Gartner, Inc. has unveiled its top strategic tech trends for 2024, offering the business world a glimpse into the future of technology-driven innovation.
As organisations worldwide grapple with massive technological disruptions and unprecedented socio-economic uncertainties, understanding and embracing these trends will give proactive businesses an advantage when it comes to sustainability and long-term business success.
Let’s dive into the tech trends Gartner has identified and what they could potentially mean for local businesses.
Democratised Generative AI
By 2026, Gartner says that over 80% of enterprises will have integrated generative AI (GenAI) APIs and models or deployed GenAI-enabled applications in production environments. The coming together of pre-trained models, cloud computing, and open-source initiatives is making GenAI accessible to anyone who wants to use it.
This trend has profound implications for South African businesses, giving rise to the democratisation of knowledge and skills and making them more accessible. GenAI applications can potentially unlock vast troves of useful information and thereby level the playing field for local businesses looking to compete more effectively against global companies.
AI Trust, Risk, and Security Management
The democratisation of AI has heightened the need for AI trust, risk, and security management (TRiSM). Without proper precautions and guidelines, AI models can spiral out of control, potentially overshadowing their benefits.
But if those precautions and guidelines are followed, Gartner predicts that by 2026, organisations implementing AI TRiSM controls can enhance decision-making accuracy by eliminating up to 80% of faulty and illegitimate information. For South African businesses looking to use AI to filter out the noise and make the best decisions for their long-term health based on accurate information, prioritising AI TRiSM is crucial.
AI-augmented development is set to revolutionise software engineering, not just in South Africa but everywhere. By harnessing AI technologies like GenAI and machine learning, software engineers can streamline design, coding, and testing processes.
This technology not only improves developer productivity but also gives development teams the tools to meet the growing demand for tailored software solutions. As South African businesses seek to compete globally, AI-infused development tools will enable engineers to give more time to important strategic tasks like designing compelling business applications that drive productivity and solve problems.
Gartner’s 2023 CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey revealed that 26% of CEOs identified talent shortage as the most damaging risk. In the coming years, South African businesses will have the opportunity to use intelligent applications that use AI-powered capabilities, like machine learning and generative functions, to do what they need without needing a large pool of talented workers.
While the skills shortage isn’t going away anytime soon (even with the help of Intelligent Applications), tech will step in to help businesses guide and train existing talent in the coming years.
By leveraging intelligent applications and workforce analytics, South African businesses can provide guidance, context, and support to enhance workforce well-being and skills development.
Gartner believes this strategy will yield positive business results, a crucial factor for any country striving for economic growth and social progress, which South Africa most certainly is.
Continuous Threat Exposure Management
In a digitally interconnected world, effective cybersecurity is non-negotiable. Continuous threat exposure management (CTEM) provides a systematic approach to evaluating and mitigating risks.
Gartner predicts that by 2026, organisations prioritising security investments based on a CTEM program will reduce breaches by two-thirds.
In South Africa, where cyber threats are a growing concern, this trend aligns with the country’s efforts to fortify its cybersecurity defences and protect digital and physical assets.
Sustainable technology is a framework aligned with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Using technologies such as AI, cryptocurrency, IoT, and cloud computing raises concerns about energy consumption and environmental impact.
South African businesses can play a role in achieving long-term ecological balance and human rights by adopting sustainable practices. Gartner’s prediction that 25% of CIOs’ personal compensation will be linked to sustainable technology impact by 2027 underscores the growing importance of this trend.
Industry Cloud Platforms
Gartner predicts that over 70% of enterprises will adopt industry cloud platforms (ICPs) by 2027. ICPs offer industry-specific solutions by integrating SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS services into a comprehensive product offering.
South African businesses can leverage ICPs to accelerate their initiatives and access industry-specific capabilities, supporting the country’s drive for economic growth. These platforms can be tailored further to meet individual organisational needs, making them a strategic choice for local enterprises.
Tech Trends Implications
Gartner’s top strategic technology trends for 2024 have profound implications not just for overseas businesses, but for South African businesses too. As business owners everywhere navigate an increasingly complex technological landscape, these trends offer insights and strategies to make them more competitive and sustainable.
It is our hope that by staying aware of – and embracing – these trends, South African businesses can proactively adapt to the changing technological times, and use them to position themselves for greater success in the coming years.