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TDWI Upside - Where Data Means Business

Gartner Reveals Top Strategic Predictions

AI and data privacy will continue to drive change in the coming years.

New predictions from analyst firm Gartner revealed at its Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2018 in Orlando, Florida, this week largely revolve around innovative technology and continued change. Gartner says most AI projects will remain mysterious to those who are not specialists and data privacy concerns will both hamper blockchain and impact advertisers' bottom lines.

For Further Reading:

Privacy Laws Will Soon Be Inescapable

Artificial Intelligence Starts with Data

Opt-In Versus Opt-Out: The Big Question for Consumer Privacy


Gartner acknowledges the growth of AI over the last five years, but says hype has resulted in "unreasonable expectations." The situation is complicated by the increasing shortage of "competent professionals." The analysts' conclusion: AI is more an art form than a science. In fact, the firm predicts that "through 2020, 80 percent of AI projects will remain alchemy, run by wizards whose talents will not scale in the organization."

Among the applications where AI can make a difference: facial recognition. Gartner predicts that "by 2023, there will be an 80 percent reduction in missing people in mature markets compared to 2018, due to AI face recognition." The firm also expects the technology to be incorporated into what it calls AI-enhanced virtual healthcare.

Data Privacy

Concerns (and regulations) about data privacy are growing, and Gartner has taken note. What it sees: "By 2021, 75 percent of public blockchains will suffer 'privacy poisoning' -- inserted personal data that renders the blockchain noncompliant with privacy laws." As enterprises come to grips with blockchain technology, there's a chance that developers will accidentally store personal data "in a non-compliant way." Because of blockchain's underlying technology, "personal data can't be deleted without compromising chain integrity," creating a dilemma for enterprises.

Regulations targeting data privacy (such as the GDPR) will continue to force enterprises to restrict their use of cookies, which will cripple online ad revenue. Gartner foresees the regulatory landscape adding even more restrictions.

Despite increasing awareness of data security issues, many consumers may continue to use the services affected by cybersecurity breaches simply because they have no alternatives. Gartner says that through 2021, "the benefits of using technology will outweigh security and privacy concerns," and "companies make very limited changes in the wake of an event."

You can read the complete list of predictions here.

About the Author

James E. Powell is the editorial director of TDWI, including research reports, the Business Intelligence Journal, and Upside newsletter. You can contact him via email here.

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