This year has witnessed a multitude of groundbreaking innovations and thrilling technological advancements that have reshaped both society and the global economy.
Yet, the pace of digital evolution remains relentless, prompting us to once again turn our gaze to the future. In anticipation of 2024, we highlight the technologies and innovative advancements set to define the upcoming year. While certain trends persist with fresh perspectives, new arrivals are poised to make a significant impact in the months ahead.
Commencing with generative artificial intelligence may seem like an obvious choice, yet it has undeniably emerged as one of the most influential technologies in recent times.
We’ve merely witnessed its initial strides, and 2024 is poised to unveil its full potential. Furthermore, there might be an emphasis on democratising knowledge and training across diverse business roles and functions, encompassing both technical and non-technical domains.
According to Gartner’s projection, “by 2026, over 80% of enterprises are expected to have leveraged Generative AI APIs and models or implemented GenAI-enabled applications in production environments, a substantial increase from the mere 5% in 2023.” This striking statistic is poised to accelerate the introduction of new products to the market, enhance business efficiency and productivity, enable hyper-personalisation, and make the most advanced technology accessible to everyone.
Cybersecurity as a central pillar
In recent years, cyberattacks have evolved into a significant concern for businesses. Consequently, cybersecurity has transitioned from being merely a priority to an absolute necessity.
IT leaders need to embrace a practical and systematic approach to continually adapt and optimise cybersecurity priorities. This involves fundamental measures like employing encrypted services, providing training to enhance employee awareness, conducting penetration testing, developing and regularly updating protocols and software, and validating compliance and governance.
Lastly, implement a Zero Trust approach—a model that operates on the assumption of potential data breaches and verifies each request as though it originated from an uncontrolled network. Consequently, every access request undergoes robust authentication, authorisation within policy constraints, and a thorough inspection for anomalies.
“Figital” Convergence and Digital Twins
It is an innovative concept that denotes the convergence of the real and digital worlds. The interconnection of these two realms is growing, with technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and immersive experiences erasing the boundaries between them.
In close connection with digital twins, we are currently experiencing a phase where the digital realm is becoming increasingly realistic while the real world is gaining greater flexibility and malleability. This technology empowers us to modify digital components until they are optimised, attaining their best version in the real world.
This trend is set to expedite the acquisition of new digital skills across various job sectors, simultaneously refining business processes, enhancing efficiency, and realising exponential cost savings.
Quantum computing is a computing paradigm harnessing quantum phenomena like superposition and entanglement. This technology holds the promise of optimising investment strategies and encryption, as well as uncovering new products within unprecedented timeframes.
The distinctive feature of this trend lies in the remarkable speed advantage of quantum computers over conventional ones. This is why major corporations like Microsoft, AWS, and Google are heavily invested in innovating in this field. Indeed, the anticipated global market revenues for quantum computing are projected to surpass 2.5 billion dollars by 2029.
Amid an environmental crisis, technology emerges as a crucial element in fostering an equilibrium between ecological sustainability and social rights.
Governments and organisations are pledging to sign zero-emission agreements and embrace sustainable technologies to proactively address, alleviate, and adapt to environmental risks. This commitment not only enhances human rights outcomes, well-being, and prosperity but also elevates business conduct, capacity building, and overall performance.
A more environmentally friendly and sustainable future can be forged without compromising efficiency and business growth, thanks to the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as AI, blockchain, cloud computing, extended reality, robotics, and various others.
The importance of data
Data stands out as one of the most crucial assets for a company, with its strategic utilisation serving as a key differentiator against competitors. Its effective application is instrumental in making informed and impactful business decisions, exerting a significant influence on the overall success of a company.
Here, we encounter the concept of datification, wherein everything is transformed into data-driven devices or software. Essentially, this implies that tasks are altered by technology driven by data, encompassing everything from smartphones to office applications, emphasising the need for accurate and secure storage of this data.
Consequently, a data-driven strategy empowers companies to innovate by creating new customer experiences, streamlining operations for acceleration, capitalise on emerging market opportunities, and providing the agility to pivot effectively when faced with the unexpected.
This involves establishing and overseeing internal self-service platforms, a discipline focused on developing and managing dedicated layers crafted by specialised product teams. These layers are designed to address user needs by seamlessly interfacing with various tools and processes.
This practice is geared towards optimising the developer experience and expediting the delivery of business value. By diminishing cognitive load, it enhances developer experience and productivity, empowering them to efficiently run, manage, and develop applications. This, in turn, contributes to talent retention, ensuring reliability and security in the process.
With the emergence of generative AI, enterprise apps are taking a significant leap forward, becoming notably more intelligent and revolutionising the experience for customers, users, product owners, and developers alike.
Intelligent applications, by integrating data from transactions and external sources, introduce valuable insights directly into the applications that business users are already accustomed to. Through the application of AI, these intelligent systems provide predictions or recommendations, tailoring the user experience and leading to improved outcomes and data-driven decision-making.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Closely intertwined with artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotic automation (RPA) automates various business processes, including interpreting applications, processing transactions, managing data, and even responding to emails.
Its primary advantage lies in automating repetitive tasks that were traditionally performed by employees, thereby enabling them to redirect their efforts toward more creative and productive endeavors. Additionally, RPA results in cost savings, heightened profitability, reduced time spent on laborious tasks, and a diminished likelihood of errors.
Hence, it serves as a means to harness the human talent within companies, proving highly beneficial in the collection and storage of diverse data. Its applications extend to sectors such as finance, customer service, and human resources.
IoT and Hyperconnection
IoT technology captures and analyses data from industrial machines, offering insights into processes to enhance efficiency, cut production costs, identify emerging business opportunities and consumer trends, and foster product innovation.
We are just beginning to tap into the potential of what can be achieved with IoT, and projections indicate that approximately 50 million IoT devices will be in use by 2030. This has the potential to establish an extensive network of interconnected devices, offering businesses enhanced security, efficiency, and decision-making capabilities as they gather and analyze more data.