Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends for 2018 + Advancement


Late last year, Gartner, the leading technology evaluation and strategic tech planning consultancy, released their Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends. They are, as always, salient to any business leader and perhaps more than ever, to any university leader; notably those who lead advancement and alumni relations.

Here, we've summarized the key impacts of three of those trends for advancement:

  • Conversational platforms
  • Intelligent Apps and Analytics
  • AI Foundation

Conversational Platforms

Per Gartner, "Conversational platforms will drive a paradigm shift in which the burden of translating intent shifts from user to computer."

What does that mean? You've probably experienced chatbots. Maybe you've seen a QuadWeb alumni site that automatically serves up personalized content to the visitor. Either way, you should be thinking about how a social experience like being an alum can translate conversationally to your digital presence.

It isn't a trend that you have to be ready for today, but that you'd want to be thinking about it now is absolutely true. Don't let this emerging opportunity become established before you have a plan in place.

Intelligent Apps and Analytics

"Over the next few years every app, application and service will incorporate AI at some level."

Well, of course. Of course. Because it is the essence of scale. AI is the promise that any engagement should be optimal. It is the reason that once latent information is now operationally transformative.

At QuadWrangle, we leverage AI to both ensure that emails, web pages and mobile experiences are all wholly personalized to each alumna with the best your institution has to offer her. It's also how we know exactly which of all your designations any graduate is most likely to give to.

AI isn't a fad. It isn't even optional. It's a function of timing to when you put it into play and, when you do, the opportunities are practically endless.

AI Foundation

"The ability to use AI to enhance decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience will drive the payoff for digital initiatives through 2025," says Gartner.

Further, I found this a very telling insight: "Given the steady increase in inquiry calls, it’s clear that interest is growing. A recent Gartner survey showed that 59% of organizations are still gathering information to build their AI strategies, while the remainder have already made progress in piloting or adopting AI solutions."

The business world is either there or going there. No one is questioning "if" they are going to have an AI strategy. It's just how mature they are in that adoption cycle. That said, it's not easy to implement and the mandate is to have clear goals for AI's application inside your operation.

From our perspective, AI's greatest promise, now being delivered for our clients, is the connection between engagement and fundraising. Explicit, rich connection.

If you're evaluating your own AI strategy, let us know. We'd love to hear from you.

Nick Zeckets