Gartner, Inc. today revealed its top strategic predictions for 2022 and beyond. Gartner's top predictions explore three aspects of the lessons that business and IT leaders have learned during ongoing disruption and uncertainty - the push toward human centricity, the race to resilience and the ability to reach beyond expectations.
"The lesson of the pandemic has been to expect the unexpected and be prepared to move in multiple strategic directions at once," said Daryl Plummer, distinguished research vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Leaders that embrace options for workers, enhanced enterprise efficiency and accelerated transformation plans have greater resilience in dealing with change.
"Resilience, opportunity and risk have always been components of good business strategy, but today these issues hold new meaning. This year's predictions embody how resilience must be built in more non-traditional ways, from talent to business modularity, while opportunity and risk must be viewed with a greater sense of urgency than ever before."
By 2024, 40% of consumers will trick behavior tracking metrics to intentionally devalue the personal data collected about them, making it difficult to monetize.
Consumers are increasingly aware of the value that companies glean from their personal data, and the power of that data when wielded through recommendation algorithms to manipulate behavior. In response, some are attempting to undermine such tracking methods, such as by sharing false details or clicking on ads they aren't interested in, among other tactics.
"By manipulating algorithms and spoiling databases, consumers are defying the adage that insists 'if you're not a customer, you're the product,'" said Plummer. "Whether motivated by privacy and security concerns, exposure to misinformation or desire for personal monetary gain, consumers are aiming to devalue the behavioral data companies have come to rely upon."
By 2024, 30% of corporate teams will be without a boss due to the self-directed and hybrid nature of work.
The pandemic embedded agility inside business operations and streamlined business processes to essential value. This included a shift from central decision making to peer-to-peer network-based decision making that reduces bottlenecks and saves time in a hybrid working environment. As hybrid work continues, removing the traditional manager role can be a more pragmatic route to efficiency.
"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."
By 2025, synthetic data will reduce personal customer data collection, avoiding 70% of privacy violation sanctions.
Data generated using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, known as synthetic data, is gaining momentum. Synthetic data can serve as a proxy for real data, resulting in reduced collection, use or sharing of sensitive information. This is significant as maturing and regionally different privacy regulations put pressure on organizations to reduce the risk of privacy violations and ensure resiliency.
"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."
By 2024, a cyberattack will so damage critical infrastructure that a member of the G20 will reciprocate with a declared physical attack.
Cyberattacks have historically been treated by nations as crime, not warfare. However, as the losses produced by recent large-scale attacks aimed at critical infrastructure have reached unprecedented levels, some governments are moving to prepare for cyber-war via dedicated cyber-defense units.
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 defense against warfare, so increasingly severe attacks will prompt military involvement, eventually deterring non-state actors from targeting critical infrastructure.
By 2024, 80% of CIOs surveyed will list modular business redesign, through composability, as a top 5 reason for accelerated business performance.
"Market turbulence predates and will survive COVID-19," said Plummer. "Trying to return to stability will not allow the organization to thrive in the 'renewal' phase beyond the current disruption."
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.
By 2025, 75% of companies will "break up" with poor-fit customers as the cost of retaining them eclipses good-fit customer acquisition costs.
Organizations often expunge poor-fit customers from sales pipelines, but few proactively identify and say goodbye to them after they've purchased a product or service. Yet, keeping a poor-fit customer can be costly, both in terms of time spent satisfying them as well as the opportunity costs, brand degradation and long-term profit erosion that can occur.
Through 2026, a 30% increase in developer talent across Africa will help transform it into a world-leading startup ecosystem, rivaling Asia in venture fund growth.
An influx of venture capital flowing into Africa has led several nations in the region to develop "innovation hubs" that they hope will amplify partnerships between large companies and startups, drawing talent and foreign investment. For example, Kenya's thriving tech scene has been dubbed the "Silicon Savannah" in East Africa, with a $1 billion tech ecosystem that offers an attractive space for entrepreneurs, investors and technologists.
In the next three years, there will be nearly 900,000 professional developers across Africa enabled by the rise of informal education channels. As this market continues to grow, global investors will reduce their venture investment in China in favor of this emerging market.
By 2026, non-fungible token (NFT) gamification will propel an enterprise into the top 10 highest valued companies.
NFTs are becoming a way to leverage hyper-tokenization to grow business models exponentially. The value proposition for NFTs is underpinned by the expectation that buyers are willing to pay more for a digital artifact because they belong to a network of people with similar values and interests.
By 2024, Gartner predicts that 50% of publicly listed companies will have some sort of NFT underpinning their brand and/or digital ecosystem presence. NFTs will become a powerful marketing tool to underpin digital ecosystems' effects and accelerate enterprise valuations.
By 2027, low orbit satellites will extend internet coverage to an additional billion of the world's poorest people, raising 50% of them out of poverty.
Using satellite backhaul significantly reduces the installation and operational costs of deploying a cellular base station. Satellites are also able to provide islands of connectivity based on where customers are location. The introduction of LEO (low Earth orbit) satellite constellations will make it economical to extend network coverage into sparsely populated regions.
"With connectivity comes participation, both economically and politically, in the wider ecosystem," said Plummer. "The addition of billions of newly connected 'netizens' will have a profound impact on the internet in terms of culture and content."
By 2027, a quarter of the Fortune 20 companies will be supplanted by companies that neuromine and influence subconscious behavior at scale.
"Most executives already appreciate that every company is a technology company," said Plummer. "The winners of the next decade will be experts at neuromining ? applying behavioral intelligence and related technology to analyze, understand and influence human behavior at scale."
Gartner clients can read more in "Gartner's Top Strategic Predictions for 2022 and Beyond ? Leveraging What We Have Learned."
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization's most critical priorities. To learn more, visit gartner.com.