CIOs should pay more attention to “what if” scenarios

CIOs must take time for “what if” scenarios to avoid being overwhelmed by social, behavioral and technological disruptions. David Yockelson, VP analyst at Gartner, stated at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Australia that many disruptions that seem futuristic may be closer than we think.

“Disruptions are fundamental shifts that create lasting change, and successful organizations will be those willing to address them,” Yockelson said. “We need to keep asking ‘what if’ to stay open to the possibilities that disruption brings.”

Yockelson listed seven key disruptions that CIOs and other digital business leaders should be aware of over the next five years.

1. Metaverse work experiences

Gartner defines a metaverse as “the next level of interaction in the virtual and physical world.” Today, organizations are leveraging metaverse technologies (see also this recent Gartner article) to provide greater engagement, collaboration, and connection with their employees. This can be done through better, inspiring workspaces in virtual offices and the use of internal metaverse experiences – also known as intraverse.

Gartner predicts that fully virtual workspaces will account for 30 percent of investment growth in metaverse technologies and reshape the office experience through 2027.

2. Flying cars

Flying autonomous vehicles or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are intended to transport passengers, mainly over short distances in urban areas. These are autonomous aircraft designed to operate without a human pilot. Several companies are working on new planes controlled by artificial intelligence designed to create a faster, cheaper, safer and low-carbon way of doing air travel, especially in congested areas. The first flying taxi service is planned for 2024.

Despite potential regulatory challenges, Gartner says IT managers need to assess what transportation problems — moving people and goods — can be solved by using these vehicles.

3. The digital human economy

From medical care, customer service, virtual influencers and HR training to bringing the dead back to life, the potential uses for digital people are endless. A digital human economy enables a new digital ecosystem, supported by technology, that brings individuals and organizations together to innovate and interact in new ways.

Gartner predicts that the digital human economy will comprise a $125 billion market by 2035 and will continue to grow.

4. The ‘decentralized autonomous organization’

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) represent a new type of organizational model emerging in the IT services market. Gartner defines a DAO as a digital entity that runs on a blockchain and can engage in business interactions with other DAOs, digital and human agents, and companies without conventional human management.

Many high-quality digital workers will be attracted to work in DAOs. While still in their infancy, DAOs have the potential to be highly disruptive to many current technology industry standards.

5. Wireless charging of electric vehicles (EV)

When it becomes available, wireless charging will make the most sense for fleet vehicles like buses and taxis. These vehicles can effectively use dynamic charging to increase range and reduce costs.

Over time, private installations will be the largest market for wireless vehicle charging, as EV owners enjoy the modest convenience of not having to plug in a cable. But looking further afield, Gartner expects private residential and campus deployments to exceed home installations by volume.

6. Graphene replaces silicon

Over the next seven to 10 years, there is enormous potential for carbon-based field-effect transistors (FETs) to replace silicon in traditional transistors as they reach their minimum size limits.

One example is graphene, an atom-thick material of pure carbon bound together in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. Graphene could displace current silicon devices, especially for wireless communications, where these carbon-based FETs can carry a much higher current in a small area, enabling super-fast processing.

CIOs should consider new opportunities enabled by graphene-based technologies and begin identifying new vendors.

7. Tech becomes disposable

What if the technology sector mirrors the fashion sector with ‘disposable’ applications designed to be quickly created, used and discarded? While elements of building an enterprise are already widespread, there are opportunities for CIOs to take it to the next level and prepare for the flexibility of disposable technology.

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