and targeted marketing can be augmented using generative AI. Gartner noted that there is also the possibility that generative AI is used for scams, fraud, forgery and political disinformation. Still, by 2025 the research institute expects it to account for 10% of all data produced, up from less than 1% today.
Gartner said cloud-native platforms will also play a major role in delivering capabilities anywhere and everywhere next year as enterprises move away from "lift and shift" migrations.
Gartner predicted that cloud-native platforms will serve as the foundation for more than 95% of new digital initiatives by 2025 -- up from less than 40% in 2021 -- because they use the core capabilities of cloud computing to provide scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities "as a service" to technology creators using internet technologies.
Autonomic systems were also featured on the list, with Groombridge noting that autonomic behavior has "already made itself known through recent deployments in complex security environments, but in the longer term, will become common in physical systems such as robots, drones, manufacturing machines and smart spaces."
Gartner described autonomic systems as "self-managing physical or software systems that learn from their environments."
"Unlike automated or even autonomous systems, autonomic systems can dynamically modify their own algorithms without an external software update, enabling them to rapidly adapt to new conditions in the field, much like humans can," Gartner explained.
Gartner also predicted that as the number of data and application silos continues to surge, there will be a need for data fabrics, which allow for "a flexible, resilient integration of data across platforms and business users."
With millions of people around the world still working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gartner explained that the distributed enterprise will most likely replace the traditional office-centric organizations of past years.
By 2023, Gartner is expecting 75% of organizations that benefit from distributed enterprises to see revenue growth 25% faster than competitors.
"This requires CIOs to make major technical and service changes to deliver frictionless work experiences, but there is another side to this coin: the impact on business models," said Groombridge.
"For every organization, from retail to education, their delivery model has to be reconfigured to embrace distributed services. The world didn't think they'd be trying on clothes in a digital dressing room two years ago."
Decision intelligence, composable applications, hyperautomation, privacy-enhancing computation, cybersecurity mesh, AI engineering and "total experience" rounded out the list of tech trends coming in the next year.