Four predictions that were made at the virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo are central to business technology operations, from new reporting structures to navigating external business threats. Here’s what to look out for in the years ahead:
1. Self-directed workforce
“Due to the self-directed and hybrid nature of work, work is becoming much more remote, teams are becoming much more autonomous — meaning independent; they can work on their own — and the idea of a boss is becoming less helpful,” Daryl Plummer, distinguished VP analyst and Gartner fellow said.
Key Takeaway: By 2024, 30% of corporate teams will be without a boss due to the self-directed and hybrid nature of work. “Work is becoming much more remote; teams are becoming much more autonomous, and the idea of a boss is becoming less helpful.”
That’s not to say the role of a boss is obsolete. Rather, more teams are independently creating tactical instructions for how to operate, according to Plummer. Bosses can then morph into career development experts and guide individuals on how to work as part of a team.
“The role of the manager as the commander-and-controller of work is a major impediment in an era where business agility requires team empowerment and autonomy,” said Plummer. “Planning, prioritizing and organizing work efforts still must happen, but it is essential to decouple ‘management’ from the traditional ‘manager’ role to reap the benefits of business agility and hybrid work.”
2. Modular model acceptance
In 2022, one of Gartner’s core focuses and tenets for CIOs is composability, creating building blocks of business operations to facilitate innovation and quick response. Gartner research highlighted this concept in predictions too, emphasizing composability can help businesses navigate market volatility and the pandemic.
Key Takeaway: By 2024, 80% of CIOs surveyed will list modular business redesign, through composability, as a top 5 reason for accelerated business performance. “When we survey CIOs, they tell us that they want to be more agile. To do that, you need to be composable.”
Progressive CIOs are shifting their mindset to see volatility as an opportunity. Business composability, or the modular redesign of operational assets to minimize interdependencies, enables work to be recomposed quickly, easily and safely. It is a competitive addition to an organization’s toolbox that enables CIOs to master the risks of accelerating change.
3. Data techniques to avoid privacy violations
The collection and sale of personal data is a hot business, one that has inspired a host of regulations designed to protect consumers at large.
While regulatory enforcement is slow to act, some people and businesses are independently motivated to control what data is given and how it’s used.
Key Takeaway: By 2025, synthetic data will reduce personal customer data collection, avoiding 70% of privacy violation sanctions. “Synthetic data can create patterns of information that doesn’t require looking at any given individual’s information.”
“Synthetic data makes AI truly prophetic, as it can represent future alternative realities, not just the past that the real data reflects,” said Plummer. “Using high-quality and high-volume synthetic data is a powerful way to understand humans at scale.”
“People will fight to retain sovereignty over their actions and data,” Plummer said.
4. Worst-case scenario cyberattack
As the uptick in cyber incidents highlights, security is going to get worse before it gets better. Reporting from Cybersecurity Dive shows the steady drumbeat of cyberattacks that are disrupting business operations. And in the first half of 2021, the value of ransomware-related transactions surpassed last year’s total.
There is a risk that cyberattacks could elicit more intense federal responses.
Key Takeaway: By 2024, a cyberattack will so damage critical infrastructure that a member of the G20 will reciprocate with a declared physical attack. “Cyberattacks are increasing, the impact per attack is growing, and the critical infrastructure is what’s being targeted now.”
This cyberattack has “probably already happened, it just has not been declared as such and it’s not been done on a large scale or with bigger countries in the world on any kind of regular basis,” Plummer said. “We’re saying that’s going to get worse.”
In the near term, enterprises will continue to bear the primary responsibility to defend against cyberattacks. However, enterprises have never been charged with serving as the first line of defence against warfare, so increasingly severe attacks will prompt military involvement, eventually deterring non-state actors from targeting critical infrastructure.