For many, a new year is synonymous with resolutions. I also see it as a time to think about the top technology considerations to prioritize going forwards. The holiday break gives me time to digest and reflect on the evolving technology landscape. It gives me a framework to build on, helping to open more rewarding discussions with our partners and customers in the new year.
Here is a quick round-up of my top eight trend predictions for 2024.
1. Internet of Things (IoT)
According to recent Deloitte research, 86% of surveyed manufacturing executives believe that smart factory initiatives will drive competitiveness over the next five years. I have been and remain similarly bullish on IoT. Not only has HPE been working on digitally connected, Factory of the Future solutions for years now, but I am also confident that it will power many use cases across multiple industries, such as media content network optimization and energy management systems for utilities, and smart point-of-sale terminals in banking.
2. 5G/Wi-Fi 6
Following years of exploration and build-out, the 5G market will continue to gain in real commercial deployments in 2024. However, I don’t see it replacing Wi-Fi 6, which is the latest generation of Wi-Fi.
Instead, these two methods of connectivity will continue to coexist, given that each is advantageous for different use cases. For example, IoT will rely on 5G, whereas Wi-Fi will be the method of choice in enabling secure banking. OEMs across industries need to develop converged solutions that leverage both 5G and Wi-Fi to keep capturing market share.
3. Edge computing
Edge computing has been a core focus area for HPE since 2016, when “Intelligent Edge” was announced as the year’s theme at HPE Discover. In 2018, HPE invested a further $4bn into Intelligent Edge technologies and services. And going into 2024, I am still betting on edge computing.
To make the best decisions, data needs to be captured, processed, stored and—most importantly—analyzed in real-time at the edge. The benefits are numerous, including lower latency, reduced cost, and ultimately, value generation. Delivering automated and managed end-to-end edge compute platforms should be a priority for software innovators and OEMs.
4. Artificial intelligence (AI)
Of course, I had to include the buzzword of 2023: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its variants, which include generative AI. At HPE Discover Las Vegas earlier in June, HPE CEO Antonio Neri christened 2023 the “Year of AI” and announced a new HPE AI offering—HPE GreenLake for Large Language Models.
I think the runway for AI is still long, evidenced by the fact that countries are just starting to develop and pass legislation on it. Companies need to put new AI regulations on their radar and ensure that they are developing solutions and use cases that are compliant. I also think that the impact of AI will be particularly significant for the healthcare industry in the areas of drug discovery and personalized medicine.
When paired with AI, robots have tremendous potential to take over mundane work tasks and automate processes. They are especially crucial in tasks that pose risks for humans, such as heavy lifting and foundry work. This is very valuable for industries that face labor shortages and/or fierce competition, such as logistics and manufacturing. Perhaps sensing this opportunity, both Tesla and leading robotics company Agility Robotics have announced plans to mass produce robots in 2024. Robotics is also a use case that can take full advantage of the advances in edge computing and IoT technology.
6. Augmented and virtual reality
The enhanced computing and visualization graphics power that is now available will only improve augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) offerings in 2024. Consequently, I am expecting more widespread adoption of these technologies across industries. And in manufacturing and healthcare, where AR and VR applications are particularly robust, they will only become more deeply integrated as the year progresses. For example, VR will be used more and more in therapy treatments, for both physical and telehealth scenarios. I love this example from HPE OEM Solutions partner BRAINLAB.
7. Hybrid by design
It’s a fact: the world is hybrid. However, most companies, especially those with legacy operating systems, find themselves in a situation that is hybrid by accident. 2024 will see companies that are hybrid by design rise to the most competitive positions. Being intentional about your mix of on-prem, private cloud, and public cloud infrastructure will ensure you obtain optimal speed and performance for your various workloads at the right cost controls.
The first blockchain was launched in 1991 as a project to timestamp digital documents. Since then, it’s been used in a variety of ways, most notably to secure cryptocurrencies. Stepping into 2024, blockchain will continue to mature and integrate itself into new use cases across sectors. The fusion of blockchain with technologies such as AI and IoT is also on the horizon. In fact, we argue that such fusion is necessary for ethical technology because information on a blockchain is fully encrypted and anonymous.
Technologies rarely act in silo, which explains why many of my trend predictions are deeply interconnected. At HPE, we believe that the future will be driven by companies that are edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-driven. If you are looking to advance your industry solutions or digital transformation, we are here to help and look forward to celebrating your successes.