As business leaders firm up their strategic plans for the coming 12 months, many are assessing the critical role that will be played by rapidly evolving technologies.
From artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to edge computing and cloud platforms, the technologies will become an even greater enabler of business growth. As 2024 unfolds, it will be the organisations best able to harness these resources that will be positioned for success.
Some of the top technology trends to watch in the coming year include:
- The AI honeymoon will end, and the real work will begin:
As a technology, AI is far from a new concept and has actually been part of everyday life for some time. Anyone who purchases items on Amazon, views movies on Netflix, or interacts with a Google assistant is making use of AI.
However, ChatGPT took AI awareness to the next level in 2023, and its speed of evolution is only going to continue to increase. AI will also shift from a ‘honeymoon’ phase and become an even more widely used business tool.
To support this shift, there will need to be a way for the output of tools such as Chat GPT to be fact and sense-checked. To achieve this, there will have to be a level of domain expertise infused into applications that use generative AI.
This means that application builders will need to provide domain expertise and context so applications become more accurate. The tools may also need to provide traceability that points out why a particular response has been generated and on what it was based.
- GenAI will reverse the workforce outsourcing trend:
When it comes to putting AI to work today, the focus tends to be on using it to improve efficiency and productivity. Generative AI tools can also help to lift staff to a higher level and enable them to focus on the more high-value or creative aspects of their jobs.
In the past, workforce outsourcing has tended to focus on outsourcing lower-level jobs to gain an economic benefit. In 2024, AI will increasingly provide an alternative to that approach.
- A single, unified data ecosystem will emerge:
Technologies such as generative AI have significantly intensified the explosion in data volumes to the extent that a majority of business leaders expect data storage needs to double by 2025.
In addition, the surge of sprawled environments creating siloed data is exacerbating the strain on existing infrastructure, with 76% of surveyed business leaders expressing concerns that their current infrastructure will be unable to scale to meet impending demands. Today’s enterprises recognise the imperative of managing data across storage environments and minimising compromise and complexity to remain competitive.
In 2024, there is likely to be a major architectural overhaul. This will create a unified data ecosystem that allows seamless integration into existing infrastructure to address all environments with simplicity and scale. One data platform to manage all applications will enable complete visibility and interoperability of enterprise data to unlock deeper insights faster and respond to market needs more quickly.
- Edge analytics will continue to grow:
Edge analytics will continue to be a transformative force as businesses seek to overcome the challenges posed by the explosive growth of data from interconnected devices and the advancements in AI.
Data is not created equally, and so, therefore, it should not be processed that way. Edge analytics processes data locally (at the edge) to quickly filter and preserve the essential information for more insight decisions in real-time.
During the coming year, this approach will be adopted by an increasing number of organisations. The marketplace for edge analytics will also thrive, with many compatible solutions introduced to offer tailored options that cater to the unique needs and use cases of all businesses.
- Data centres will become more important in the quest for sustainability:
Many business leaders have already recognised the significance of sustainable data centres, with a recent Hitachi Vantara survey revealing that 60% of IT business leaders and C-suite executives consider creating eco-friendly data centres a top priority for their organisations. In 2024, this will become even more of a focus.
Cutting-edge technology and a good hard look at storage and software are two things that can help in the process. For example, integrating advanced AI systems that forecast usage and optimise workloads for cleaner energy consumption will help power down the applications that are not in use.
The coming year will deliver both challenges and opportunities for all organisations. By being aware of the technological trends that underpin them, strategic plans can be developed that will ensure those opportunities can be grasped and challenges readily overcome.