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It's been just over a year since OpenAI upended the IT world (not to mention the world at large) by launching ChatGPT 3.5 as a "research release" at the end of November 2022. But ChatGPT's impact in that brief time has been monumental. In December 2022, the service saw nearly 153 million visits, which grew more than 1,000% to 1.7 billion users by October 2023.

Other IT companies, including Google and Microsoft, quickly followed suit, expediting the release of their generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools. And legislators, alarmed by doomsday scenarios, rapidly took notice and started discussing ways to regulate the technology. 

While generative AI made an enormous impact in 2023, it's still in its infancy. Given its rate of change so far, it's hard to imagine how its evolution and influence will alter the tech world in 2024 — and how businesses, governments, and individuals will respond. 

AI is not the only technology that will make an impact in 2024; many of the tech trends we've been observing for years – cloud computing, cybersecurity, and infrastructure – are likely to remain top trends in the coming year.

To that end, we asked IT leaders and analysts to share their predictions about what the IT industry should expect in 2024. See what they say, and let's meet again next year to see how accurate their predictions are.

Artificial Intelligence

As Alastair ("Al") Pooley, CIO at Snow Software, put it, "2023 was the year of AI, and that isn’t likely to change heading into 2024." We'll kick off our 2024 predictions guide with IT leaders' expectations for artificial intellligence, but given its importance, you'll see the topic woven into other tech trends.

AI is Priority

ALastair Pooley

“AI remains the number one priority for most IT leaders. But how these tools are used and approached is starting to change. While interest in new AI applications and solutions will remain healthy, organizational focus and spend are shifting toward improving the AI services already being used [versus implementing] new tools. [Organizations] must balance this pursuit of optimized value with the risk inherent to increased AI use and the resulting need for effective regulation.”

 

– Al Pooley, CIO, Snow Software

AI-Generated Code Gets Very Good

Elizabeh Lawler

“Currently, activities like deep debugging, multifile changes, and using large files as inputs are beyond the scope of most coding assistants. Generative AI and AI coding assistants will move from what some people call ‘junior developer’ level, with a 25%-30% code acceptance rate, to CTO status through embedded context. The ability to add more context, including runtime context, will exponentially increase the value and massively improve the acceptance rate (70% and better) of AI-generated code.”

– Elizabeth Lawler, CEO, AppMap

Beware the AI Knowledge Gap

John Engates

“The AI divide is deepening, the result of C-suites that chose to invest in – or ignore – AI investments. The result? A new class of ‘have-nots’ that operate at status quo, while AI-savvy [organizations] gain surges in productivity thanks to teams that are equipped with efficiency-creating AI tools. Across industries, this divide will solidify the leaders and brands that can navigate the torrents of the economic landscape and come out on top, today and through the coming years.”


— John Engates, Field CTO, Cloudflare

Cloud Computing

As cloud computing has grown, so has the amount of money organizations spend on cloud management tools. Many organizations who've been "all-in" on cloud are starting to wonder if that's money well spent. This makes repatriation and cloud-smart two of the buzzwords we're likely to see in 2024, according to our experts.

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Increasing Cloud Repatriation

Steven Tait

“Many of the original ‘move-to-cloud’ business cases — largely predicated on savings — are not delivering on the promise. We are also seeing a tightening of regulations in some jurisdictions, which have contributed to companies repatriating workloads back to traditional data centers in 2023. While cloud will continue to grow and be the primary hosting solution, companies will also increasingly become more specific about what is hosted in cloud and what remains on-premises.

 

For 2024 and the next decade at least, the predominant hosting solution will be hybrid, and spend in the repatriation and management of hybrid environments will increase.”

 

– Steve Tait, CTO, Snow Software

From Cloud-First to Cloud-Smart Strategies

Jesse Stockall

“Organizations with cloud-first strategies need to shift to cloud-smart strategies. We still have organizations on either end of the spectrum, with some trying to get out of data centers and others repatriating back to on-premises and touting large savings by moving out of the cloud. Companies must have a holistic view across the entirety of their IT environment. Whether it’s on-premises, virtualized, co-located, cloud, SaaS, containers, or legacy, all things are in play. Having a strong understanding of the entire estate is critical for every organization wishing to be cloud-smart.”

 

– Jesse Stockall, Chief Architect, Snow Software

The End of Cloud Lock-In

John Engates

“Ballooning cloud bills will no longer be ignored as IT practitioners begin their mission to consolidate vendors wherever possible. Amidst the chaos in the cloud, platforms that promote connectivity and observability will edge out their competitors, while clouds that hold data captive on their platforms will not survive.”

 

– John Engates, Field CTO, Cloudflare

Cybersecurity and Data Protection

Unfortunately, cybercrime and data breaches are tech trends that seem to worsen every year. That makes securing business data and maintaining disaster recovery plans high priorities for every business every year. Here is what our storage experts expect to see in 2024.

Cyber Insurers Impose New Demands

David Bennett

“The average ransomware demand increased by 74% this year, and cyber claims have already jumped 12%. In 2024, cyber insurers will have no choice but to raise premiums — a lot — to reel in losses or take it upon themselves to advocate for better cyberattack preparation among their customers.

