New year, new tech.
The fast-paced world of technology continues to evolve at a breakneck speed and reshape the way we work. From AI achievements to cloud computing advancements, and more, 2024 promises to bring a lot of tech innovation.
“The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.” – Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web
Let’s dive into the technology trends you simply can't miss out on.
The ethics of generative AI (genAI)
GenAI isn’t exactly a brand-new technology, but it’s still a hugely popular one—and a tool that continues to grow exponentially. While this tech went mainstream in 2023, you can expect it to become more powerful and for more people to embrace it in the coming months (for example, developers are already using ChatGPT and other similar tools).
Of course, concerns that generative AI will make a lot of people redundant still abound. For example, a 2023 BanklessTimes report estimates that 800 million jobs (30% of the global workforce) could be displaced by 2030.
Others see it as an opportunity to streamline day-to-day operations. GenAI can be used as a personal assistant, as a code debugger, and so much more, helping to boost productivity and efficiency.
But it’s the concerns that will come into display in 2024. More specifically, the ethics of generative AI. We’ve already seen authors outraged that their copyrighted works were used to train AI, such as the case with Books3.
For some, the solution may include synthetic data, which is generated by AI after it’s been trained on real-world examples. The AI learns patterns and correlations and applies them when access to real-world data should be limited (especially if there are privacy concerns).
For example, in software development, synthetic data can provide realistic datasets for developers to work with—however, it may not always be able to replicate real-world datasets and their complexity.
Other generative AI concerns include:
- Harmful content being distributed, whether on purpose or unintentionally.
- Issues with data privacy and sensitive information.
- AI showcasing bias (from the training materials it received).
- Lack of data accuracy.
“Generative AI applications could exacerbate data and privacy risks; after all, the promise of large language models is that they use a massive amount of data and create even more new data, which are vulnerable to bias, poor quality, unauthorized access, and loss.
“Employees entering sensitive data into public generative AI models is already a significant problem for some companies. Generative AI, which may store input information indefinitely and use it to train other models, could contravene privacy regulations that restrict secondary uses of personal data.” – PwC’s GenAI risk playbook
It’s clear that a thoughtful approach to generative AI is needed, especially as it becomes more widely used. This means an increased focus on privacy, transparency, accountability, anti-discrimination, and more.
Growth of platform engineering
“Platform engineering is a practice built up from DevOps principles that seeks to improve each development team’s security, compliance, costs, and time-to-business value through improved developer experiences and self-service within a secure, governed framework.” – Microsoft
Based on DevOps principles, platform engineering focuses on creating and maintaining a development platform or environment that improves the efficiency of development teams. The platform is tailored to your internal development practices and offers developers a standardized, secure, and scalable self-service function.
Platform engineers are responsible for designing and implementing the infrastructure applications will run on, monitoring performance, and automating the product development lifecycle.
Platform engineering can improve the quality of a project, as well as development consistency, versatility, efficiency, and platform uptime.
Some of the challenges of platform engineering include cost and complexity, as well as the risk of compatibility issues with other projects.
According to Gartner, “By 2026, 80% of large software engineering organizations will establish platform engineering teams as internal providers of reusable services, components, and tools for application delivery. Platform engineering will ultimately solve the central problem of cooperation between software developers and operators.”
A boost in cloud computing
Cloud computing allows individuals and organizations to access and use resources (like storage, databases, software, etc.) over the internet—A.K.A., the cloud. There are many benefits to this tech, including reduced costs, a boost in efficiency, the ability to easily scale, and an increase in flexibility.
While this isn’t technically new (SaaS products are a good example), you can still expect a surge in cloud computing services in 2024.
Multicloud is one such approach. This tech uses cloud services from different providers, meaning it can be a combination of public, private, and hybrid clouds. The benefits of a multicloud environment are that it can mitigate risks, help people optimize resources, and provide them with more flexibility.
Examples of multicloud services are Kubernetes and Google’s Anthos.
