6 Tech Trends You Need to Know in 2024

2023 was a year of questioning — did a human or AI generate that text or image you were browsing? Everything is constantly changing in this industry, and with generative AI entering the equation, that change amplifies exponentially.

It’s easy to get blind-sighted by all the developments and be left scrambling to understand how the next trend will impact you. Enter the new year ready for what’s to come with these six tech trends that will change the way you work in 2024.

Top tech trends to look out for in 2024:

  1. AI takes center stage again
  2. Employee engagement in the digital workspace
  3. The citizen developer movement gains momentum
  4. Data analytics becomes more accessible
  5. Cybersecurity threats intensify
  6. Legislation tightens up around the world

AI takes center stage… again

Generative AI will become more practical and business-focused as custom small language models start to do some of the heavy lifting for generic large language models. This means that generative AI can quickly become your sidekick as it can conduct simple and more complex tasks, from populating graphs in Excel to predicting cyber threats and directing responses in real-time.

In the Microsoft modern work arena specifically, Microsoft Copilot 365 will start picking up as businesses learn to leverage this powerful productivity tool. Microsoft Copilot 365 is a chat assistant integrated into Microsoft apps to level up the way you work. In Word, it can create a first draft to speed up the writing process, while in Outlook, it’ll summarize long emails and draft suggested replies.

Microsoft Copilot capabilities include shortening the writing process in Word by providing a first draft, adding relevant content based on a document in powerpoint, creating data visualizations based on trend analysis in excel and summarizing key meeting points in teams. One of the expected tech trends is for Microsoft Copilot to gain popularity.

Viva Topics will be retired on Feb 22, 2025, and has ceased new feature developments as of February 22, 2024, due to Microsoft’s focus on Copilot.

SharePoint Premium for Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), a solution that extracts and analyzes data from documents, will also become a fan favorite for businesses. IDP has various use cases in different industries, but the bottom line is the same — streamlined processes, lower processing costs, fewer human errors, and faster knowledge sharing.

Capabilities like SharePoint Premium and using Viva Topics for AI and taxonomy-assisted curation of information help improve the quality of that information, providing better outputs from Copilots.

Despite the potential for AI to transform businesses, the CISCO AI Readiness Index showed that only 14% of global organizations are fully ready to integrate AI into their business. More than half expressed concerns about the impact on their business if they don’t act in the next year. With the increasing proliferation of AI, it’s a race against time to adopt this technology.

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Employee engagement in the digital workspace

Last year, a wave of companies transitioned from fully remote to a hybrid working arrangement. Under a hybrid approach, employees continue to experience digital friction from being overwhelmed by an overload of applications and information.

In 2024, organizations will focus on improving the employee experience by reducing unnecessary notifications and digital noise to boost engagement in the digital workspace. As a result, Microsoft Viva, a tool dedicated to creating an engaged and productive workforce, can expect to see a boost in users. Microsoft Viva is integrated into Teams and allows employees to engage in conversations about company news while suggesting actions to improve productivity based on workplace analytics.

Corporate digital workspaces will focus on creating well-designed and functional intranets to keep employees in the loop, whether in a hybrid situation, remote office, or on the road. With SharePoint, your organization can build functional central hubs for your employees to access resources and news — it can even send internal email newsletters directly from the news page.

The four components of Microsoft Viva include Viva engage, Viva learning, Viva insights and Viva goals. Each of the component has distinct capabilities to empower digital workspaces. One of the expected tech trends is for Microsoft Viva to gain popularity.

The citizen developer movement gains momentum

Companies will continue to feel the impact of the significant job cuts they made in 2023 due to the economic downturn. Doing more with less will become the goal with stretched resources, propelling the citizen developer movement.

Citizen developers are non-technical employees who use low-code/no-code tools to develop apps. Citizen developer programs will gain popularity as business leaders face increasing pressure to deliver new applications with tight human or financial resources. Microsoft offers a Power Platform Center of Excellence kit to empower digital transformations in organizations. This kit includes tools to help individuals of various skill levels start automating in the Power Platform.

By empowering employees with technical skills, businesses can speed up product development and free up IT’s time for more complex projects. There are plenty of free resources to help you build a program at your organization or join in on the movement yourself.

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Data analytics becomes more accessible

The saying “data is king” remains true no matter the year. Businesses will persist in combining data analytics with human decision-making. The focus will be on using the most effective tools that allow companies to efficiently peruse large amounts of data.

Microsoft Fabric steps up to the challenge as a central hub that integrates all the analytical tools your organization needs. It creates a data culture by making it easy for everyone to access and understand data insights. For example, you can ask Copilot in PowerBI to create a report showing sales trends, revenue by product, and a forecast. The chat assistant will then automatically populate a report for you, pulling from the OneLake data hub.

Microsoft Fabric, powered by AI capabilities, can empower all your employees, not just data professionals, to make smarter and better decisions. Imagine all the insights your team can unlock with this tool.

Cybersecurity threats intensify

Data breaches were not a rarity in 2023, even for notable companies. X (formerly Twitter) experienced a data breach at the beginning of last year, which affected over 200 million accounts. The issue of cyber security will intensify as hackers become better equipped to launch cyber-attacks due to AI’s increasing capabilities.

Remote work and citizen development opened vulnerabilities to be exploited by hackers. Hackers are using AI to write more convincing phishing emails and create high-quality fake websites. Alongside more advanced phishing, increased ransomware and greater vulnerability of Internet of Things (IoT) devices are anticipated cybersecurity trends for 2024.

Cybersecurity will remain one of the top tech trends for the year to come. It should always be a top priority to protect your company from hackers. Understand where your organization can be vulnerable to a cyberattack and take appropriate measures to minimize risks.

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Legislation tightens up around the world

In response to the rise in cyber-attacks, governments worldwide are enforcing stricter regulations to hold companies accountable. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently introduced a new cyber-incident reporting requirement for publicly traded companies in the U.S. In Canada, the proposed Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA) is expected to replace the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) — the most significant change to Canadian private sector privacy law in 20 years — while the proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) is one of the first national regulatory frameworks.

It’s clear that significant policy reforms are being made as regulators try to keep up with privacy, ethical AI development and cybersecurity. The upcoming legislation may be relevant to your organization. Be sure to keep up with how new developments may impact your business.

 

Stay ahead of the tech trends

The acceleration of generative AI is transforming the future of work and life as we know it. Employees, business leaders and legislators are striving to keep tabs on the newest tech trends in fear of stagnation, which can make or break any organization.

Legacy systems and old ways of practice won’t cut it in this AI revolution. It’s time to integrate innovative tools like Microsoft Copilot 365 into your workflow, creating a productive digital workspace that will prepare your company for a busy yet successful year.

Learn how Copilot can do your busy work for you.

Jed Cawthorne
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