Supply Value carries out the IT Trends Survey every year. In this digitizing world, many technologies are rapidly changing the way organizations carry out their work. In this web of technologies, it is important for IT professionals to know what the most relevant trends are for the coming year, so that optimal added value can be obtained from this for their organization. We will publish the results of the survey in December. In the run-up to the full report, we reveal and discuss two or three trends from the top 10. In this insight, we share the trends that have finished in places 6 and 7: Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things.
Trend 6 – Artificial Intelligence
We can no longer imagine a life without Artificial Intelligence (AI), consciously or unconsciously. AI ensures, among other things, that people are brought from A to B faster and more safely and that people are identified quickly and correctly through facial recognition. AI maturity in the Netherlands is still low, which can be recognized, among other things, by the fact that new developments follow each other at a rapid pace. To take this maturity to a higher level, the Dutch government has expressed its willingness to release 2 billion euros for investments in AI. This year AI ends as the sixth IT trend. We see that AI has occupied a stable place in the IT Trends survey over the years.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
In the general public, the term AI is often referred to as the ability of a system to correctly interpret external data, learn from such data, and use those lessons to achieve specific goals and tasks through flexible adaptation. Within the discipline, Machine Learning and Deep Learning are often mentioned in the same breath. These fields of research can both be classified as AI and have more specific applications within the discipline. A distinction is often made between:
- Weak/Narrow AI – machines that specialize in a single task, such as chatbots and conversational AI;
- Strong AI – multi-tasking machines that can learn and solve problems;
- Artificial Superintelligence (ASI) – machines that truly resemble humans as they develop or 'learn' social skills and creativity.
Trend development in Artificial Intelligence
It is expected that the market for AI will continue to grow strongly for a long time to 316 billion euros in 2028. However, these developments are accompanied by challenges. For example, the incorrect use of AI can have enormous consequences, such as the incorrect handling and assessment of job applications and asylum applications. On the bright side, we see investments in AI paying off and leading to partnerships that accelerate AI maturity. In the IT Trends survey, we saw a small dip in the priority given to AI by respondents in recent years. This year we see that AI gets a slight increase in priority from respondents with a sixth place. The most important business drivers mentioned are achieving efficiency and scalability, better customer experiences and the pressure from the market to get started with this trend.
Trend 7 – Internet of Things
Smart watches, thermostats and televisions are all internet-connected products in modern society. These kinds of smart products are also known in the business sector. Consider, for example, traffic, where car sensors monitor the situation on the road on the one hand, so that proactive and time-efficient guidance is possible and, on the other hand, control can be taken over. When it comes to 'Internet of Things' (IoT), more than 82% of respondents indicate that they are fairly familiar to expert with IoT. That is why this trend is prominent in the IT Trends survey with a ranking in seventh place.
What is Internet of Things?
IoT is a network of interconnected devices that collect data, connect to the internet, perform analytics and adapt their behavior accordingly. IoT is often associated with devices that collect data from their environment using a built-in or external sensor. They can then forward this information from device to device. This action takes place less and less with the intervention of people, but more and more on the basis of the collected data, such as a flood defense that closes automatically when the water level rises to a certain level. Technology, procedures, organizations, suppliers and users all work together in an IoT ecosystem. There are several components that need to be connected and interact with each other. It is therefore crucial that an IoT ecosystem is carefully built and maintained.
Trend development in Internet of Things
The IT Trends Survey shows that IoT has become indispensable. 78% of respondents indicate that they will prioritize IoT in 2022. Nearly 36 billion IoT devices will be installed worldwide by 2021, which is expected to double to more than 75 billion by 2025. Despite its high priority, IoT has to settle for 7th place in the IT Trends survey. Still, IoT is recognized as a critical trend for the growth of many industries and markets with applications for more efficient asset maintenance and asset health monitoring. For example, sensors are installed by municipalities to monitor air quality or to carry out pedestrian counts to monitor the city centre. In addition, data is collected in and distributed over open spaces, for commercial purposes. For example, we know of situations in which commercial parties have developed sensor applications, such as digital billboards or WiFi tracking in shopping areas.
However, the security of IoT devices remains a major concern. According to the research of Platform 31, there are more concerns about public values such as privacy, autonomy, data security and the balance of power between public and private parties, because IoT sensors can collect and exchange a large amount of data it is crucial, and one of the most difficult problems for IoT, that this data is only available to authorized persons. Municipalities believe they have a role in bridging the gap between public expectations and a responsible digital city. They are confronted with the responsibility to manage the digitization of public space, what their role is or is not, and how they can fulfill that role.