Technology Trends 2024 and Software Development Paradigm Shift
After years of hard work in law school and her own practice, Sarah watched in disbelief as ChatGPT summarized a complex business contract in mere seconds. Her experience is reflective of a broader trend in 2024, where new technologies ripple through the business world and economies. But despite the possible risk in worker redundancy, new technologies also offer opportunities for enhanced creativity, productivity, and competitiveness. The key for companies and professionals to thrive in this emerging environment, therefore, lies in swift and strategic adoption. Let’s delve into how the latest technologies and software development trends are reshaping industries and redefining the dynamics of the global workforce.
Rapid Application Development with No-Code and Low-Code Tools
The influx of no-code and low-code platforms, like FlutterFlow, has shaken software development. These platforms are a key part of the 2024 tech trends. In the face of current economic challenges globally, these tools enable businesses to respond swiftly and cost-effectively. No-code tools are particularly helpful for startups and even industry leaders that need to rapidly prototype and iterate their products. For example, a large corporation could use a low-code platform to quickly develop a digital product to cover a set of workflows and processes that speed up task execution.
According to Statista, the low-code development platform market is expected to grow to $45.5 billion by 2025.
In recent years, low-code development solutions have gotten more and more advanced and sophisticated. Now businesses can prototype and build scalable apps without designing complex software architecture.
And while they’re nowhere near to replacing programmers, developers, or software architects, low code platforms can handle the creation of user interfaces, process designing, and database creation and implementation.
Low-code development can significantly cut down the time necessary for traditional development — a huge benefit for businesses that need to adjust their operations quickly.
Complex business processes still require experienced software engineers. But low-code platforms help companies quickly build and implement software that targets easy and repeatable processes. This way, engineers can focus on more complex processes and systems.
Apple Vision Pro's Market Impact
The release of Apple Vision Pro can significantly invigorate the augmented reality and virtual reality tech sector. The headset is expected to not only boost competition but also set new standards for immersive experiences. In the professional sphere, for example, architects could use Apple Vision Pro to visualize building designs in a fully immersive environment, enhancing their design process. In entertainment, this device could remodel the way people experience movies or games, offering a twist on the established level of immersion.
While not exactly part of emerging technologies per se, Apple Vision Pro does offer an innovative spin on the available devices, catering to a stirring interest and audience that eagerly awaits truly immersive AR glasses.
AR/VR Usage Increase
We’ve been talking about it a lot in recent months — we’re likely to see increased adoption of AR and VR devices and applications in 2024 and beyond.
Consumers are increasingly interested in AR/VR assisted online shopping experiences. And with better hardware and faster internet speeds, the trends is likely to grow.
Intelligent Applications (AI Apps)
Artificial intelligence apps that adapt in real-time to user behavior are set to offer unique and personalized experiences. An example of this is a fitness app that learns from user activities and personalizes workout plans to suit individual health goals and preferences. Another scenario could be a learning platform that adapts its curriculum based on a student's learning pace and style.
Gartner anticipates that by 2026, 30% of new applications will rely on AI and machine learning to create personalized, adaptive user interfaces, a significant increase from the current 5%.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic process automation (RPA) is undergoing significant transformation, largely driven by the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning. This integration is empowering RPA bots to handle complex, unstructured data and adapt to changing scenarios, enhancing their decision-making capabilities. The use of low-code platforms in RPA development is also gaining prominence, simplifying the creation and management of automation workflows. These platforms enable individuals without in-depth programming skills to participate in RPA initiatives, democratizing the development process and allowing for faster deployment of automation solutions across various departments.
The move towards low-code platforms is not just about ease of use; it's also making RPA solutions more cost-effective and scalable. As businesses evolve, RPA workflows can be quickly adjusted or expanded, ensuring that automation strategies stay aligned with organizational needs. This flexibility is essential for businesses aiming to respond swiftly to market changes. Additionally, the focus on enhancing security measures in RPA, particularly with the shift to cloud environments, is making these solutions more robust and reliable. By offering scalable and secure automation tools, RPA is poised to streamline business operations and drive growth in a wide range of industries.
5G Fuels the World
5G is a gateway to the realm of a speed-driven technological revolution. That’s not an overstatement — most of the technology trends of the future will be relying on that connectivity.
According to the annual state of the global mobile economy report by GSMA, by 2025, 5G will amount to 20% of global connectivity. And while the rollout pace isn’t yet astonishing, the hype around 5G keeps the public’s interest and curiosity up.
