Tech Trends 2024: The Biggest Technology Trends to Watch

Tech Trends 2024: The Biggest Technology Trends to Watch

The start of a brand-new year is just around the corner, and for businesses, that means it’s time to reflect on the trends of the last 12 months, and plan a comprehensive strategy for what comes next.

For many organisations, evolutions in the technology landscape will have a direct impact on their future operations, processes, and plans. After all, digital transformation doesn’t end – it’s an ongoing process for every company, no matter the industry you serve.

Even if you’ve taking significant steps to transform your business this year, embracing cloud technologies and new ecosystems, there will still be opportunities to grow in 2024. This is particularly true as concepts like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things grow in size.

Today we’re reviewing the biggest technology trends worth watching in 2024, and sharing our predictions on how they’ll shape the businesses of tomorrow.

1. The Rise of Unique Technology Platforms

Cloud-based platforms have taken over in the last couple of years, consolidating distributed technologies, aligning business silos, and improving productivity for hybrid and remote workers. However, one-size-fits-all platforms for UCaaS, CCaaS and more are becoming less attractive, in an environment where every business has its own challenges and requirements to consider.

In Gartner’s review of the leading strategic technology trends ready to emerge in 2024, the analyst outlined two ways platforms will evolve this year. First, they predict more than 70% of enterprises will be using industry-specific cloud platforms (ICPs) to accelerate their business initiatives, without compromising on flexibility and compliance.

These platforms combine PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS solutions into a whole product with composable capabilities, robust data fabric, and unique tools for each vendor. Additionally, Gartner also believes “platform engineering” will emerge as a trend, with 80% of all software engineering organisations establishing platform teams by 2026.

According to Gartner, platform engineering will pave the way for the development of robust, bespoke solutions for business processes, with reusable, composable components. These two platform-focused technology trends are likely to have a significant impact on how companies compose their technology stacks in the years ahead.

2. AI and Automation Further Augments the Workforce

Artificial Intelligence and Automation are two overlapping technology trends making their way onto virtually every business environment. It’s little wonder when you consider the rapid growth of the landscape. The AI market is expected to reach a value of $2,757.16 billion by 2032, and new solutions, like generative AI and LLMs are emerging all the time.

However, while some employees are still concerned about the impact these tools will have on their roles, Gartner and other market analysts believe the focus in 2024 and beyond will be on using intuitive tools to “augment” and “connect” the workforce.

Gartner says through to 2027, around 25% of CIOs will leverage augmented connected workforce initiatives, creating environments enhanced by AI and automation to improve and optimise human performance. These toolkits will give companies more ways to enhance the existing performance of their workforce, and streamline complex tasks.

For instance, already, companies are beginning to take advantage of AI-augmented development tools to create, test, and deliver applications and platforms. These tools help companies to transform legacy code into modern formats, and unlock new levels of coding efficiency.

3. The Democratisation of Generative AI

Speaking of AI-driven technology trends, generative AI burst into the mainstream in 2023, generating huge amounts of hype in virtually every industry. With the potential to automate mundane tasks more effectively than any other form of artificial intelligence, generative tools hold incredible benefits for businesses.

They can handle everything from delivering personalised customer service through chatbots, to assisting businesses with campaign and content creation, market research, and meeting summarisation. Initially, many companies struggled to effectively access these platforms, due to the lack of enterprise-grade “public” solutions and expensive, complex development requirements.

Now, open-source LLMs are emerging to give companies more freedom to build and customise the technologies they need. Innovators are introducing pre-trained models into existing platforms for UCaaS and CCaaS, and APIs are becoming more accessible. In fact, Gartner predicts over 80% of enterprises will be using advanced generative AI solutions by 2026.

One point to note is that greater AI adoption will also lead to higher demands for AI “Trust and Risk Security Management”. Companies will need to invest heavily in AI model governance, reliability, and data protection as they move into the years ahead. Failure to do so could lead to significant problems with compliance, and customer trust.

4. New Approaches to Cyber Security

Cybersecurity technology trends have also earned a lot of attention in the last couple of years, for good reason. Regulatory requirements are growing stricter, and attackers are becoming more sophisticated. Research indicates around 1 in 2 businesses have already been the victim of a successful cyberattack in the last 3 years. The cost of these attacks is also expected to grow to over $10 trillion by 2025.

Advanced cybersecurity measures will become essential in 2024 and beyond. For many companies, this will mean embracing automation and AI tools to enhance cyber defence. Integrated frameworks powered by AI and automation can help to keep companies informed of potential attacks, and even predict risks before they emerge.

Gartner even referenced “Continued Threat Exposure Management” as one of the top trends to watch next year. CTEM involves taking a systematic approach to constantly evaluate the accessibility, exposure, and exploitability of physical and digital assets, with AI and automation.

Building an environment that offers consistent insight into potential threats will help businesses to not only stay one step ahead of potential problems and data breaches, but capture the trust of their target audience. This is essential at a time when it’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture and retain the trust of cautious customers.

