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Tech Trends 2024

Top 8 Trends in 2024 Tech-Driven Business Can’t Ignore

January 19, 2024
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6 min read

2023 was a rollercoaster of a year with the AI boom and massive layoffs. It taught us many things: patience, taking innovations with a grain of salt, and considering risks alongside opportunities. Before we dive into the next round, let's take a breather and reflect on what seeds year 23 planted for year 24.

Democratized AI as a Partner for Businesses

This year, we swung from excitement to fear of AI and back. Now, after the dust settles, we have a clearer vision of what AI can and can't do. We gave it a niche to this latest technology trend alongside understanding its weaknesses and limits.

While not particularly good at making decisions (driving a car involves many of those), it can extend our possibilities as partners. Generative AI permeates eCommerce and HealthTech with chatbots. Machine learning assists you with content management with analytics and automation. If it is not everywhere yet, it will be soon. Thanks to APIs, developers can access AI without building one.

And there are plenty of open-source GenAI models that prove the flexibility and diversity of the technology. 

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Why should we care?

Let's explore what possibilities the AI revolution offers:

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AI TRisM: setting ground rules for AI trustworthiness and precision

Mass adoption of AI is what made 2023 so special. But with great popularity comes great responsibility as the attack surface on the trending technology grows. Deloitte considers these four key risks that AI imposes on businesses:

  • phishing;
  • deep fakes;
  • prompt injection;
  • misinformation.

AI TRisM aims to address each by introducing its core principles like Transparency, Control, and Explainability to the AI model usage. In practice, we can take these steps to implement more robust cooperation with generative AI:

  • make visible how and on what the model is trained to eliminate possible biases;
  • implement continuous control of the model to prevent it from shifting;
  • detect and prevent malicious actions towards the model through ongoing exposure management;
  • educate your staff about possible risks.

Why should we care?

According to Gartner, organizations adopting AI TRisM are expected to improve their AI adoption and align it with business goals by 50% in the next two years. 

The need to control AI safety and reliability leads to designing regulations defining compliance standards for future models and their usage. 

Zero Trust Principles

"Never trust, always verify" will stick with us this year. With the rise of AI threats and the popularity of cloud computing, the old tactics of defending perimeter can't keep up with inside threat handling. Zero Trust can face the challenge of leveraging multistep user verification, complete visibility of connections, network segmentation, and encryption.

Which risks does Zero Trust mitigate? 

  • Phishing and social engineering threats;
  • Hybrid and issues with data location in cloud environment;
  • Preventing an attacker from moving inside the system after the perimeter was breached.

Why should we care?

Zero Trust takes over in the security approach race by addressing risks traditional frameworks did not regard. It may look strict, but it will reward you with better error captions, increased network performance, and simplified monitoring due to its high transparency. 

Maintaining the zero-trust approach sounds like a lot of work to do.

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And we agree on that. Luckily, mass adoption and adaptation of AI technology trends won’t set aside mountains of security work. It can help accelerate the implementation of the Zero Trust ideology, making it more achievable than ever. 

Laying the foundation for data sustainability

Going green is going loud these years, making big players rethink their resource efficiency. You don’t have to look for evidence of the paradigm shift too long - the AI boom we're experiencing comes with a material — and environmental — cost that we want to reduce. It includes shrinking a carbon footprint that threatens to reach 14% of global emissions by 2040 solely from the IT industry, not to mention electronic waste. No wonder sustainability implementation grows from nice-to-have to well-defined compliance regulations.

What does it have to do with data? They say that data has become a new valuable and desired resource — forewarned is forearmed. Developing and implementing new strategies for handling it most efficiently will become a challenge for the upcoming year.

Why should we care?

The good news is that you don’t have to wait for regulations to come into full power and benefit from implementing some of the technology trend’s approaches now. On top of that, when the time comes, you’ll be ready to integrate your business into a sustainable future.

For example, as a small or medium-sized business, you can look closer at data-driven development to gain such outcomes:

  • better interoperability and delegating to junior team members with a Single source of truth;
  • less data flows back and forth repeatedly; hence, you spend less money on cloud providers;
  • informed decision-making and risk mitigation by re-using your and your peers' data.

Platform Development: reusable services and components for app delivery

Another turn of reusability idea is platform development. It promises to reduce the developer's workload and routine tasks with automated infrastructure operations by providing a unified set of tools and components with extendable lore. Imagine your favorite toolbox, and you'll understand what you want from a platform: you know all the tools inside it, the contents of your toolbox rarely change, and you don't waste time looking for missing pliers — or reinventing ones.

Using the platform as a starting point leads to numerous product iterations and facilitates documenting, which is nice to have when you're looking to reduce onboarding time for new teammates. It also helps avoid nurturing a Single Person of failure by making knowledge about the system accessible and standardized.

