The technology industry analyst firm Gartner Inc. today got out in front of predictions for next year with what it says are likely to be top 10 strategic technology trends to emerge in 2024 — and it’s no surprise that many of them concern the buzz and hype around artificial intelligence.
Gartner presented its trends during its annual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Orlando today, saying that it expects most of them will gain significant traction in the next few years. The expected rapid adoption of the trends illustrates how AI is becoming deeply embedded into almost every aspect of business technology.
AI to emerge everywhere
The trend towards Democratized Generative AI leads the way on Gartner’s list. By that, Gartner means generative AI is becoming more democratized via the confluence of pre-trained models, open-source and cloud-based computing resources, making it more accessible to workers across the world.
In fact, Gartner forecasts more than 80% of enterprises will have their own generative AI application programming interfaces and models up and running by 2026, up from just 5% earlier this year. “This means the rapid adoption of GenAI will significantly democratize knowledge and skills in the enterprise,” Gartner said.
The No. 2 trend on Gartner’s list is AI Trust, Risk and Security Management, or AI TRiSM, which refers to the development of the tooling needed to create guardrails that prevent the negative effects of AI. It says AI TRiSM will help to increase the accuracy of AI models by eliminating up to 80% of the faulty and illegitimate information they generate by 2026.
Meanwhile, the rise of generative AI will accelerate the move toward AI-Augmented Development, with developers and software engineers increasingly relying on intelligent tools to design, code and test new applications. It says AI-assisted software engineering has already shown huge promise in terms of increasing developer productivity, reducing the time they spend writing code so they can focus more on design and composition.
Just as AI is helping to develop applications, it will also boost the intelligence of those apps. Gartner defines Intelligent Applications, the fourth trend on its list, as applications with built-in intelligence that can respond appropriately and autonomously. This intelligence is enabled with machine learning, vector stores and connected data and can deliver experiences that dynamically adapt to each user, Gartner said.
A related trend comes in at No. 5. Gartner said the Augmented-Connected Workforce or ACWF can be thought of as a combination of intelligent applications and analytics tools to generate greater context and guidance for key employees. ACWF can help to support the workforce’s experience, well-being and ability to develop its own skills, Gartner said, creating positive impacts for stakeholders. By 2027, it believes 25% of chief information officers worldwide will use augmented-connected workforce initiatives to build more competent workforces.
Still with AI, Gartner said it believes there’s a lot of potential for what it terms “Machine Customers,” or custobots, which are nonhuman economic actors that can autonomously negotiate and purchases goods and services on behalf of businesses. By 2028, Gartner believes that around 15 billion connected products will exist that have the potential to behave as customers, and these will drive trillions of dollars in new revenues by 2030.
Additional trends to watch
Less centered on AI, but perhaps still influenced by it, is the trend toward Continuous Threat Exposure Management, or CTEM, that will provide the tools enterprises need to evaluate the accessibility, exposure and exploitability of their digital and physical assets. Gartner says organizations that follow a CTEM program to prioritize their security investments will achieve a two-thirds reduction in security breaches by 2026.
Other trends to watch include the drive toward Sustainable Technology, which is described as a framework of digital solutions that support long-term ecological balance and human rights, and Platform Engineering, which refers to the discipline of building and operating self-service internal development platforms. “The goal of platform engineering is to optimize productivity, the user experience and accelerate delivery of business value,” Gartner said.
Finally, it believes 2024 will be the year of acceleration for Industry Cloud Platforms that combine various underlying software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service offerings into a single product with composable capabilities. According to Gartner, ICPs are tailored cloud proposals specific to an industry that can be further fine-tuned to support the needs of individual organizations.
“IT leaders must evaluate the impacts and benefits of strategic technology trends, but this is no small task given the increasing rate of technological innovation,” said Chris Howard, Gartner’s distinguished analyst and chief of research. “For example, generative and other types of AI offer new opportunities and drive several trends. But deriving business value from the durable use of AI requires a disciplined approach to widespread adoption along with attention to the risks.”
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