As technology continues to evolve at breakneck speed, various industries are faced with keeping pace with rapid change and progress. This means that companies must adapt, while those working for them must also upskill and provide real value.
Last year, Artificial Intelligence (AI) finally realized its true potential. As such, we can expect machine learning and automation to dominate narratives and continue to radically change how we work and live. Smart algorithms will blur the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds.
Top 13 New Technology Trends in 2024
Some emerging trends listed below will be game-changing, while others may not live up to the hype. For example, the metaverse was expected to have a significant impact last year but failed to deliver. In contrast, embedded finance has taken substantial leaps over the past 12 months and continues to evolve.
Let's dive deep and examine the emerging tech trends we should know about.
1. The Impact of Generative-AI
Generative-AI will shape the following 12 months. This breakthrough technology will revolutionize industries that mimic human-created work, encompassing an extensive range of applications.
Whether it's content writing, image synthesis, or search, generative-AI is about to change things dramatically. The rapid evolution of generative-AI also means that many professionals will now have the opportunity to upskill and focus on more meaningful tasks.
However, generative-AI also comes with a dark side. As generative-AI can create realistic false content, including images, videos, text messages, and even phone calls mimicking a known individual's voice, the consequences can be devastating. From sophisticated social engineering attacks to manipulating public opinion, the world must get ready to defend against generative-AI attacks proactively.
Big data is no longer the go-to buzzword; it's datafication. Datafication describes the process of transforming real-world phenomena into quantifiable data. This data can then be used to create products that live on our devices, like smartphones and software that transform industries.
While we have been engaging in data analysis to accelerate smart decision-making for years, more computing power and AI technologies have taken it to another level. So, we can expect businesses to become more efficient and develop new innovative products and services tailored to individual needs or preferences, optimizing customer experiences.
However, with data comes significant privacy concerns. Business models and use cases that fail to incorporate regulatory compliance protocols can expect to make the headlines and pay hefty fines. When it comes to compliance, geolocations of data centers also impact governance. So, businesses that collect vast amounts of data must leverage it responsibly.
3. Quantum Computing
Quantum computing has made it into this list over the last few years and is ever closer to realizing its full potential. Quantum computing was born from the principles of quantum mechanics to perform complex calculations. This optimization can make computing faster than the devices we are using now. Such power can also help us find answers to certain types of problems, which have been impossible until now.
Superior computing power can transform business processes and financial modeling protocols and accelerate drug discovery. Although quantum computers are in their infancy, their potential to solve some of the planet's most challenging problems is very real.
4. Industry Cloud Platforms
Industry cloud platforms are expected to become a thing in 2024. In fact, research suggests that 70% of enterprises will leverage industry cloud platforms by 2027. This is a significant leap, considering that less than 15% of companies used industry cloud platforms in 2023.
As general cloud computing models fail to meet the needs of digitally transformed businesses, we can expect to see more cloud service providers adapt their offerings to provide a more agile way to manage workloads and pivot as needed.
Vertical cloud computing models package software, platform, and infrastructure as a service capability to meet the market's demands. When the cloud is designed to meet specific industry requirements and business outcomes, it can quickly combine underlying IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS services into a single product offering with composable capabilities.
Most often, these include a library of packaged business capabilities, industry data fabric, and a set of tools and platforms to drive innovation. Cloud platforms tailored to cloud proposals specific to an industry can also be customized to customer needs. This can significantly impact different sectors like supply chain and logistics, financial services, and retail.
5. Emergence of Digital
The real and digital worlds are becoming increasingly intertwined. In the coming months, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality are poised to provide more immersive experiences at work and home.
For example, we might exist as two different digital avatars within virtual environments. One avatar is at home, and another is at work. Teams now collaborating on platforms like Slack, Meets, and Zoom may work in digital spaces, leveraging virtual interfaces to get things done.
6. Digital Twins Everywhere
Digital twins are on the rise across industries. This next-generation technology advancement will help companies create a virtual representation of real-world systems, processes, and objects. Implementing AI and machine learning algorithms will allow businesses to run simulations of real-world scenarios.
This can evolve into whole companies or cities built with enormous amounts of data collected from real-world counterparts. The idea is to break life down into digital code to then manipulate and rebuild in the real world. This approach can go a long way in engineering new drugs and eradicating diseases that have been destroying lives across the globe.
