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Gartner Top 10 Technology Trends 2019: Where’s Cybersecurity?

Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019 includes some familiar thoughts and some new twists. For channel partners, it raises plenty of questions about how to monetize what's next the technology sector. Oh, and it also begs the question: Where's cybersecurity?

Here's the Top 10 List, along with ChannelE2E's partner spin.

Trend No. 1 - Autonomous Things: They'll exist in five forms (robotics, vehicles, drones, appliances and agents) across four environments (sea, land, air and digital), Gartner says.

ChannelE2E's Partner Spin: This builds on the recent Internet of Things (IoT) hype, which continues to mystify many partners. Still, there are signs of progress -- especially if you're a partner that attends such conferences as Google Cloud Next, Google I/O and Amazon AWS re:Invent. Example IoT and autonomous partner applications are prevalent at those still-growing gatherings.

Trend No. 2 - Augmented Analytics: Basically, there aren't enough data scientists to analyze growing mounds of data. So, "augmented analytics" will fill the void with automated algorithms to explore more hypotheses.

ChannelE2E's Partner Spin: This is already happening all around us, particularly in the cybersecurity market -- where MSPs and MSSPs increasingly leverage augmented analytics without necessarily realizing it. How? Check in with you cybersecurity vendor and their automated algorithms work.

Trend No. 3 - AI-Driven Development:  AI-driven development looks at tools, technologies and best practices for embedding AI into applications and using AI to create AI-powered tools for the development process, Gartner says.

ChannelE2E's Partner Spin: Most partners are still trying to get their arms around areas like DevOps -- and in some cases, related managed services.  AI-driven development? Here again, partners will benefit from the work of their software vendors and enterprise customers that do in-house development. But the broader channel may not directly ride this trend near-term.

Trend No. 4 - Digital Twins: digital twin is a digital representation that mirrors a real-life object or system. Digital twins can also be linked to create twins of larger systems, such as a power plant or city, Gartner says.

ChannelE2E's Partner Spin: CA Technologies was an early mover in this market, developing CA Unicenter with a "virtual view" of a company's entire network environment. Perhaps we'll see IT management platforms increasingly use the digital twin approach, building a virtual representation of customers' physical networks and assets.

Trend No. 5 - Empowered Edge: Through 2028, Gartner expects a steady increase in the embedding of sensor, storage, compute and advanced AI capabilities in edge devices. In general, intelligence will move toward the edge in a variety of endpoint devices, from industrial devices to screens to smartphones to automobile power generators, Gartner says.

ChannelE2E's Partner Spin: Hmmm... Didn't we call this PC computing in the 1980s -- the shift from mainframes and dumb terminals to servers and "smart" devices called personal computers?

Trend No. 6 - Immersive Technologies: Through 2028, conversational platforms, which change how users interact with the world, and technologies such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR), which change how users perceive the world, will lead to a new immersive experience.

ChannelE2E's Partner Spin: This is gonna be a tricky one. 3D TV came (and went) multiple times. Virtual reality gaming systems haven't set the world on fire -- yet. But we're getting closer to the target...

Trend No. 7 - Blockchain: You know, the distributed ledger system. Currently, blockchain technologies are immature, difficult to scale, poorly understood and unproven. However, businesses should begin evaluating the technology, as blockchain will create $3.1T in business value by 2030, Gartner says.

ChannelE2E's Partner Spin: Most of the major cloud providers are building Blockchain partner ecosystems. Among the more recent moves -- the AWS Blockchain Partners Portal.

Trend No. 8 - Smart Spaces: A smart space is a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems. As technology becomes a more integrated part of daily life, smart spaces will enter a period of accelerated delivery, Gartner says. The most extensive example of smart spaces is smart cities, where areas that combine business, residential and industrial communities are being designed using intelligent urban ecosystem frameworks, with all sectors linking to social and community collaboration, Gartner says.

ChannelE2E's Partner Spin: Careful of the hype. The traffic lights in my town aren't even synchronized on my Main Street...

Trend No. 9 - Digital Ethics and Privacy: The conversation should shift from "Are we compliant?" toward "Are we doing the right thing," Gartner asserts.

ChannelE2E's Partner Spin: Well said. But compliance-related conversations (GDPR, HIPAA, etc.) still generate projects and pay the bills for partners.

Trend No. 10 - Quantum Computing: Quantum computing is a type of nonclassical computing that is based on the quantum state of subatomic particles that represent information as elements denoted as quantum bits or “qubits," Gartner says. For example, while a classic computer would read every book in a library in a linear fashion, a quantum computer would read all the books simultaneously, the researcher notes.

ChannelE2E's Partner Spin: Much in the way Intel processors paved the way for the PC channel and lots of ecosystems thereafter (applications, client-server, Internet servers, etc.), perhaps quantum computing will spark new opportunities in... well... the answer remains to be seen.

What Gartner Forgot: How About Security?

Sure, many of the trends (particularly augmented analytics and AI-driven development) have implications for the security market, Gartner's 2019 trends list failed to mention and tackle security in any significant way. That's somewhat of a shocker, considering security is the single greatest challenge facing many of today's businesses and their channel partners.

Surely, Gartner (and rival research firms) are preparing to weigh in with cybersecurity-related predictions for the year to come.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.