What are the most influential new technologies

Top 10 technology ranking

We all want to know what the future will bring. For companies, this is even vital. That is why the Gartner market research institute has identified the 10 most important technology trends for the coming year. You will shape our future.

IBM engineer Jerry Chow working on a quantum computer: The flood of data of the future will only be able to cope with machines with deep neural networks.

Photo: Jon Simon / IBM

The American market research institute Gartner has a suitable list available every year for companies looking for orientation in a confusing digitized world. The top 10 key strategic technology trends have the potential to significantly impact a company and its long-term plans, according to Gartner. “IT leaders have to incorporate these technology trends into their innovation strategies or they risk losing touch with those who do.” The trends are dominated by two meta-themes: artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Virtual and extended realities

Although the demand for virtual and extended reality solutions, such as glasses, the Gartner analysts currently see little value creation outside of the games and film industry. To change that, companies would have to develop real scenarios in which employees and customers benefit from the insight into virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). That could be a training environment, the visualization of customer requests like at Ikea or extensive design projects. a technology that connects both worlds is mixed reality, in which Gartner also sees great potential for the economy.

Voice assistants

Millions of people are already using digital communication platforms to exchange ideas with friends, but also with companies and customers. These platforms will change and will not only provide the framework for communication, but will also involve themselves in conversations. Just like Alexa, Siri or Echo today, more and more machines will take over communication with users and also process orders independently. The challenge will be to develop sports assistants who understand the user when he is mumbling or speaking colloquial language and can answer him as casually and fluently as a real person. Google's artificial intelligence is working on exactly that.


The blockchain not only fascinates the financial world, it also arouses longings in completely different areas. Because it represents the departure from the centralized transaction system and can promote disruptive digital business models in established companies and start-ups, according to Gartner. The company sees great potential in the technology for the health sector, production, politics and media, logistics and identification. However, the products associated with the blockchain will be immature for another two to three years.

Artificial intelligence platform

Self-learning and autonomous systems are finding their way into all possible areas. Gartner assumes that this technology will remain a major field of action for technology buyers and sellers through 2020. "Artificial intelligence technologies are developing rapidly and organizations will have to invest significantly in knowledge, processes and tools in order to successfully exploit these technologies," analyzes Gartner Vice President David Caerley.
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Smart apps and analysis

Artificial intelligence will be found everywhere and so that people can keep up with them at all, intelligent apps will be available to them. They become the mediators between the worlds of machines and humans. According to Gartner, they have the potential to give every working environment and every workplace a completely new face. "Augmented analytics is a strategic growth area that uses machine learning to automate data processing, for example, and thus bring about understanding among business customers, employees in the operational environment and data scientists," says Caerley.
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Smart products

The analyst firm understands intelligent things to be products that can interact with their environment. These include the Internet of Things, drones, autonomous vehicles and robots. “Autonomous vehicles are currently still operating in controlled environments, but we will probably see them on some roads by 2022 - albeit in controlled and strictly defined sections,” predicts Caerley. For the next five years, however, the analyst suspects a driver will always have to be in the car to take the wheel in case of doubt. During this time, the car manufacturers will continue to develop the autonomous systems, politicians will work with them on the legal framework and everyone will try to increase social acceptance for self-driving cars.

Digital twin

The digital doppelganger is a digital image of a real object. In the Internet of Things in particular, these digital images are intended to show how the actual product or process would react to system changes. This means that the digital twin is actually a test environment that keeps out real damage caused by changes. Clearly believes that industrial planners, urban planners and health professionals in particular will benefit from this development.

Decentralized data processing

The cloud, in which all information is collected and processed at a fixed point, is supplemented by decentralized data processing. This solves a number of problems that - as unfortunate as that may be - will not be resolved in the coming years: connectivity problems, low bandwidths, long waiting times. Gartner therefore recommends that companies incorporate so-called "edge computing" into their IT architecture.

Event-driven action

Business-relevant events should be able to be described more quickly and in more detail using artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and in-memory data management. For this, the culture of managers would have to change; planners and strategists would have to adapt their way of working to this event-driven character.

IT security

This year they were called WannaCry and NotPetya, they attacked corporate and personal computers and caused immense damage. An IT security infrastructure that can constantly adapt to new threat scenarios while remaining transparent for developers will (again) be one of the major technological challenges in the coming year. Gartner has developed its own method for this, which the company calls Carta ("continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment").

Those were the previous technology trends

For your orientation, we have also listed the 10 most important technology trends of the last few years for you:

  • Network of apps and devices
  • Limitless user experience
  • 3D printing
  • Networked information
  • Systems learn independently
  • Autonomous assistants
  • Flexible response to security vulnerabilities
  • IT architecture of security
  • Flexible, integrative approach
  • Platform for the Internet of Things

A contribution by:

  • Lisa Diez-Holz

    The author was content manager for the TechnikKarriere-News-Portal of the VDI Verlag from 2017 to the end of 2019. Before that, she wrote for VDI nachrichten as an editor.