5. The Rise of Phygital Convergence

Concepts like the metaverse, Web 3.0, and even extended reality have been blurring the lines between the digital and physical environments for some time now. The “immersive web” is breaking down the barriers between the digital domains where we spend a significant portion of our lives, and the real world. More than ever before, we exist frequently as avatars within digital spaces.

This isn’t just true in the consumer and entertainment landscape, but in the workplaces too. More than ever before, hybrid and remote teams are relying on platforms like Zoom, Teams and Slack to stay connected. Some organisations, like Accenture are even building digital versions of their offices for employees working remotely.

Moving into 2024, we’ll see an increasing number of companies investing in technology trends that embrace the concept of “phygital” interactions. Already, we’re beginning to see evidence of this through the widespread adoption of digital twins in healthcare, finance, enterprise, manufacturing, and even government environments.

Digital twins are virtual representations of real-world environments, processes, and systems. Not only do they make it easier to simulate scenarios, but they also provide valuable insights into opportunities and issues in a business environment.

We’re also likely to see more companies embracing extended reality for a range of use cases, from helping customers to navigate onboarding experiences in virtual environments, to offering employees augmented reality headsets to help with maintenance and repairs.

6. Focus on Sustainable Technology

For some time now, pressure has been mounting from shareholders, government bodies and consumers, all demanding companies become more environmentally friendly. The world is facing an ever-evolving climate crisis, and every business needs to do its part to mitigate the effects.

Not only are governments imposing new regulations to ensure this, but consumers are changing their spending habits accordingly. Around 50% of consumers now say they’ll spend more to buy products and services from brands who have strong sustainability values. In the technology environment, this trend will have a direct influence on how companies purchase new solutions for transformation.

Business leaders will need to focus more heavily on sustainable technology frameworks that enable the right environmental, social, and governance (ESG) outcomes. The shift will require more than just a higher investment in cloud computing and remote work to reduce travel emissions. Businesses will need to reconsider everything, from how they manage their data, to how they recycle and reuse tech.

To adhere to growing demands for lower emissions, many major organisations are already putting ambitious strategies in place. However, most companies will have a number of challenges to overcome, from figuring out how to adjust their infrastructure without breaking their budget, to making realistic promises to customers.

7. Quantum Computing Starts to Evolve

The concept of “quantum computing” has been earning attention for a while now, but so far, it has yet to fully find its footing in the business landscape. In 2024, we could start to see the tangible benefits of a quantum computing revolution. That’s particularly true now that innovators like Microsoft, Meta, and even Tesla are working on their own super-computing initiatives.

Quantum computers are capable of carrying out huge numbers of processes and calculations simultaneously, through the power of quantum physics. They can operate using quantum bits, existing in multiple states at the same time. This might seem like a futuristic concept, but many industries are already beginning to discover the benefits.

For instance, banks and financial services companies believe harnessing the power of quantum computing and AI will help them to better protect customers against risk and fraud. Although quantum computing won’t be relevant to every business, it has various applications across computing heavy fields, from genome sequencing, to drug discovery, and even traffic control.

Quantum computing could also be a powerful resource powering other technology trends in the future market, paving the way for ever-more efficient smart automation systems and artificial intelligence.

8. New Customer Experience Demands

Finally, while many things have changed for businesses over the last year, one thing has remained consistent – the need to deliver exceptional customer experiences. As we move into 2024, customer expectations are likely to continue evolving, driving new demand for technologies that help organizations to better serve their clients in a variety of different ways.

According to Gartner, this trend may accelerate the development of intelligent applications in business environments, that can automate more processes for both employees and consumers. Already, many companies are taking advantage of no-code and low-code environments to create applications infused with artificial intelligence that drive better self-service interactions.

Gartner also believes companies will have a new “type” of consumer to deal with in 2024, known as the “machine customer”. These non-human economic actors are capable of autonomously negotiating with companies and purchasing goods and services in exchange for purchases.

It’s not an entirely new concept, as companies have been using virtual assistants and smart speakers to make purchases for a while now. As these tools become more advanced, many customers will be able to put their purchasing processes on autopilot. Companies will therefore need to ensure they have systems in place capable of serving human customers and bots with the same level of consistency.

Looking Ahead to the Tech Trends of 2024

Technology trends are constantly evolving, driven by discoveries in the research and development landscape, as well as consumer trends. Although it’s difficult to know what the future will bring to businesses and their consumers, we can already begin to see certain technology trends taking effect.

While not every company will need to invest in every trend mentioned above, it’s important for organisations to start thinking about what kind of innovations can help them to reach their strategic goals going forward. Whether you’re adopting the latest AI innovations, or new technology platforms, the right strategy will be essential.

Check out our comparison matrix for insights into the vendors that can help your business embrace the latest technology trends. Alternatively, if you need help funding the next stage of your digital transformation journey, reach out to Techgrants for insights into our simple transformation fund.

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