In 2024, we’re likely to see the expansion of 5G networks and an increasing availability of devices with 5G capability.
The Crucial Role of Senior Professionals in the Integration of Various Technologies
With the growing influence of AI, senior professionals will play a pivotal role in guiding the implementation of technologies and the governance of processes. Their experience and nuanced understanding of user needs are essential in aligning technological advancements with human-centric goals. As AI becomes a more significant part of business operations, senior professionals are not just necessary for their decision-making capabilities but also for their ability to adapt and utilize AI to enhance productivity and operational efficiency.
For example, over 37% of senior leaders surveyed by Korn Ferry believe that the future will include collaboration between people and AI, emphasizing the shift from performing mundane tasks to utilizing human cognitive abilities for decision-making and strategic planning.
Quantum Computing and Quantum-Safe Cryptography
In 2024, quantum computing technology has shifted from pursuing hardware developments and focusing more on detailed planning and refining the technology. This marks a phase of consolidation where the efforts are concentrated on enhancing chip integration and addressing technical challenges. It’s yet another step forward in the field.
On that note, quantum-safe cryptography is becoming essential. This trend is crucial for protecting sensitive data against future quantum attacks. For instance, financial institutions might employ quantum-safe algorithms to secure transactions against sophisticated cyber threats, leveraging the power of quantum computers.
Emphasis on Cybersecurity
With the rise of cyber threats, integrating robust security measures like AI-driven threat detection systems is becoming fundamental in software development. The integration of AI-generated data into applications is not only a technological advancement but also a critical necessity. These APIs are evolving to handle the complexity and diversity of AI-generated artifacts, ensuring not just secure data transfer but also seamless incorporation into existing app architectures. Furthermore, the integration is spurring innovation in data management and governance to ensure that the integrated AI-generated data meets the app’s quality and security standards.
Remote Assistance in Manufacturing and Beyond
Faster connectivity through 5G is a huge opportunity for the manufacturing industry. With speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G — and a much more reliable connection — 5G can be used in manufacturing facilities to develop and implement technologies that increase production and optimize processes.
For example, remote assistance with augmented reality lets businesses tap into the expertise of specialists located anywhere in the world. Thanks to AR, these professionals can guide others’ actions in real time.
In manufacturing facilities where equipment needs to be regularly maintained and monitored, remote AR expertise can help engineers solve complex malfunctions. Field technicians simply put on a headset or use a mobile phone to see instructions provided by a senior engineer remotely.
Edge Computing and Decentralized Applications (DApps)
The shift towards edge computing and DApps is transforming data processing and security. Cisco forecasts that by 2022, more than 50% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud. Edge computing can be pivotal in smart city initiatives, where real-time data processing is crucial for traffic management and public safety. DApps, on the other hand, could revolutionize the way we approach online transactions, offering a secure and transparent platform for everything from voting systems to supply chain management.
Sustainable and Green Software Development
With the growing awareness of environmental issues, there's an increasing focus on sustainable software development practices. The Green Software Foundation reports that if software efficiency had stayed constant since 2000, energy consumption from computing could be 40 times lower. Green software development can be seen in practices like optimizing algorithms for energy efficiency, which can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of data centers.
Cloud Computing for Efficiency and Business Convenience
Cloud computing is set to become more integral to the development process of businesses across various sectors. This trend is driven by the need for cost-effective solutions and the flexibility that cloud services offer. By utilizing cloud computing, companies can significantly reduce expenses associated with on-site server infrastructures.
The cloud offers a scalable and flexible cost structure, allowing businesses to adjust their expenses based on current needs and usage, an essential factor in today's dynamic market environment. According to a recent Gartner report from late 2023, it's estimated that by 2025, around 85% of enterprises will adopt a cloud-first strategy, largely to capitalize on these cost benefits. This shift not only reflects the growing reliance on cloud technology for operational efficiency but also underscores its role in fostering innovation and agility in business processes. As cloud computing continues to evolve, its impact on reducing overheads and offering adjustable cost models will undoubtedly be a key factor in its widespread adoption.
With their reduced costs and low-latency, distributed cloud services will likely overtake traditional cloud computing.
In distributed cloud computing, cloud machines are located in different physical locations. This lets businesses use cloud services that are closer to them physically and get faster data processing times.
Also, when the cloud server is located in the same country as that of the company using the service, it helps companies adhere to laws that require them to store the data in a specified geographical location.
Distributed cloud services can form local subnets, which decreases the risk of network failure in case one service goes down. Also, many different data hosting locations in the distributed cloud environment increase service availability and lowers latency.
