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Gartner Identifies Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2024

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Gartner, Inc. announced its list of 10 top strategic technology trends that organisations need to explore in 2024.

“Technology disruptions and socioeconomic uncertainties require willingness to act boldly and strategically enhance resilience over ad hoc responses,” said Bart Willemsen, VP Analyst at Gartner. “IT leaders are in a unique position to strategically lay down a roadmap where technology investments help their business’s sustenance of success amidst these uncertainties and pressures.”

“They and other executives 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, Distinguished VP Analyst and Chief of Research at Gartner. “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.”

The top strategic technology trends for 2024 are:

Democratised Generative AI
Generative AI (GenAI) is becoming democratised by the confluence of massively pretrained models, cloud computing and open source, making these models accessible to workers worldwide. By 2026, Gartner predicts that over 80% of enterprises will have used GenAI APIs and models and/or deployed GenAI-enabled applications in production environments, up from less than 5% early 2023.

GenAI applications can make vast sources of information — internal and external — accessible and available to business users. This means the rapid adoption of GenAI will significantly democratise knowledge and skills in the enterprise. Large language models enable enterprises to connect their workers with knowledge in a conversational style with rich semantic understanding.

AI Trust, Risk and Security Management

The democratisation of access to AI has made the need for AI Trust, Risk and Security Management (TRiSM) even more urgent and clear. Without guardrails, AI models can rapidly generate compounding negative effects that spin out of control, overshadowing any positive performance and societal gains that AI enables. AI TRiSM provides tooling for ModelOps, proactive data protection, AI-specific security, model monitoring (including monitoring for data drift, model drift, and/or unintended outcomes) and risk controls for inputs and outputs to third-party models and applications.
Gartner predicts that by 2026, enterprises that apply AI TRiSM controls will increase the accuracy of their decision making by eliminating up to 80% of faulty and illegitimate information.

AI-Augmented Development
AI-augmented development is the use of AI technologies, such as GenAI and machine learning, to aid software engineers in designing, coding, and testing applications. AI-assisted software engineering improves developer productivity and enables development teams to address the increasing demand for software to run the business. These AI-infused development tools allow software engineers to spend less time writing code, so they can spend more time on more strategic activities such as the design and composition of compelling business applications.

Intelligent Applications
Intelligent applications include intelligence — which Gartner defines as learned adaptation to respond appropriately and autonomously — as a capability. This intelligence can be utilised in many use cases to better augment or automate work. As a foundational capability, intelligence in applications comprises various AI-based services, such as machine learning, vector stores and connected data. Consequently, intelligent applications deliver experiences that dynamically adapt to the user.
A clear need and demand for intelligent applications exists. Twenty-six percent of CEOs in the 2023 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey cited the talent shortage as the most damaging risk for their organisation. Attracting and retaining talent is CEOs’ top workforce priority, while AI was named the technology that will most significantly impact their industries over the next three years.

Augmented-Connected Workforce
The augmented-connected workforce (ACWF) is a strategy for optimising the value derived from human workers. The need to accelerate and scale talent is driving the ACWF trend. The ACWF uses intelligent applications and workforce analytics to provide everyday context and guidance to support the workforce’s experience, well-being, and ability to develop its own skills. At the same time, the ACWF drives business results and positive impact for key stakeholders.
Through 2027, 25% of CIOs will use augmented-connected workforce initiatives to reduce time to competency by 50% for key roles.

Continuous Threat Exposure Management
Continuous threat exposure management (CTEM) is a pragmatic and systemic approach that allows organisations to evaluate the accessibility, exposure, and exploitability of an enterprise’s digital and physical assets continually and consistently. Aligning CTEM assessment and remediation scopes with threat vectors or business projects, rather than an infrastructure component, surfaces not only the vulnerabilities, but also unpatchable threats.
By 2026, Gartner predicts that organisations prioritising their security investments based on a CTEM program will realise a two-thirds reduction in breaches.

Machine Customers
Machine customers (also called ‘custobots’) are nonhuman economic actors that can autonomously negotiate and purchase goods and services in exchange for payment. By 2028, 15 billion connected products will exist with the potential to behave as customers, with billions more to follow in the coming years. This growth trend will be the source of trillions of dollars in revenues by 2030 and eventually become more significant than the arrival of digital commerce. Strategic considerations should include opportunities to either facilitate these algorithms and devices, or even create new custobots.

Sustainable Technology
Sustainable technology is a framework of digital solutions used to enable environmental, social and governance (ESG) outcomes that support long-term ecological balance and human rights. The use of technologies such as AI, cryptocurrency, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing is driving concern about the related energy consumption and environmental impacts. This makes it more critical to ensure that the use of IT becomes more efficient, circular, and sustainable. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2027, 25% of CIOs will see their personal compensation linked to their sustainable technology impact.

Platform Engineering
Platform engineering is the discipline of building and operating self-service internal development platforms. Each platform is a layer, created and maintained by a dedicated product team, designed to support the needs of its users by interfacing with tools and processes. The goal of platform engineering is to optimise productivity, the user experience and accelerate delivery of business value.

Industry Cloud Platforms
By 2027, Gartner predicts more than 70% of enterprises will use industry cloud platforms (ICPs) to accelerate their business initiatives, up from less than 15% in 2023. ICPs address industry-relevant business outcomes by combining underlying SaaS, PaaS and IaaS services into a whole product offering with composable capabilities. These typically include an industry data fabric, a library of packaged business capabilities, composition tools and other platform innovations. ICPs are tailored cloud proposals specific to an industry and can further be tailored to an organisation’s needs.

This year’s top strategic technology trends highlight those trends that will drive significant disruption and opportunity for CIOs and other IT leaders within the next 36 months.

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