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5 top technology trends to watch in 2024

5 top technology trends to watch in 2024

In an era when technology is undergoing rapid evolutionary jumps, it's important to stay aware of the latest trends and patterns. Some of these movements are continuing developments while others are freshly emerging, but they're all worth monitoring to see how they'll apply to your company's projects.

In 2024, the major predicted developments include AI finally reaching a suitable maturity level to become an integral part of companies' design and development plans. It's a good idea to prepare to integrate the top tech trends into your business's approach in the new year, and also to stay flexible because fast-developing surprises may emerge later in the year.

Pay attention to these 5 technology trends in 2024

Not every tech trend will apply to your company — it's worth studying all the top concepts, however, to see where you fit into the overall technology ecosystem. Staying competitive can be a matter of spotting an opportunity to add a promising new technology to your workflow.

The following are five trends set to define companies' agendas in 2024, providing new capabilities and offering tangible value to early adopters:

1. AI and Machine Learning integrate into everything

Artificial intelligence's rise to prominence gained speed and became fully mainstream in 2023, and its momentum is set to continue in 2024. Perhaps the most important shift in AI in recent years has been the democratization of processing power. Today, machine learning algorithms and the large data sets to train those tech tools are more accessible and affordable than ever.

Companies of all kinds are finding ways to experiment with AI in their products and internal workflows by using the APIs from major tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, as well as fast-rising startups like OpenAI. These could help get into the AI space with a significantly lower budget than ever before in history.

Generative AI, the type of technology that has accounted for much of the mainstream coverage of AI, is also evolving in new and promising ways. Personal assistant applications capable of communicating in natural language are helping employees complete work more efficiently. Processes that have previously included large amounts of manual work, such as generating boilerplate code in applications, can be streamlined and automated with new AI tools.

With AI algorithms being exceedingly versatile, 2024 can be a year of discovery for companies across industries. By the end of the year, the list of use cases may have increased significantly.

2. Old (and new) programming languages rise

Sometimes, a dominant tech trend isn't about something wholly new emerging but rather a long-time standby reasserting its importance. This pattern is currently occurring regarding engineers' preferred programming languages, as tracked by the TIOBE Index.

Venerable Python is the No. 1 language in the index to start 2024. While Python's popularity has seen a slight decline in the past 12 months, the second-place language, C, declined more, leaving Python atop the chart. With JavaScript moving up year over year, from No. 7 to No. 6, it's clear that these older languages have life in them and an enduring place among developers.

Python's continued reign atop the chart is partly attributable to its use in machine-learning applications. The current focus on AI and ML has driven new demand for Python and helped it maintain its popularity in the face of new challengers.

While Python, C, JavaScript and other existing stalwarts sit atop the index, engineers are also finding interesting use cases for newer languages. This includes Go, which is sitting at 11th place, and Rust, at No. 19. Go has support from Google, and Rust is based on open-source principles. Each will likely remain important in the years ahead.

3. More modularity arises in frameworks and architecture

As 2024 begins, the actual way in which engineers build applications is changing and evolving. Philosophically, companies are becoming less likely to build large-scale applications that offer a long list of features. The new trend involves creating modular, interconnected micro apps that can combine in different ways as the situation demands.

Engineers have been gravitating toward new approaches to app building, including the use of micro frontends and serverless architectures. This new focus ties into the rise of the Go programming language, which is the language of choice for micro-framework and no-framework concepts.

The move toward modularity has been ongoing since at least the beginning of 2023, arising alongside an overall more democratized approach to software development. Related trends include no-code and low-code component development, allowing more team members to take a hands-on approach to development without a coding-intensive background.

Building out a network of components rather than creating large apps is a resilient, future-proof approach to development. Organizations have put these principles into action for years now, and can now be confident that it's a reliable way to create mission-critical products.

4. The Internet of Things and AI merge into the Internet of Behaviors

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a longtime focus in settings ranging from industrial equipment management to home automation. As a trend, it's gone through several phases. The latest, and one companies should be aware of in 2024, involves adding more AI to the mixture to create smart technologies that understand user behaviors on a deeper level.

There is a new term, coined in 2023, for this changing focus: the Internet of Behaviors. In the past, IoT devices have often worked off of limited amounts of information, which has held them back from their ability to deliver sophisticated and proactive responses to user behaviors and preferences. With the rise of widely available and powerful AI, these restrictions are vanishing.

The Internet of Behaviors concept involves connecting smart IoT devices over a network and analyzing data to optimize the system. Devices are becoming capable of predicting when to take actions, such as entering power-saving mode or changing a building's temperature based on their analysis of this rich data set.

Development is ongoing in using AI to tailor smart device performance to user behavior. In 2024 and beyond, smart home devices and other IoT components are poised to live up to their "smart" name, fueled by rapid AI algorithm development.

5. Zero Trust network access addresses security needs

Taking a more contemporary approach to security is not a trend that has emerged in a vacuum. Organizational leaders have seen the damage incurred when companies suffer a severe data breach. The average cost of a breach to a U.S. company is $9.48 million, an all-time high. Embracing state-of-the-art security data principles is a way to prevent organizations from experiencing a similar fate.

Legacy approaches to security often focused heavily on perimeter defense. In today's tech climate, however, those methods are no longer sufficient. The potential damage caused by attackers that enter systems through methods ranging from brute-force password compromises to advanced social engineering attacks has necessitated a change to Zero Trust and other advanced methods.

Zero Trust is based on a few important principles:

These are sound principles that can stop attackers from causing excessive damage, limiting their lateral movement inside networks. In the past, companies have been held back by the large amounts of processing power necessary to implement the principles. Still, recent improvements in tooling and AI algorithms, among other tech areas, have allowed Zero Trust to become a mainstream idea.

Be prepared for the unexpected as tech accelerates

While it's valuable to learn about the leading tech trends as 2024 begins, it's also worth acknowledging that new, unexpected concepts can and will emerge as the year goes on. Today's technology landscape is moving faster than ever before. While in the past, major new themes could take a decade to reach maturity, new ideas can now become relevant in as little as a year.

To keep your organization competitive, you should be ready to study and engage with each new development as it emerges. In some cases, this will mean investing time and resources; in others, it will involve showing caution and avoiding trends that don't apply to your core mission.

Embrace tech trends with expert support

Working with consultants or third-party design and development partners is one way to ensure your new products reflect state-of-the-art design. Experts can help your internal stakeholders engage with emerging trends, not just adopting new ideas because they're popular, but truly putting them to valuable use.

Transcenda's consultants have worked with each of the technologies on the Top 5 list for 2024, and are always on the lookout for ideas that can improve product development. Contact us to learn more.

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