 

We’ll start to see immutable backups as a requirement for companies to be covered by cyber insurance. The ability to get cyber insurance will be a significant driver of the adoption of better data backup practices in the enterprise. Those who fail to adopt will be left without insurance or an effective recovery plan and unable to financially recover when the inevitable ransomware attack hits.”

 

– David Bennett, CEO, Object First

Secure, Scalable Storage Becomes a Requirement

Tony Liau

“Generative AI models produce a vast amount of data. Because of this, organizations can expect to see a surge in their data storage and security needs, leading to investments in scalable storage solutions, whether on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid. Enterprises will need to implement more robust data lifecycle management solutions to determine data retention, archival, or deletion policies, ensuring that only valuable data is stored long-term.

 

Given that AI-generated data can be sensitive and critical, heightened security measures will be the last piece to the accelerated storage puzzle, meaning data security will need to be woven into the fabric of all generative AI projects, including prevention, detection, and data recoverability.

 

–Tony Liau, VP of Product, Object First

Venture Capital

Venture funding is the fuel that can turn a small startup into a major tech company. If your startup plans to seek funding for your business in 2024, read up on (or listen to) the latest startup advice, and you'll want to pay close attention to this expert's forecast.

Investors Want More Than Cool Tech

Tim Guleri

“Securing early-stage VC requires a journey of authentic customer pain discovery. Before even having a fully developed product, it’s common for investors to inquire about the extent of customer interaction. For example, has the team spoken with 30 customers? This isn’t just about building technology for technology’s sake; it’s about understanding the needs, concerns, and pain points of potential users and solving real-world problems…

 

“There will be a slowdown in VC investment in infrastructure Gen AI companies and a shift to verticalized Gen AI companies. The infra layer will be dominated by the large incumbents, the venture investment will be reduced to a trickle, and the focus will shift to vertical opportunities.”

 

— Tim Guleri, Managing Partner, Sierra Ventures.

Industries and Functions

Our experts have shared general predictions that apply across many industries and jobs. However, certain trends apply only to specific types of industries, businesses, and roles. Here are some to consider.

Service Industries

Vignesh Ravikumar

“Looking forward, service-based businesses, like law firms, advertising/marketing agencies, and consulting firms, face the highest vulnerability to disruption by AI. Gen AI’s disruptive potential lies in its capacity to enable companies to achieve massive efficiency, doing more with reduced reliance on excessive headcounts.

 

Service-oriented businesses, traditionally reliant on human capital, now confront the prospect of optimization through Gen AI, where accomplishing more with fewer human resources becomes not just feasible but advantageous for sustaining competitiveness in the market.”

 

— Vignesh Ravikumar, Partner, Sierra Ventures.

Financial Services

Dustin Ping

“One of the key issues that enterprises, especially in financial services/insurance, will face when implementing AI is ‘proof-of-concept purgatory,’ where different solutions are getting stuck in the POC phase and failing to scale throughout the enterprise. One of the ways to solve this issue is through setting specific benchmarks to measure progress during the build and deployment phases and to help make a scale/no-scale decision.”

 

– Dustin Ping, Associate, Silicon Foundry

Healthcare

Melvin Lai

Health and pharma companies are increasingly focusing on personalized treatments, analyzing complex patient data to create more effective therapies. However, they face significant hurdles in handling the vast, intricate datasets necessary for such advancements. This challenge is a substantial market opportunity for tech giants with expertise in AI and data analytics to forge strategic partnerships with health companies.

 

Technology firms can offer their advanced AI platforms (especially with emerging generative AI augmentation) and analytical prowess to aid in the detailed deciphering of clinical and genomic datasets, accelerating the identification and development of new drugs and unlocking the potential for groundbreaking discoveries in personalized medicine.”

 

Melvin Lai, Associate, Silicon Foundry

Skilled Trades

Sam Zheng

“By 2024, we foresee a paradigm shift in skilled workforce training, moving beyond traditional methods. The future of HR lies in creating immersive onboarding experiences, where AI-powered platforms don’t just teach skills – they embed organizational culture and values deeply and effectively.

 

Our data shows this approach can significantly increase both employee engagement and retention, reshaping the landscape of HR in the skilled trades sector.”

 

– Sam Zheng, CEO, Deephow

Retail

Camille Manso

“Brick-and-mortar stores will continue to steal traffic from e-commerce, but not necessarily in the form of new sales…rather enhanced loyalty and fewer lost customers. They’ll do this by sewing the digital experience into the physical store experience.”

 

Camille Manso, Partner, Silicon Foundry

Takeaways

As happens every year, the coming year holds the promise of more groundbreaking advancements, paradigm shifts, and transformative trends that will shape the future of IT infrastructure and operations.

Tech leaders stand at the forefront of innovation, navigating a dynamic terrain of possibilities and challenges. From the accelerating integration of AI-driven solutions to the increasing need to restrain cloud spending, leaders are poised to harness these trends to drive innovation, efficiency, and resilience within their organizations in 2024.

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By Katie Sanders

As a data-driven content strategist, editor, writer, and community steward, Katie helps technical leaders win at work. Her 14 years of experience in the tech space makes her well-rounded to provide technical audiences with expert insights and practical advice through Q&As, Thought Leadership, Ebooks, etc.