A recent article by Information Management’s David Wheldon proclaimed, “The New Year is only weeks away, but it will mark major changes in how organizations manage and use data.” And when you consider that IDC predicts that the amount of digital data created worldwide will quadruple to 175 zettabytes by 2025, up from just 40 zettabytes this year, Wheldon’s proclamation makes sense. In order to prepare for this growing data deluge and lay the foundation for capitalizing on this information, it’s critical that companies modernize their approach to data management.

With that in mind, let’s look at 10 strategic trends Gartner has identified as shaping the data management industry in the coming decade:

  1. Hyper-automation: According to Gartner, a key focus of hyper-automation is understanding the range of automation mechanisms, how they relate to each other, and how they can be combined to drive greater benefits.
  2. Multi-experience: Augmented reality, virtual reality, and other trends are changing how people view and interact with the digital world, and Gartner believes this will have a profound impact on the user experience through 2028. As Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner put it, “The burden of translating intent will move from the user to the computer. This ability to communicate with users across many human senses will provide a richer environment for delivering nuanced information.”
  3. Democratization of expertise: Gartner foresees the democratization of data accelerating significantly in the years ahead, with a specific emphasis on expanding access to tools and knowledge sharing among non-IT professionals.
  4. Human augmentation: Wheldon writes, “Human augmentation explores how technology can be used to deliver cognitive and physical improvements as an integral part of the human experience.” As this trend gains traction, Gartner believes employees will look to capitalize on their personal enhancements to improve their work environment.
  5. Transparency and traceability: With heightened consumer and regulatory awareness of data privacy, organizations will increasingly focus on data transparency and trust practices.
  6. The empowered edge: While edge computing has historically been associated with IoT systems, Gartner believes the technology will become a “dominant factor” across all industries and use cases throughout the 2020’s.
  7. Distributed cloud: As more companies move away from the centralized cloud model, Gartner predicts the distributed cloud will usher in a new era of cloud computing.
  8. Autonomous things: According to Burke, “We expect a shift from stand-alone intelligent things to a swarm of collaborative intelligent things where multiple devices will work together, either independently of people or with human input.”
  9. Practical blockchain: Gartner sees significant potential in blockchain’s ability to lower costs, reduce transaction settlement times, improve cash flow, and foster greater transparency and traceability while simultaneously engendering greater trust.
  10. AI-enhanced security: Gartner recommends that security leaders focus on three AI-related areas: protecting AI-powered systems, leveraging AI to enhance security defense, and anticipating nefarious use of AI by attackers.

As we enter the new decade, expect to hear much more about the above trends—and their implications for data management. For more on the importance of a solid data management strategy, check out this previous APEX of Innovation post