As we prepare for the new year, the tech scene is gearing up for an exciting ride into unexplored territories. The year 2024 brings with it a wave of cutting-edge advancements, where the realms of generative AI, cyber resilience, merging real and digital realms, quantum computing, and sustainable technology take centre stage.
The tech horizon is full of possibilities. Let’s explore the narratives of these transformative trends for a glimpse into the tech-driven future that awaits.
1. Generative AI
In 2023, generative AI emerged in the mainstream, and now, in 2024, it’s set to make a profound impact. Integrated seamlessly into everyday applications, from search engines to design tools, generative AI serves as an intelligent personal assistant, streamlining efficiency by handling routine cognitive tasks. This shift frees up time for creative pursuits and meaningful human interactions. Despite ethical and regulatory challenges, 2024 is expected to be the year when generative AI’s transformative potential gains universal recognision.
By 2026, generative AI will significantly alter 70% of the design and development effort for new web applications and mobile apps.
By 2027, 70% of professional developers will use AI-powered coding tools, up from less than 10% today.
Diving into the cyber security landscape, Rohit Ghai, RSA’s CEO, flags AI as a rising concern. He points to demonstrated capabilities, like the creation of polymorphic malware, signalling a shift in the threat landscape. As AI models progress, the expectation is for threat actors to automate more sophisticated attacks, posing unprecedented challenges for cyber security teams.
On a positive note, Ghai sees AI contributing to cyber security fortification—strengthening defences and enhancing overall effectiveness. In parallel, the Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2024 recommends organisations embrace a comprehensive AI trust, risk, and security management (TRiSM) program. The focus is on upfront governance for AI systems, ensuring compliance, fairness, reliability, and safeguarding data privacy.
2. Cyber Resilience
Facing rising cyber threats, businesses confront a stark reality—half have succumbed to successful cyberattacks in the past three years. Projections hint at a $10 trillion industry cost by 2024, propelling organisations to prioritise tech solutions for defence fortification.
Amid the relentless cyber threat pace, organisations grapple with automating controls and deploying patches reactively. However, these measures fall short in reducing future exposure. Gartner stresses the need for a Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM) program in 2024, actively identifying and prioritising threats. The business imperative is to embrace proactive and continuous threat exposure management.
Cyber resilience, extending beyond security, embraces recovery and continuity strategies post-breach. This includes integrating AI-driven automation, aligning security with continuity protocols, and considering societal factors. As cyber threats evolve, the competition for innovative solutions, particularly those leveraging AI, intensifies. Expect a spotlight on cyber resilience in 2024 across both business and consumer tech.
By 2026, companies that prioritise their security investments based on a continuous exposure management program will be 3x less likely to suffer a breach.
3. Merging Real and Digital Realms
The merging of real and digital realms gains momentum, powered by technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the immersive internet. Digital avatars dominate our work, collaboration, and entertainment spheres, shaping our online presence across platforms like Zoom, Teams, and TikTok. This fusion extends to industries through digital twins—virtual representations of real-world entities built from captured data.
This convergence extends into genomics, where life’s essence becomes manipulable digital code, offering possibilities in drug engineering and disease combat. The digital landscape gains realism while the real world gains flexibility. Concurrently, businesses, driven by sustainability goals, focus on achieving net-zero targets by investing in energy and emissions management tech. Leveraging data science and modelling tools for analysing energy use and costs aligns with the sustainability trend, correlating improvements with increased revenue and better decision-making.
4. Quantum Computing
In 2024, quantum computing brings tangible benefits, enabling simultaneous calculations via quantum bits (qubits). Early adopters, especially banks, leverage it for enhancing AI systems in fraud detection, risk management, and high-frequency trading. Its applications in compute-heavy fields, spanning drug discovery to traffic optimisation, hold promise for global challenges.
Agustin Huerta from Globant predicts action-enabled AI breakthroughs in hospitality, entertainment, and retail. Companies invest in education and planning for quantum computing benefits, primarily in finance and pharmaceutical research. However, the technology brings cyber security improvements and risks, demanding organisational readiness.
Huerta anticipates a wave of multimodal robots reshaping non-manufacturing sectors like food service and healthcare. The adoption of robots-as-a-service, focused on tasks like rolling delivery bots, reshapes industries and underscores the need for legal frameworks addressing safety, privacy, and cyber security.
5. Sustainable Technology
Sustainable technology takes centre stage as countries, corporations, and individuals intensify efforts to achieve net-zero commitments. This involves eco-friendly practices like electric transportation, with a surge in market share anticipated. Novel solutions such as carbon capture, green energy technologies, and circular economy principles gain prominence, embedding durability and recyclability into product designs.
The tech industry prioritises green cloud computing, emphasising energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions. Challenges include ethical material sourcing, evolving consumer habits’ infrastructure demands, and addressing disparities in access to green alternatives. Gartner defines sustainable technology as a top strategic trend, serving as a digital framework driving Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) outcomes. It goes beyond internal IT sustainability, highlighting technology’s role in achieving diverse ESG outcomes. Sustainable technology optimises operational aspects, enhancing wellness, supporting responsible business practices, and fostering new business models, benefiting internal IT, enterprise, and customer operations.
In the ever-evolving tech landscape of 2024, our exploration unfolds a narrative of redefined productivity and efficiency. From the transformative potential of generative AI to the heightened challenges of cyber security, each trend converges toward reshaping how we work, innovate, and interact. Quantum computing promises a paradigm shift, while sustainable technology emerges as a cornerstone for corporations adapting to new standards. The seamless integration of the real and digital worlds paints a picture of interconnected efficiency. As we traverse these uncharted territories, the common thread is a future shaped by innovative approaches to productivity, efficiency, and the limitless possibilities that technology continues to unfold.
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