Seven digital disruptions CIOs may not see coming: Gartner

Research firm Gartner has revealed seven digital disruptions that CIOs may not be prepared for.
Gartner Symposium ITExpo 2018“The virtual nature of digital disruptions makes them much more difficult to deal with than past technology-triggered disruptions. CIOs must work with their business peers to pre-empt digital disruption by becoming experts at recognizing, prioritizing and responding to early indicators,” said Daryl Plummer, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

# Quantum Computing

Data scientists, focused on machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and data and analytics, cannot address some difficult and complex problems because of the compute limitations of classic computer architectures.

Quantum computers have the potential to run massive amounts of calculations in parallel in seconds. This potential for compute acceleration, as well as the ability to address difficult and complex problems, is what is driving so much interest from CEOs and CIOs in a variety of industries.

Real-Time Language Translation

Real-time language translation could fundamentally change communication across the globe. Devices such as translation earbuds and voice and text translation services can perform translation in real-time, breaking down language barriers with friends, family, clients and colleagues. This technology could not only disrupt intercultural language barriers, but also language translators as this role may no longer be needed.


Nanotechnology is used to create new effects in materials science, such as self-healing materials. Applications in medicine, electronics, security and manufacturing herald a world of small solutions that fill in the gaps in the macroverse in which we live.

Swarm Intelligence

Swarm intelligence is the collective behavior of decentralized, self-organized systems, natural or artificial. A swarm consists of small computing elements that follow simple rules for coordinating their activities. Such elements can be replicated quickly and inexpensively. Thus, a swarm can be scaled up and down easily as needs change. CIOs should start exploring the concept to scale management, especially in digital business scenarios.

Human-Machine Interfaces

Human-machine interface (HMI) offers solutions providers the opportunity to differentiate with innovative, multimodal experiences. In addition, people living with disabilities benefit from HMIs that are being adapted to their needs, including some already in use within organizations of all types.

Software Distribution Revolution

Software procurement and acquisition is undergoing a fundamental shift. Cloud firms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Google, IBM and others realize that they must remove as much friction as possible in the buying and owning processes for both their own offerings and the offerings of their independent software vendors (ISVs). ISVs or cloud technology service providers (TSPs) recognize the need to reach large and increasingly diverse buying audiences.

Smartphone Disintermediation

The use of other devices, such as virtual personal assistants (VPAs), smartwatches and other wearables, may mean a shift in how people continue to use the smartphone.

CIOs and IT leaders should use wearability of a technology as a guiding principle and investigate and pilot wearable solutions to improve worker effectiveness, increase safety, enhance customer experiences and improve employee satisfaction.