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The impact of adopting internal development platforms has increased over the years of adoption. Companies practicing platform engineering for 3+ years are the majority — 53% — of reporting significant outcomes, which indicates how long this technology trend becomes a reliable investment.

Why should we care?

Businesses embracing platform engineering can expect streamlined operations, reduced friction in user interactions, and improved collaboration between developers and operators. The strategy's promise lies in simplifying the complexities of modern software architectures, making it more accessible for non-expert end users. This approach addresses current challenges and positions companies for future growth and adaptability.

Low-code and No-code platforms

This concept has been around for a long time, and with the help of AI, it has taken a new turn. But first things first: What is Low-Code/No-Code? We can use an analogy to illustrate that.

You want to create a picture. You can do that in two ways: old-school Da Vinci-like equipped with a blank canvas, paints, and your knowledge of anatomy and perspective. It takes both time and money to master this approach, providing you with endless possibilities of depicting anything you want from scratch — just the way coding does.

Low-code/No-code is more like creating a collage out of magazines. You don’t have to learn how to draw. You take images you like from the magazine, arrange them to conduct your idea, and you are good to go.

The low-code/No-Code platform arranges a collage of code elements for you. It means there’s still some code, but it is represented as a ready-to-use content block or button, the way your end user will see it. It is called visual programming and follows the “what you see is what you get” principle.

Why should we care?

The advantages of Low-Code usage are:

  • approachable for non-tech people — you are empowered to create your web page;
  • rapid development — the results are visible instantaneously;
  • pre-built templates eliminate repetitive tasks;
  • as a platform, it provides space for collaboration accessible for teams no matter how technically advanced they are;
  • enhanced re-usability of components.

Altogether, these perks cut development costs and improve the delivery process's transparency.

WebAssembly

WebAssembly (WASM for short) is a portable binary-code format and compilation target. It means you can create an app in your beloved programming language and swoosh a magic stick to transform it into a browser-understandable set of commands to run everywhere with near-native performance. You heard it right, without rewriting it in JavaScript.

If saving costs on that doesn't sound pleasant enough, WASM only offers you perspectives of delegating hard work. Let's say you’re developing a web app to process vector graphics, and JavaScript can only provide a little help. Like Figma, you can create an image processing in C++, compile it to WASM binary, and provide your users with desired functionalities within their browser. 

Although understandable if you still need to convince. WASM may have problems, namely security issues, memory management features, and debugging complexities.

Why should we care?

After becoming a W3C recommendation at the end of 2019, WebAssembly evolved and was adopted. According to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation's survey, sentiment around WASM adoption is optimistic for 71% of respondents. Growing interest means a request for further improvement, and the WASM community shows responsiveness in implementing it. 

For example, the problem with managed-memory languages is partially solved with the WebAssembly Garbage collector. It joins Wasm and JS memory heaps for more accessible garbage collection. 

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eAccessibility: software inclusivity by design

With over 1.3 billion people with disabilities across the globe who may find it hard to access products and services. 55% of the top 50 eCommerce websites are WCAG 2.1. compliant with the Level AA. At the same time, eCommerce is the industry that faces digital accessibility lawsuits the most in 2022

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What about the rest of the internet? The WebAIM 2023 Report shows that 96.3% of the top million websites have detectable WCAG failures. The point here is not "Oops, someone's gotta need a layer next year," but rather the opposite. There is a demand from users, and it is getting more legislative attention every year, while it should be product owners and development attention in the first place.

Implementing Web Accessibility requirements enhances the overall user experience on the web. If a blind person can approach your app, someone who can't look at a screen at the moment can do it too and notice how much you care about the client's convenience. If your color palette contrast is WCAG-compliant, everyone will benefit from less eye fatigue, and your text will be readable.

What can we do?

This subheader feels more appropriate than a usual one, don't you think? So, let's see what accessibility features we can adopt for a better user experience:

  • introduce Semantic HTML for facilitating access to content with screen readers;
  • add alternative captures for images and subtitles for videos;
  • streamline user flow and keep the number of options per page at bay;
  • enable keyboard navigation;
  • make your design roomy and buttons easy to hit.

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Wrapping up (and wrapping our heads around)

So, how do we survive 2024? After the huge leaps 2023 made forward, we can’t stop nor go back — and we don’t need to. Taking small steps is the pace for the work ahead. That’s how we embrace innovation responsibly and adapt swiftly to new challenges. 

Businesses that take advantage of the interconnection of technologies will find themselves at the forefront of success in the tech-driven landscape. The intertwining of the tendencies pictures a future where technology is an enabler, fostering inclusivity, sustainability, and collaborative progress.

Of course, we are humans and can not predict the unpredictable. So watch out for unicorns and black swans — to recognize, welcome and harness them, as 2023 taught us.

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