Adoption of serverless computing
According to Microsoft, “serverless computing enables developers to build applications faster by eliminating the need for them to manage infrastructure. With serverless applications, the cloud service provider automatically provisions, scales, and manages the infrastructure required to run the code.”
The move towards serverless computing can be explained by its many benefits, including cost-effectiveness, scalability, and event-driven architecture.
Another tech trend developer marketers should consider in 2024 is a move toward improved cybersecurity. We spoke about privacy issues with generative AI, and it’s clear that this is a concern for many, including developers. After all, ChatGPT already experienced data breaches.
“Traditionally, identifying and exploiting complex, one-off API vulnerabilities required human intervention. AI is now changing this landscape, automating the process, and enabling cost-effective, large-scale attacks. In 2024, I predict a notable increase in the sophistication and scalability of attacks.” – Shay Levi, CTO and Co-Founder of Noname Security
In 2023, 34 local US governments experienced ransomware attacks and, just in the month of March, there were 459 ransomware attacks reported by security firms. It’s expected that, in 2024, high-value targets will suffer these types of attacks, as more and more groups seek to extort them.
To mitigate this, you can also expect cybersecurity efforts to increase, and for security firms to get creative when it comes to stopping breaches, leaks, and attacks. For example, many are now using AI as a cybersecurity tool, as it helps “security researchers in code analysis and reverse engineering”.
Gartner says that, in 2024, “worldwide end-user spending on security and risk management is projected to total $215 billion”, which amounts to an increase of 14.3% from 2023. It’ll be interesting to see if this is enough and can help prevent the surge of attacks that are expected to flood us this year.
A change to blockchain and crypto
We can expect to see an increase in decentralization of blockchain in 2024—for instance, decentralized finance (DeFi), will continue to grow and offer alternatives to traditional financial services.
Central banks will continue to explore central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), so there’ll be more programs in 2024, with the eurozone, UK, China, India, and Brazil the next to introduce these currencies.
“AI, for instance, could amplify some of the benefits of CBDCs. It could improve financial inclusion by providing rapid, accurate credit scoring based on various data. It could provide personalized support to people with low financial literacy. To be sure, we need to protect personal privacy and data security, and avoid embedded biases so we don’t perpetuate inequality but aim to reduce it. Managed prudently, AI could help.
“Another important potential transformation resulting from the work of many of you is the tokenization of financial assets, such as bonds issued on blockchains. This opens another door to CBDC, potentially in wholesale form, to pay for those assets.
“So countries should continue exploring CBDCs.” – IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva
A focus on datafication
The datafication market was valued at $285 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $883 billion by 2032. This process is all about transforming several aspects of daily life into data through modern tech and analytics (this could be social media habits, for example).
Datafication isn’t new, but we’re set to see it being implemented further this year.
“All aspects of our lives, business, and society are today being turned into quantifiable and usable data. The fact is the datafication of everything is a reality we must live with today. Datafication helps us derive insights, make informed decisions, optimize, and automate processes, and create new devices and software products. It is forecasted that by the end of 2024, globally 147 zettabytes of data would be created and consumed.” – Ashher Zafar, Chief Technology Officer, PlanckDOT
Gartner forecasted that, by 2024, low-code application platforms would be worth $12.4 billion—and, by 2026, “developers outside formal IT departments will account for at least 80% of the user base for low-code development tools”.
By focusing on low-code and, at times, no code at all, product creation (such as mobile apps), is becoming easier than ever. Google App Maker is a great example of a low-code platform.
So, you can expect a movement towards this type of development, although this doesn’t mean developers and programmers will become obsolete. On the contrary, even low-code development requires a fair amount of technical knowledge and expertise; plus, it doesn’t offer a huge amount of customization, which means creating unique products is harder—as is standing out in an ever-crowded market.
From generative AI to cybersecurity and datafication, 2024 is gearing up to be a year full of tech advancements and innovation.
Here are some of the 2024 technology trends we believe every developer marketer should stay on top of. The tech field is always evolving, so it’s important that, if you create or market products to developers, you also keep up with these changes.
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