7. Genomics Advancements
The world of genomics is both fascinating and full of ethical concerns. These concerns are concentrated on privacy and discrimination that will limit access to healthcare. However, with ongoing discussions about strict regulations, we can all potentially benefit from it.
Genomics is essentially the study of genes and their role in living organisms. Today's technology has made genomic sequencing more accessible and affordable, paving the way for personalized medicine.
By analyzing individual DNA, healthcare providers can offer customized treatments and preventative measures to a patient's unique genetic makeup. For example, if one is at risk of getting certain types of diseases in a few years, doctors can proactively take steps to mitigate them. One way they might do this is to edit our genes or correct a faulty gene that puts us at risk.
Genomics is also transforming agriculture, accelerating the development of pest-resistant crops. These crops will also be resistant to diseases and thrive in harsh environments. The idea is to leverage this tool to boost food production and sustainability, tackling global challenges like hunger and malnutrition.
8. Demand for Sustainable Technology
Sustainable technology and software development will continue to dominate the year's technology narratives. As organizations strive to meet net-zero commitments, individuals will also increasingly use technology to reduce their overall environmental impact.
Sustainable technology is all about identifying ways to do things in an eco-friendly manner. It continues to be at the forefront of emerging technologies because of the growing urgency of climate change, innovations in industries like renewable energy, and the increasing affectability of environmental monitoring technologies.
Other variables like increasing regulatory pressure and consumer demands drive sustainable technology initiatives. However, beyond environmental benefits, there are also economic advantages like cost savings from more efficient energy consumption, improved operational efficiency, and potential profits from a rising demand for sustainable solutions.
9. Building Cyber Resilience
Cybersecurity has always been critical. Today, no business can survive without making security a business imperative. With new and sophisticated threats powered by generative-AI (as mentioned above), cyber warfare is now in full throttle.
Expect organizations to scramble to boost their security protocols in the days and weeks ahead. They will also use cybersecurity risk as a determinant of business engagements and third-party transactions.
10. Rise of Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM)
As hackers today pivot quickly, it's increasingly difficult for organizations to automate controls and deploy patches rapidly. We can expect to see more businesses depending on a continuous threat exposure management program in response to this need. If you're about to start your digital transformation journey, it's best to think about CTEM during the planning stages.
Leveraging CTEM within enterprise ecosystems allows organizations to actively prioritize potential threats to the business and respond to them adequately in near real-time. As such, this approach to cybersecurity helps align exposure assessment cycles with critical threat vectors or particular projects.
11. Platform Engineering
Platform engineering is a new approach concentrating on accelerating the delivery of applications at a pace that can produce real business value. Platform engineering enhances developer experiences, boosts productivity, and offers self-service capabilities powered by automated infrastructure operations.
According to Gartner, 80% of software engineering firms will create platform teams as internal providers of reusable components, services, and tools for application delivery by 2026. It's already trending as it promises to optimize developer experiences and empower product teams to accelerate the delivery of customer value.
12. The Arrival of Machine Customers
Although it may sound like science fiction, we are about to engage nonhuman economic actors who will pay for products and services. However, machines won't follow the same process as humans do when making decisions.
Businesses today must prepare to cater to this emerging opportunity and explore how to engage and sell to virtual assistants, connected cars, etc. For example, we will soon live in a world where our cars will order dinner when they realize we won't be home on time to prepare a healthy meal. Furthermore, with all the data collected by the Internet of Things or IoT devices at home, on the road, and at work, you can bet that virtual assistants like Siri will also help us do some shopping more efficiently.
13. A New Era of Decentralization
The financial crisis in 2008 created a sense of urgency that ushered in the crypto era that aims to take control of financial services systems and platforms away from the hands of the few. Blockchain and decentralization put the power in the hands of the masses by democratizing systems and enabling credibly neutral, composable internet infrastructure. This approach also helps encourage competition and ecosystem diversity, offering users more choices and more ownership.
However, achieving total decentralization at scale has been a significant challenge compared to efficient and stable centralized systems. So far, web3 initiatives and governance models have been decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) that leverage simple but challenging governance models.
As things get better and better practices emerge, we can expect decentralized applications to boast richer features while holding leadership accountable. As these models evolve, we can expect unprecedented operational functionality, decentralized coordination, and innovation.