In an era where technological evolution is not just rapid but also transformative, understanding emerging tech trends becomes crucial for anyone seeking to thrive in the modern digital landscape. These trends, as identified by renowned entities like Gartner, often serve as a compass pointing toward the future directions of innovation, market shifts, and societal changes. Their significance transcends industries and roles: for entrepreneurs, they highlight new opportunities and markets; for professionals, they suggest evolving skill sets and knowledge areas; for consumers, they forecast changes in daily life and interaction with technology.
In essence, a clear grasp of upcoming tech trends is a strategic tool – a lens through which we can envision the future, and more importantly, shape it.
AI Trust, Risk and Security Management (AI TRiSM)
- What It Is: AI TRiSM refers to the frameworks, tools, and methodologies aimed at ensuring the trustworthiness, security, and ethical applications of AI models. It encompasses facets like data biases, model transparency, and the broader ethical considerations surrounding AI deployment. According to Capgemini, 62% of consumers want companies to provide more details about how their AI models work.
- Why It’s Trending Now: As AI systems become more integrated into daily operations and decision-making processes across industries, the consequences of their actions—and potential mistakes—become more significant. There’s a growing recognition that trust in AI isn’t just about model accuracy but also about understanding and mitigating potential risks.
- Future Impact: We can expect the development of standardized protocols and certifications related to AI trustworthiness. Companies that prioritize AI TRiSM will likely enjoy greater trust from consumers and may have a competitive edge in markets that value transparency and ethics.
Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM)
- What It Is: CTEM is a proactive approach to cybersecurity that emphasizes continuous monitoring and adaptive responses to threats, rather than periodic assessments. According to Webroot, the average lifecycle of a phishing site is under 15 hours, emphasizing the need for continuous monitoring.
- Why It’s Trending Now: The digital landscape is evolving rapidly, and with it, so does the sophistication of cyber threats. Traditional methods of periodic security checks are no longer sufficient in this dynamic environment.
- Future Impact: The shift to CTEM will lead to more robust and resilient digital infrastructures. Organizations will increasingly rely on AI and machine learning to monitor, predict, and respond to threats, leading to the creation of more adaptive security solutions. Watch out for companies such as Crowdstrike, Palo Alto Networks, and FireEye in this space.
- What It Is: Rather than traditional software development, platform engineering focuses on creating adaptable, scalable, and modular platforms that can cater to varied and changing market needs.
- Why It’s Trending Now: The digital ecosystem is becoming more complex. Companies need flexible solutions that can quickly adapt to new technologies, integrations, and user requirements. IDC predicts that by 2023, 60% of the Global 2000 companies will have a digital developer ecosystem, highlighting the shift to platform approaches.
- Future Impact: The shift towards platform engineering will redefine how software solutions are conceptualized, developed, and deployed. It will enable faster innovation cycles and more integrated digital experiences for end-users.
- What It Is: This involves integrating AI into software development processes to automate, optimize, and enhance various stages from coding to testing. Gartner predicts that by 2024, low-code application development will account for over 65% of application development activity.
- Why It’s Trending Now: The demand for software solutions is growing, but there’s a shortage of skilled developers. AI offers a way to bridge this gap, making development faster and more efficient. Microsoft (Power Platform), Google’s AutoML, and OpenAI Codex are interesting products to watch for in this space!
- Future Impact: Software development will become more democratized, with AI tools enabling even non-experts to create sophisticated applications. Moreover, software quality and efficiency might see significant improvements due to AI-driven optimizations.
Industry Cloud Platforms
- What It Is: These are specialized cloud solutions tailored for specific industries, embedding features, standards, and regulations unique to each sector. IDC estimated that industry cloud spending would reach $29 billion in 2021, with healthcare and manufacturing leading the charge. Companies like Veeva Systems (Life Sciences Cloud), GE Predix (for industrial IoT), and Cerner (for healthcare) are already on their way to establishing cloud platforms for their industry.
- Why It’s Trending Now: As more industries undergo digital transformation, there’s a need for cloud solutions that address industry-specific challenges and compliance requirements.
- Future Impact: The proliferation of industry cloud platforms will streamline digital adoption across sectors, enabling businesses to harness the power of the cloud more effectively and ensuring industry standards are met with less customization.
- What It Is: These are software applications that can learn from user interactions, predict user needs, and provide proactive solutions, enhancing the overall user experience.
- Why It’s Trending Now: With advancements in machine learning and data analytics, there’s a push for applications that offer more personalized and adaptive experiences. Products like Adobe (Sensei, their AI platform), Salesforce (Einstein), and Oracle (with their Adaptive Intelligent Apps) are positioned well to take advantage of this trend.
- Future Impact: As these applications become mainstream, users will come to expect software that not only serves a function but also anticipates needs, leading to more intuitive and intelligent digital interactions.
Democratized Generative AI
- What It Is: Generative AI models, like those that can create content, are becoming more user-friendly and accessible to a broader audience.
- Why It’s Trending Now: Tools like GPT and DALL·E have showcased the potential of generative AI, sparking interest in making these capabilities available to more people.
- Future Impact: We might see a surge in AI-generated content across media. This democratization could lead to new forms of art, entertainment, and information, reshaping creative industries.
Augmented Connected Workforce
- What It Is: This trend refers to tools and technologies, including AR and VR, that enhance virtual collaboration and simulate in-person work environments.
- Why It’s Trending Now: The global shift towards remote work, accelerated by events like the COVID-19 pandemic, has created a demand for better virtual collaboration tools. After the pandemic of 2021, Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week. Zoom, Microsoft (Teams and their HoloLens for AR), and Oculus for Business are making a play to capitalize.
- Future Impact: The boundaries between physical and virtual workspaces will blur. Companies will invest more in technologies that enhance remote work, leading to a more interconnected global workforce.
- What It Is: This concept envisions machines, algorithms, or automated systems acting as consumers, making decisions or transacting without human intervention.
- Why It’s Trending Now: With advancements in IoT and automation, machines are increasingly interfacing directly with other systems, leading to scenarios where they act autonomously based on predefined algorithms or learned behaviors. : IHS Markit predicts that the IoT market will grow to 75 billion devices by 2025, many of which will interface directly with services and other systems.
- Future Impact: The economy will need to adapt to cater to these new “customers.” This shift could reshape supply chains, e-commerce, and service delivery, creating new opportunities and challenges for businesses.
Each of these trends highlights the rapidly evolving nature of technology and its deepening impact on our lives and businesses. The future holds promise for more integrated, intelligent, and responsive technological ecosystems.