Four technology disruptions organizations must watch

There are a number of technology disruptions that will be seen over the course of the next several years that have the potential to upend business as usual across a range of markets. It is important for IT leaders to familiarize themselves with these trends to understand the threats and opportunities they pose.

Some of these digital disruptions are likely to result from technologies that currently seem far-off or far-fetched. Seismic change does not happen overnight, but ignoring a disruption in its early stages typically makes the entry price later in the disruption’s development cycle more costly — strategically, financially, existentially.

Here are four key technology disruptions IT leaders must prepare for:

Metaverse is reimagining work experiences

The metaverse provides an immersive digital environment by virtualizing human experiences. It will disrupt many aspects of business, including: financial models, buying and selling, organization style, and collaborative experience. Virtual reality (VR) lies at the heart of disruption, so skeptics risk being blindsided as VR begins to challenge many aspects of the real world, from media and entertainment to business interactions.

To capture the opportunity of VR in work experiences, IT services vendors should focus on creating consulting and development offerings that help their clients reimagine how processes, systems, experiences and infrastructure enable and optimize the new emerging VR world. For example, an organization with a downsized office footprint will need high-availability, secure VR environments for staff to work in and customers to engage with. A public-sector organization offering vital services to citizens will need to ensure that these services will be easy to access. A manufacturing enterprise leveraging VR to design and make physical parts will need its technology leaders to lead in new approaches that will challenge the less technologically agile.

Digital humans become less robotic (than humans)

Digital humans are becoming more and more like real people. They are readily available and have the ability to interact over a screen to handle a service-based issue or provide customer service instantly. As digital human software is integrated with natural language processing and robotic process automation tools, digital humans will become more of a presence in workflows of more and more processes.

Consulting leaders should focus, both singly and in tandem, with leaders of other parts of an organization, on crafting approaches their clients can use to leverage a digital human workforce. Service delivery leaders — particularly within business process outsourcing providers — should be developing a strategy to deploy digital humans within their service delivery functions.

Decentralized autonomous organizations tap into blockchain

A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is a digital entity, running on a blockchain (which provides a secure digital ledger for communication tracking), that can engage in business interactions with other DAOs, digital and human agents, as well as corporations, without conventional human management. DAO will disrupt in the following ways:

  • Allowing workers to monetize open-source-style work, which currently is often hard to do
  • Not offering employees the opportunity to be stakeholders and have a voice (career ownership)

IT should familiarize themselves with this idea because it has the potential to develop and disrupt business as usual at an unusually quick rate, given its inherently “viral” digital nature. They should also analyze the root causes of the problems to which DAOs are a solution, namely dissatisfaction and disillusionment among many employees with the nature of existing organizational models. And lastly, they should evaluate the potential for a DAO-based service delivery model to sit adjacent to current existing approaches.

Technology becomes disposable, so it can be swapped in and out

Composability/disposability is quickly emerging in IT, allowing CIOs to swap technologies in and out to accelerate technology innovation and meet user demand.

Disposable technology is a disruption to all tech, but is inevitable given consumer/customer demand. Disruptions will impact:

  • Every tech provider looking to sell products and services long term
  • Business models for complex technology, generating maintenance fees

IT leaders must retool their development methodologies and the fundamental architectural choices they make in building their products and services. Direct technical leaders create architectural reference models that facilitate “swap and replace” between different component technologies and lead their own organizations in understanding the risks and limitations of long-term strategic bets that hinge on specific technologies.

IT leaders must prepare for these disruptions and be aware of the effects they may have.

Ben Pring is VP Analyst at Gartner where he consults with and counsels Gartner’s most senior industry clients. Gartner analysts will provide additional analysis on the technology disruptions and how IT leaders can prepare for them at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, taking place October 16-19, in Orlando, FL.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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 mission critical priorities. To learn more, visit

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