Tech Trends 2018

No-collar workforce

The ninth annual Tech Trends report identifies trends that are likely to disrupt businesses in the next 18-24 months, from enterprise data sovereignty to digital reality, API imperative, and more.

The pace of change across industries and the globe is only increasing. When organizations rec¬ognize connections between new technologies and bring them into harmony, they create something new and greater: the symphonic enterprise.

The ninth annual Tech Trends report identifies trends that are likely to disrupt businesses in the next 18-24 months, and this year’s trends cover:

  • Reengineering technology: Building new IT delivery model from the top down and bottom up. With business strategies inextricably linked to technology, organizations are rethinking how they envision and deliver technology solutions: transforming IT departments into engines driving business growth, with responsibilities that span back-office systems, operations, and even product offerings.
  • No-collar workforce: Humans and machines in one loop—collaborating in roles and new talent models. Is HR prepared to manage both man and machine? As automation, artificial intelligence, and cognitive technologies gain traction, companies may need to reinvent worker roles, assigning some to humans, others to machines, and still others to a hybrid model in which technology augments human performance.
  • Enterprise data sovereignty: If you love your data, set it free. Making data “free”—accessible, understandable, and actionable across business units, departments, and geographies—sounds great, right? But doing so requires implementing modern approaches to data architecture and governance, and navigating global regulations around privacy and protection.
  • The new core: Unleashing the digital potential in “heart of the business” operations. No surprise that the first digital wave has focused on the flash of customer engagement and marketing. But attention is now turning to the heart of the business—back-office processes that offer opportunities to reinvent how daily work gets done—and harnessing emerging tech to build an enterprise ecosystem.
  • Digital reality: The focus shifts from technology to opportunity. As the ways in which we interact with technology evolve, the AR/VR revolution has reached a tipping point, with enterprise adoption outpacing the consumer world. Market leaders are shifting their focus from pilots and niche offerings to strategies anchored in prototypes designed for industrialization.
  • Blockchain to blockchains: Broad adoption and integration enter the realm of the possible. Now that everyone is getting comfortable with blockchain platforms, what’s next? Companies should look to standardize the technology, talent, and platforms that will drive future initiatives—and, after that, look to coordinate and integrate multiple blockchains working together across a value chain.
  • API imperative: From IT concern to business mandate. Do you see your technology assets as, well, assets? Companies are architecting and designing their technology as discrete sets of digital building blocks intended to be reused. The “API imperative” involves strategically deploying services and platforms for use both within and beyond the enterprise.
  • Exponential technology watch list: Innovation opportunities on the horizon. Sooner than many expected, executives will confront the promise—and challenge—of artificial general intelligence and quantum computing, with major ramifications for security and much more. Leading organizations are developing a disciplined innovation response to these and other disruptive forces, creating capabilities to sense, scan, vet, experiment, incubate, and scale.

How are the trends selected?

  • Feedback from client executives on current and future priorities
  • Perspectives and insights from academic and industry luminaries
  • Roadmaps and investment priorities from leading start-ups, venture capitalists, and technology vendors
  • Insights and experiences from our global network of Deloitte professionals
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