Research house Gartner has named the four emerging technologies it believes will drive the digital workplace in the coming decade.
The technologies were revealed in Gartner's Hype Cycle for Digital Workplace, 2017. The technologies that will have a transformational impact in the next two to five years are augmented data discovery and personal analytics, while the technologies for the five to 10 years timescale are conversational user interfaces (CUIs) and virtual assistants (VAs).
"Humans will still be at the centre of work, even as intelligent software and machines become our co-workers," said Matt Cain, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
"CIOs must anticipate how trends in business, society, technology and information will converge to change where, when, why and with whom we work. CIOs must expand their charter to include workforce digital dexterity."
Augmented data discovery enables business users and citizen data scientists to automatically find, visualise and act on exceptions, clusters and predictions in complex datasets, without having to build models or write algorithms.
Personal analytics is the analysis of contextually relevant data to provide personalised insight, predictions and/or recommendations for the benefit of individual users. Examples include virtual health assistants, financial advice assistants and shopping assistants.
Conversational user interfaces (CUIs) are a high-level design model in which user and machine interactions primarily occur in the user's spoken or written natural language. CUIs had huge growth in 2017, with chatbots, messaging platforms and virtual speakers contributing to the boom, said Gartner.
"We expect application suite vendors to increasingly implement CUIs in front of business applications, leading to hundreds of different chat interfaces," said Cain.
"Most CUI implementations are not able to respond to complex queries. Increases in capabilities will, at first, largely come from improvements in natural-language understanding and speech recognition."
Virtual assistants (VAs) help users or organisations with sets of tasks that previously could only be carried out by humans. VAs use artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist users or automate tasks. VAs listen and observe behaviours, build and maintain data models, and predict and recommend actions.
CRN pulls out the key information from Microsoft's Q4, which took the vendor above $100bn for the year
Investment will include an AI research centre in London
John Coulston outlines Rackspace's plans to partner with the channel in the UK
Chris Bunch of Microsoft partner Cloudreach gives his take on this year's Inspire conference