Gartner Predicts Key Technology Trends for 2024
With the rapid pace at which companies are innovating today, it can be difficult for others to stay relevant. That's why it's important to keep your finger on the pulse to stay ahead of the competition.
According to Gartner, 26 percent of CEOs cite the talent shortage as the top risk to their business. It then makes sense that the important, overarching theme in this list is the search for tools to mitigate the labor shortage. The first trend presents such a tool with generative AI (GenAI), which is being democratized by the confluence of massive pre-trained models, cloud computing, and open source, making these models accessible to workers around the world. According to Gartner, more than 80 percent of enterprises will use GenAI APIs and models by 2026.
A related trend is AI-assisted development, i.e. the use of AI technologies such as GenAI and machine learning to support software engineers in designing, programming and testing applications. The key to keeping AI human is to automate repetitive tasks and support humans in areas where a more creative approach is beneficial. AI-powered tools can allow software engineers and developers to spend less time writing code and more time on other tasks that require more creative and strategic thinking.
The future is now
We are one step closer to the high-tech visions of the future that people had more than a hundred years ago. We may not have flying cars yet, but we will have the next trend on the list: machine customers (also known as "custobots"). These are non-human economic entities that can negotiate independently and purchase goods and services for a fee. This is another step toward automation. According to Gartner, there will be 15 billion connected products with the potential to act like customers by 2028, and billions more will be added in the coming years. This growth trend will generate trillions of dollars in revenue by 2030, eventually overtaking digital commerce. This could fundamentally change the way marketing works if the goal is to target a machine rather than a human consumer.
But we won't get any closer to this vision of the future if we don't ensure that we still have a planet to live on. This means that sustainability, or sustainable technology, remains an important trend for the future. Sustainable technology is a framework for digital solutions that aim to achieve environmental, social, and governance (ESG) outcomes that support long-term ecological balance and human rights. As the use of technologies such as AI, cryptocurrencies, the Internet of Things, and cloud computing increases, so does energy consumption and the associated environmental impact. This makes it all the more important to ensure that all new technologies and their use become more efficient and sustainable. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2027, 25 percent of CIOs will link their personal pay to the impact of their sustainable technologies.
Augmented-Connected Workforce (ACWF) is a strategy for optimizing the value of human labor. This is more important than ever given the current labor shortages facing nearly every industry. The need to accelerate and scale talent is driving this trend. ACWF uses intelligent applications and workforce analytics to provide daily context and guidance to support the experience, well-being and self-development of the workforce.
Another optimization trend is industrial cloud platforms. Gartner predicts that by 2027, more than 70 percent of enterprises will use industrial cloud platforms (ICPs) to optimize and accelerate their business initiatives. ICPs are customized cloud offerings for a specific industry that can also be tailored to an organization's needs.
The trends highlight what Gartner's experts believe will become increasingly relevant over the next 36 months. Every company should take note of these trends and seek advice on which trends to avoid and which to embrace.