2024 Tech Trends Businesses Should Start Preparing For Now

There’s no question that the prevailing tech trends in 2023 have been focused on artificial intelligence and, more specifically, generative AI. Looking ahead as we enter the final quarter of 2023, industry experts say AI will continue to be a dominant trend in 2024, but it’s not the only tech-related opportunity—or challenge—businesses can expect in the months ahead.

From refining and expanding AI usage to balancing the need to innovate with tightening budgets, there are multiple emerging tech trends businesses need to know about. Below, 20 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss the tech trends they believe will dominate 2024 as well as how (and why) businesses should start preparing for them now.

1. Addressing Potential Power Grid Instability

In my opinion, power grid instability is an underestimated risk. The entirety of the technology industry requires power. As more demand is placed on the power grid, more failures will occur. Businesses need to start preparing now to be more energy-efficient and self-reliant in 2024. Business continuity plans for 2024 should likely include considerations for power redundancy. – Robert Martin, Oil City Iron Works, Inc.

2. Reducing Technical Debt

Businesses need to tackle the growing complexity of their tech stacks. Complexity increases costs and security risks and inhibits innovation, as more resources are required to maintain legacy systems. Instead, businesses need to adopt newer tech that orchestrates business processes across systems and reduces technical debt by identifying ways to consolidate systems and applications. – Paul Deur, ReadyWorks

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3. Incorporating AI And ML

Investing in digital transformation is a technology trend that will still be relevant in 2024. Right now, generative AI is top of mind, and this can be a catalyst for leaders to start thinking about incorporating broader artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies into their businesses. Companies that leverage AI technologies have the potential to experience significant growth over the next few years. – Igor Rikalo, o9 Solutions

4. Readying Teams For AI Integration

Businesses must focus on the human aspect of AI integration. Clearly communicating AI strategy and prioritizing workforce success and well-being are key. Investments in skills development and reskilling, along with embracing flexibility and honesty, build trust. This approach secures business success by retaining and uplifting talent in a competitive, AI-driven era. – Greg Salvato, TouchPoint One

5. Ensuring Ethical AI Usage

As we look to 2024, it’s clear AI will keep revolutionizing how we approach technology and security. Businesses can prepare by educating developers to harness AI responsibly and ethically. Considerations include ensuring control over corporate intellectual property when using publicly available large language models, ensuring that code written by AI is accurate and secure, and using AI that’s trained to fix security flaws in code. – Chris Wysopal, Veracode

6. Focusing On Finance As A CIO

One trend we’ll see in 2024 is CIOs acting more like CFOs. Prudent CIOs will invest time and effort into optimizing their tech stacks to eliminate waste, reduce costs and drive efficiency and do so in a way that doesn’t impact productivity and bring the organization to its knees. Tech—specifically, software optimization—will become an ongoing initiative. – Ben Pippenger, Zylo

7. Prioritizing Repeatability And Scalability

At the beginning of 2024, a lot of firms will be taking a much closer look at their budgets. What may have been enough in previous years won’t cut it any more. The modern firm will prioritize repeatability and scalability of data products over flash and one-off insights. Plan for lean times, and show that you can stay modern without breaking the bank. – Lewis Wynne-Jones, ThinkData Works

8. Accelerating Digital Transformation

In 2024, I expect to see another acceleration in digital transformation. We’re getting used to the current on-demand economy and the apps we use in our personal lives, and this has increased our need for consumer-grade tech in the workplace. I foresee more innovations that will help organizations meet employee demands and streamline operations to recruit and retain workers amid labor shortages. – Mike Morini, WorkForce Software

9. Browsing And Shopping Via Voice Search

In the coming years, we will see more people use voice search for browsing and shopping. Prepare for the continued emergence of voice-powered tech that allows a user to search with their voice instead of a keyword. I recommend adding schema markup to your site, including frequently asked questions in your blog posts and writing conversationally so your site is more likely to get selected as an answer. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

