Four Tech Predictions For 2024

    By Ben Gardiner, Content and Comms Executive, BJSS

    Emerging from a busy year of technological progress, dominated by the pervasive headlines around ChatGPT and similar generative AI tools such as Midjourney, we look forward to an equally exciting 2024. Join us as we peer into the future and cast a spotlight on the trends and advancements poised to shape the technological landscape over the next 12 months. 

    1. The sustainability forecast for 2024 is cloudy

    As technology increasingly integrates into more aspects of our lives, it prompts us to question the actual sustainability of our choices. For example, the internet’s entire carbon footprint is estimated to be over 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions - and will only get bigger. 

    Research from Quocirca showed 71% of IT decision makers foreseeing environmental issues and sustainability becoming important or extremely important to their business by 2025. Which is important considering the cloud, arguably now an essential component of business operations, contributes significantly to high emissions due to the substantial electricity usage of data centres. Because of its widespread adoption, the cloud now has a greater carbon footprint than the airline industry, with just a single data centre consuming the equivalent electricity of 50,000 homes.  

    To address this environmental impact, the major cloud service providers are finding innovative methods of increasing the energy efficiency of their data centres. For example, AWS successfully employed advanced modelling techniques, including tools like computational fluid dynamics, to predict and optimise data centre performance. We expect that these kinds of efforts will increasingly become a differentiator for cloud providers in 2024. 

    In the upcoming year, we also predict that businesses will take greater interest in adopting green software development principles to boost their energy efficiency. This methodology prioritises energy-efficient patterns and processes throughout the software delivery lifecycle, with a core emphasis on minimalism.  

    Artificial intelligence also stands out as a technology with the capability to promote sustainability in 2024. Its potential applications include the creation of Smart Cities - urban areas that leverage technology and data-driven solutions to enhance the quality of life for their residents, improve efficiency in various services and address urban challenges. 

    2. A New ERA in cybersecurity threats

    AI has changed the game. However, as new opportunities arise in technology, so do new threats. Unfortunately, with each advancement in artificial intelligence, malicious actors stay on top of current trends, just like everyone else. 

    We predict that 2024 will be the year when AI becomes a standard part of the toolkit for attackers. With a transition to AI-generated tailored malware and full-scale automation of cyberattacks, cybersecurity teams will face a significant threat from the rapid automation of malware creation and execution using Generative AI and other advanced tools. Combined with AI-enhanced phishing and social engineering threats, 2024 stands to be a pivotal year in cybersecurity. 

    Yet, with the rise of criminal threats, the field of cybersecurity and its technologies and techniques to counteract them will also advance. In response to AI changing the game, the information security landscape will firmly embrace the reality that no single tool can comprehensively cover all threats.  

    Emphasising a ‘defence in depth’ strategy, cybersecurity will advocate for a multi-layered approach to fortify systems against diverse and evolving cyber threats. Businesses will increasingly invest in a combination of technologies, protocols, and human expertise to create resilient defences across multiple fronts. 

    3. the world went mad for ai in 2023. in 2024, ai will be making worlds

    The gaming sector, as always, is in a state of constant evolution, shaped in recent years by advancements like virtual reality, augmented reality, and cloud gaming. With the global impact of AI in 2023, the forthcoming year is poised to mark this technology as the next significant trend in the gaming realm. 

    AI in gaming promises to enhance the gaming experience. It will help make unique worlds in RPGs, and create realistic, intelligent virtual opponents and NPCs with adaptive behaviour to live in them. The capabilities of Generative AI also promise to develop NPC chat functions while creating near limitless stories tailored to the player, aided by insights gained from the data on the user’s behaviour. 

    On a development level, AI will also help studios automate specific tasks and support functions, with more than half of design processes expected to be performed by AI within the next five to ten years. 2024 will be the start of this transformative period for the gaming industry, one that will offer exciting possibilities for both developers and players. 

    Nonetheless, despite AI's capabilities, it's unlikely that the technology will be able to emulate the purest forms of human expression or ideas embedded in video games. The immersive gaming experiences that players expect will continue to rely on the distinctive touch of humans. Over the coming months, a key objective for many will involve planning how to effectively employ AI, transforming these potential outcomes into tangible results, and implement them in a way that makes developers lives easier. 

    4. AI may be the hyped technology, but in 2024 organisations need solid cloud foundations to make it work

    While AI may continue to dominate headlines this year, much of the real action will be in the cloud. In 2024, there will be something of a gold rush of businesses investing in the cloud to gain access to the computational resources and infrastructure needed to train and deploy AI at scale. 

    As the tangible use cases of Generative AI across industries and organisations proliferate, investment in cloud capabilities to capitalise on those opportunities will balloon in 2024. Gartner estimates that worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 20.4% to total $678.8 billion in 2024, up from $563.6 billion in 2023, as businesses strive to build the capabilities to leverage AI opportunities. 

    Businesses are, however, currently under optimised with their current use of cloud resources, with HashiCorp-Forrester's 2022‘s ‘State of the Cloud’ reporting that 94% of respondents believe themselves to be overspending in the cloud. These organisations cite notable, avoidable cloud expenses stemming from both underused and overprovisioned resources, along with a deficiency in skills to effectively harness cloud infrastructure. 

    In the coming year, businesses expanding their cloud investment and looking to provide a suitable foundation for AI will need to prioritise optimisation for enhanced cost-effectiveness and performance. To do AI right, organisations will need to do cloud right, and if that objective isn’t prioritised in 2024, some may find they have been left behind. 

    Want to find out more? 

    If you're keen to delve deeper into sustainable technology, cybersecurity, AI, or the cloud topics mentioned in this blog, visit BJSS’s Insights page for a wealth of engineering articles, industry blogs, and podcasts.