In short, distributed cloud services can address the changing business requirements with seamless performance.
Ethical AI and Responsible Development
As AI permeates more aspects of life, ethical considerations are becoming more prominent. According to a Capgemini report, 62% of organizations are demanding AI ethics guidelines and frameworks. A real-world application of ethical AI is in recruitment software that is designed to eliminate biases in candidate selection, ensuring a fair and diverse hiring process.
Privacy Control and Regulation
All that interconnectedness and data collection will result in a growing pressure on governments to start implementing tighter security and privacy methods. We can see higher regulatory activity from governments to combat the growing threat of privacy misuse.
Gartner predicts that within five years, half of large companies will have privacy-enhancing computation implemented to process data in unsecured environments.
Privacy-enhancing computation comes in three forms, trusted processing environment, decentralized processing, or data transformation (i.e., encryption).
The Dominance of Streaming Service Providers
Streaming services have been steadily pounding down the traditional video delivery model. In 2022, streaming service providers grabbed a huge chunk of the video market.
Now, the streaming industry is huge, stretching well beyond Netflix, with HBO, Prime, SkyShowtime, Disney, Hulu, Apple TV, and other video streaming companies. Streaming companies compete in creating original content to attract more clients.
Internet of Behavior
Activity trackers, phones, smartglasses, cars, cameras, and plenty of other devices collect data about you and your close ones. From your physical geographic location to your browsing history to even face recognition, companies have data galore about you.
The analysis of this highly personal data (your behavior, interests, and preferences) gathered by the Internet of Things devices is dubbed the Internet of Behavior (IoB). They can be build using multi-platform frameworks such as Flutter for embedded systems.
The more we use online services and connected devices the larger amount of personal data we leave behind. Companies know very well about our political preferences, where we live, what we do, what we believe in, what our interests are, who we associate with, etc.
This data along with a slew of information coming from devices that are yet to enter the market (e.g., smartglasses that know exactly where you look at any given moment) will give businesses an unprecedented wealth of information to use to influence our behavior.
But the IoB also means several customer benefits — for example, the more data about driving patterns is collected from connected cars, the better driving experiences the automotive companies can build.
In 2024, we’re likely to see companies use the data from connected devices to create extremely personalized offers and products.
Remote Work Solutions
Remote work was a big revelation in 2020 — many companies that lacked remote work capacity quickly adopted remote work solutions. Even companies who previously thought their staff wouldn’t perform equally well in the remote model have found that remote work increased employee satisfaction while keeping productivity stable.
2024 is the continuation of the remote work trend, with many companies either extending their work-from-home policies or simply enabling staff to work remotely long-term.
Forrester predicted that a lot of the workforce would come back to the office, but the number of remote employees is still high, and well above the numbers before the pandemic.
The increase in the remote workforce will of course prompt the evolution of areas that specifically target the challenges coming from the remote work model, i.e., tools, technology, management, and leadership.
That said businesses bet on artificial intelligence and robotic process automation to help employees perform their duties more effectively.
The 2020 global crisis revealed the need for companies to be nimble and agile in both technological adoption and business pivoting. In 2024, the situation is very much the same. Large companies with stable workforce numbers in the past now seek employment reductions to satisfy shareholders with revenues. Enter hyperautomation.
Hyperautomation in business promotes the idea of automating every process and workflow eligible for automation. Especially those companies that rely on legacy technologies should look into hyperautomation to avoid losing money on archaic business processes.
Legacy processes are a serious hindrance that don’t allow any optimization, have little integration capabilities, and perpetuate overhead. The streamlining and automation of processes is a key differentiator for companies looking to rebound from the recession. And the growing capabilities of AI solutions can only help companies improve their operations and refine their processes.
New Technologies Spur New Business Models
New technologies are monumental opportunities for business leaders in the near future. They are key to shaping socioeconomic changes for better short- and long-term outcomes. The emergence of generative AI, the surge in computing power, and the drive towards consuming less energy are pivotal in building highly adaptive experiences that benefit professionals, companies, and individuals. These new technologies and approaches, while demanding a shift in traditional business models and work paradigms, offer a canvas for new and inspiring ideas.
Generative AI is not just a tool for automation; it's a partner in creativity, helping to ideate and design in ways previously unimaginable. The increased computing power now available makes complex tasks more feasible, allowing businesses to tackle problems with greater speed and accuracy. Importantly, the trend towards using less energy in computing is not only an environmental imperative but also a cost-saving strategy, enabling more sustainable growth.