Every year, the world is introduced to the next, era-defining technology trend. In 2022 it was the metaverse, while 2023 saw the rise of generative AI. Some of these technology trends experience a short burst of explosive potential — the hype stage — before falling back to earth as scaling challenges and the practicality of things like cost hinder mass adoption.
In the HCLTech Trends 2024 report, we explore a range of 10 technology trends that are set to disrupt the year ahead. Some are currently in the hype stage, while others are firmly on their way toward mass adoption.
1. Ethical AI, generative AI and machine learning — a trifecta of rapid advancements
There is no doubt that generative AI stole the headlines in 2023, and as advances continue, the technology is set to help re-shape industries and roles in 2024 and beyond. This revolution must be delivered responsibly, with the adoption of ethical AI practices to ensure this new world is inclusive and fair.
In 2024, organizations will embrace the disruption caused by AI, machine learning and other emerging technologies like never before. This dynamic shift has been caused by the emergence of enterprise generative AI, which has propelled the need and advancements in ethical and responsible AI practices.
According to the report, 48% of respondents believe content generation will be the most relevant use case for generative AI.
In addition, 55% believe generative AI will drive the most disruption in the AI segment.
Despite this, only 28% view the technology as playing a transformative role in enterprise over the next few years. This suggests a lack of ethical AI standards are holding back mass adoption.
2. Wireless, secure and private networks driving the next wave of 5G adoption
In 2024, instead of asking why 5G, organizations will prioritize accelerating adoption and generating revenue from new 5G-enabled solutions and services.
Accelerated adoption will be driven by the rise in wireless, secure and private networks and 5G will become ubiquitous across industries as organizations adopt it to drive value-added services to increase revenue streams.
According to the report, 49% of respondents believe the entertainment and multimedia industry will be most impacted by 5G in 2024, followed by healthcare (21%), smart manufacturing (15%) and logistics & supply chain (15%).
Despite the geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges, continued investment in 5G has become a priority. With enterprises becoming more and more data-reliant, the need for strong, secure, low latency and high bandwidth solutions is now required more than ever.
3. A phygital reality on the horizon
The metaverse and its supporting technologies, like extended reality (XR), are set to move out of the hype stage in 2024.
Innovations in display quality, tracking accuracy, haptic feedback and computing power are continuously evolving and advancing, bringing us closer to a phygital reality.
NFTs will also play a significant role in monetizing virtual assets and making them increasingly realistic, while helping confirm digital identities.
According to the report, respondents are excited for the metaverse’s development for three primary reasons:
- Its potential to create new and immersive experiences
- The rapid development of hardware and software
- Its ability to revolutionize different industries
In 2024, XR and other metaverse-driven technologies will shape Total Experience strategies for enterprises, but 53% of our report’s respondents believe that real-time integrations represent a big challenge facing the global XR industry.
4. Data sovereignty and confidentiality in cloud
The cloud is the business platform for innovation and all existing and emerging technologies need to be orchestrated in this virtual environment.
Beyond technology and innovation, HCLTech’s recently released global cloud research, Cloud Evolution: Make innovation a habit, found that cloud has helped 89% of senior executives respond faster to geopolitical changes and 87% say it has helped them respond faster to global supply chain issues.
In 2024, organizations will face the challenge of balancing the benefits of cloud computing with the need to maintain data sovereignty, agility and resilience.
As more sensitive data is stored and processed in the cloud, ensuring data sovereignty — the right of governments and individuals to control their own data — will become paramount. Organizations must also be agile enough to adapt to changing business needs and technological advancements, while also being resilient to cyberattacks and other disruptions.
According to the report, app performance (28%) and reducing complexity (27%) will be the top priorities for cloud investments this year.
5. A low-carbon, eco-conscious future
In 2024, developing and implementing Green IT for a low-carbon, eco-conscious future will continue to be a priority for organizations looking to meet sustainability targets: 59% of our report’s respondents believe that Green IT will accelerate the achievement of sustainability goals.
The growing impact of climate change means that sustainability has now become a business and strategic imperative. Not only is it the right thing to do, but building sustainable working models can provide opportunities for new revenue streams and growth.
The transition to a low-carbon economy will require continued innovation, collaboration and policy support, but the potential rewards are immense — a healthier planet, a more resilient society and a brighter future for generations to come.
Bioengineering represents the convergence of a range of technologies like nanotech, biochemistry, 3D printing, AI, IoT and quantum computing. These will continue to disrupt the life sciences & healthcare industry in 2024, with innovations around genome editing and Organ-on-a-Chip (OOC) technology.
At the same time, personalized healthcare — one of the most prominent and advanced use cases of bioengineering — will accelerate in 2024.
The impact of this trend will also be felt in farming and agriculture, according to 21% of our report’s respondents.
7. Blockchain finds its enterprise niche in decentralization and asset tokenization
With its decentralized and immutable nature, blockchain has emerged as a transformative force, which will redefine the very concept of trust in a connected and decentralized world. By providing a secure and tamper-proof record of transactions, blockchain is redefining trust relationships and enabling new forms of collaboration and innovation. As the technology continues to mature, it has the potential to revolutionize how we interact, share information and conduct business, ushering in an era of trustless trust in a connected and decentralized world.
In 2024, blockchain, by providing a secure and transparent way to record and share data, will take-off in the enterprise. NFTs will emerge as a tool to identify digital ownership and drive the monetization of services in a decentralized Web 3.0 landscape.
This all relies on the development of a responsible and compliant crypto ecosystem through robust and consistent regulatory policies.
8. Hyper-personalized experiences – the Internet of Behavior
In 2024, the Internet of Behavior (IoB) will be used by businesses to forge deeper connections with customers, tailor their approaches and navigate the ever-evolving landscape of consumer preferences.
What is the IoB? IoB stands at the crossroads of behavioral science, edge analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT), leveraging cutting-edge technologies to capture, analyze and respond to user behaviors in real time.
IoB will significantly disrupt various industries by providing new insights into human behavior and enable new forms of interaction and engagement. Gartner predicts that 40% of people worldwide will be subject to at least one IoB application by the end of 2025. In 2024, the foundations will be set, with enterprises exploring relevant use cases that can give them an edge.
9. Scaled use of advanced robots
In 2024, advanced robots will increase in accessibility, flexibility and scale. According to the HCLTech Trend 2024 report, manufacturing (42%), healthcare (36%), transportation and logistics (12%) and agriculture (10%) will experience the greatest impact from the implementation of advanced robots this year.
Ongoing research and development continue to advance the capabilities of robots, making them increasingly useful and scalable in a wide range of applications. Robots are becoming smaller, lighter and more flexible, enabling them to operate in more challenging environments and perform tasks that were previously impossible.
10. Quantum take-off: Not just yet
Quantum technology development is still in its infancy, but 72% of our report’s respondents suggest quantum computing and quantum machine learning will be pivotal in the next 1-2 years.
The potential to revolutionize existing industries is on the horizon, but next year there will be a continued focus on developing the technology and conducting research in the field.
Industries will focus on quantum machine learning, which will revolutionize data analysis and quantum cryptography, which will pave the way for robust security and privacy practices.