The tech industry - for better and for worse - is powered by hype and analyst Gartner has been charting the rise and fall of hot technologies for more than two decades.
This year, the key innovation that Gartner sees is the emergence of technologies that it believes are defining what it calls digital humanism, which it says is "the notion that people are the central focus in the manifestation of digital businesses and digital workplaces".
Among the other big emerging trends that Gartner is predicting is the move of autonomous vehicles towards the mainstream - although it still sees robot cars as being a nascent tech it said "this movement represents a significant advancement, with all major automotive companies putting autonomous vehicles on their near-term roadmaps".
Similarly, says Gartner, the growing momentum in connected-home solutions which "has introduced entirely new solutions and platforms enabled by new technology providers and existing manufacturers". However, technologies in Gartner's 'Trough of disillusionment' include hybrid cloud computing and augmented reality.
The analyst group has defined a set of "business era models" that enterprises can aspire to in the future said Gartner, vice-president, Betsy Burton. As Gartner's analysis is purposely focused on more emerging technologies, Burton said, "it mostly supports the last three of these stages.
Digital Marketing: The digital marketing stage sees the emergence of the "Nexus of Forces" - mobile, social, cloud and information. Enterprises in this stage focus on new and more sophisticated ways to reach consumers, "who are more willing to participate in marketing efforts to gain greater social connection", the analysts believe and this should "product and service value".
Digital Business: Digital business focuses on "the convergence of people, business and things". The IoT and "the blurring [of] the physical and virtual worlds" come to the forefront here, Gartner believes. "Physical assets become digitalized and become equal actors in the business value chain alongside already-digital entities, such as systems and apps."
Autonomous: Autonomous represents the final "post-nexus stage" and is defined by "an enterprise's ability to leverage technologies that provide humanlike or human-replacing capabilities". This stage covers an ever widening array of products and technologies from "ag autonomous vehicles to move people or products" to "using cognitive systems to recommend a potential structure for an answer to email, write texts or answer customer questions".
You can see a short summary of some of the main points here.