10. Blending Customer-Centric Marketing And Privacy

In 2024, two pivotal trends will intersect: AI-powered, customer-centric marketing and a privacy-first world. A groundbreaking solution will emerge through an innovative “faceless” paradigm in data-driven marketing. AI’s behavioral models will harmonize seamlessly with accuracy, all while respecting personal customer data boundaries. Proactively delving into this approach of dual dynamics will bring best results. – Kseniia Maiboroda, Elevatix

11. Adopting DeFi

As we enter the fourth quarter of 2023, the rise of decentralized finance in mainstream apps cannot be ignored. With blockchain’s evolution and growing user adoption, DeFi is set to redefine banking, lending and insurance. It’s vital for forward-thinking businesses to grasp DeFi’s intricacies and potential now to stay ahead in 2024’s transformative financial landscape. – Imane Adel, Paymob

12. Embedding Financial Workflows In Products

In 2024, businesses must begin to embed financial workflows natively into their core product offerings. In the vast majority of B2B and B2C businesses, including banks, financial workflows form an absolutely integral part of the system—no business really is a business if it cannot collect, move and disburse money while retaining customers. With regulations catching up, drag-and-drop financial infrastructure is key. – Prashanth Balasubramanian, Striga

13. Integrating Brain-Computer Interfaces

The integration of neurotechnology into various applications via brain-computer interfaces is advancing rapidly, opening doors to new possibilities in healthcare, entertainment and beyond. Companies should begin exploring how BCIs can enhance user experiences, create innovative products and, potentially, revolutionize industries by leveraging brain-wave data for improved insights and interaction. – Jagadish Gokavarapu, Wissen Infotech

14. Harnessing Data For Generative AI

The biggest challenge businesses are facing when it comes to implementing a holistic approach to generative AI is data. These models require real-time data from across business functions to unlock value. While many businesses have piloted generative AI tools, few have begun the data governance and data migration work that will be necessary to achieve their long-term generative AI goals. – Vivek Jetley, EXL

15. Achieving Governance And Security Of AI And LLMs

The governance and security of AI and large language models will be a hot business topic. For example, if an LLM is used to build an HR bot to answer employee questions, there will need to be filters and security that can prevent certain staff members from accessing information a human HR rep would never give them. How can we ensure the bot knows that interns should not be able to ask how much the CEO saves in their 401(k)? This is where we will see innovation in 2024. – James Beecham, ALTR

16. Protecting Data Access And Privileges

We know identity is at the forefront of cybersecurity concerns—that’s not new—but I think as we finish up 2023, increasing cybersecurity threats will result in even more action on the smallest level. Businesses must focus on identity management and find new ways to ensure that access to, and the privileges connected with, their proprietary data are proactively protected. – Jim Barkdoll, Axiomatics

17. Tapping Into The Power Of 5G

The expansion of 5G networks will pave the way for the development of a multitude of new technologies and services and the evolution of current ones. Businesses should look into the myriad opportunities in the development of Internet of Things devices, digital twins, and smart cities and communication technologies. – AJ Abdallat, Beyond Limits

18. Merging Physical, Generative And Virtual Realities

In the fourth quarter of 2023, businesses should gear up for the transformative trend of generative AI and metaverse integration. Companies must begin laying foundations for immersive digital environments that merge physical, generative and virtual realities. This trend demands investments in augmented reality, virtual reality and extended reality and generative technologies. – Ranghan Venkatraman, Rezilyens LLC

19. Leveraging Quantum Computing

Businesses should get ready for the quantum computing trend of 2024, which has the potential to change industries by resolving challenging issues more quickly. Early research into quantum algorithms and collaborations can give a competitive edge and result in breakthroughs and improvements across a variety of fields. – Neelima Mangal, Spectrum North

20. Preparing For Emotional AI

In the closing months of 2023, businesses should start preparing for the rise of emotional AI in customer interactions. EAI will soon move beyond text and voice recognition to discerning customers’ emotions through subtle cues. Preparing for this means understanding how to ethically implement it—that is, making sure emotional engagement enhances the user experience without causing privacy concerns. – Marc Rutzen, HelloData.ai