5 Major Tech Trends to Expect in 2024
As we settle into a new year, it’s the natural moment to look ahead to tech trends and developments that are on the horizon. As ever, our analysts will be charting M&A deals and patterns within individual verticals (you can read our 2023 reports here), but here are some sectors and business types which we already know will define 2024.
1. Generative AI will truly disrupt the B2B space
Generative AI was obviously one of the most talked-about subjects in the tech media last year, following the initial ‘big bang’ of hype which occurred the year before that. But, while media exposure reached saturation point, the tangible applications of such revolutionary technology – far beyond simply conjuring up uncanny artworks or walls of text – are still only just being felt.
This year will see skyrocketing demand for AI solutions among B2B companies. As David Morton, chief revenue and customer officer at business process management company HGS UK has put it, AI is will “have a significant impact on the B2B tech market in 2024… This will necessitate every CIO and CTO asking themselves what AI means to their business and how best they can capitalise on it.”
The opportunities for cloud services startups will be immense. Lee Thatcher, head of cloud at IT services company CloudCoCo, has noted that “the surge in AI adoption has so far had a limited impact on the cloud computing market”, but that this is set to change as cloud providers across all sectors invest in AI capabilities, leading clients to “increasingly leverage cloud platforms for AI-related workloads, driving the growth of cloud-based AI applications of services.”
Sectors from healthtech to fintech will be utilising AI to increase efficiencies in 2024. For example, AI can be utilised to generate synthetic clinical data to train healthtech algorithms, improving their efficacy. And when it comes to fintech, Luke Trayfoot – chief revenue officer at Mangopay – has said that he expects “a remarkable surge in AI adoption, not only for expediting financial operations, optimising onboarding processes and enhancing payment acceptance, but for driving efficiencies across the board.”
2. Personal AI will go mainstream
The very concept of personal AI may trigger some people who still have vivid memories of Microsoft’s irritatingly chirpy Clippy bot. But the fact is, his spiritual successors are well and truly upon us, and the good news is they’re considerably more useful.
Big Tech companies and startups have been locked in a race to secure investment for their personal AI “agents” which can truly get to know users and automate every conceivable online task – from handling work projects on your behalf, to presenting product options when you’re shopping for clothes, to dispensing advice as digital life coaches.
While such agents still occupy a fringe position in mainstream culture, we can expect B2C and B2B agents implemented on more and more laptops and phones in 2024, with growth spurred by massive investment windfalls like the $1.3 billion which Inflection AI enjoyed last summer.
3. Web3 gaming will see huge growth
Since 2022, the Web3 revolution has been somewhat overshadowed by the rise of generative AI, but industry commentators firmly believe that 2024 will see Web3 gaming – and the developers behind these titles – enjoy massive growth.
Web3 games utilise blockchain technology and allow players to fully own in-game assets such as NFTs and cryptocurrency. The sector has already made significant strides, with titles like Axie Infinity achieving impressive penetration and VCs pouring significant amounts of money into the vertical. Indeed, total 2023 investments in Web3 gaming projects exceeded the $2 billion mark by October last year.
Yat Siu, co-founder of gaming and VC firm Animoca Brands, has stated that “2024 is a growth year in terms of bringing people on to Web3”.
The simplicity of such games is expected to help them achieve popularity even with those who don’t consider themselves avid gamers – in the manner of Candy Crush – and Siu anticipates that “tens of millions, maybe even 100 million gamers” will be on board, particularly when it comes to mobile, free-to-play games which generate revenues through in-game purchases.
4. Remote health monitoring will boom
The healthtech boom initiated by the pandemic continues to be in, well, rude health. Advances in monitoring devices and AI are ushering in an era of personalised healthcare, which is tipped to become an increasingly prominent part of the clinical landscape in 2024.
Personalised health devices are able to monitor symptoms and physiological processes in real-time, allowing clinicians to get profound insights around the clock, without having to tend to patients in person. Such clinicians will effectively oversee virtual hospital wards, remotely monitoring their charges.
Tech commentator Bernard Marr refers to this as “telemedicine 2.0, because it goes beyond the simple delivery of remote care, such as remote consultations, to a holistic approach to remote patient care and treatment.”
We can consequently expect to see many more fundraises on the level of the $20 million racked up by UK-based remote cancer monitoring startup Entia last year.
5. Demand for sustainable solutions will continue
The need to meet net zero targets, not to mention ESG requirements, has made sustainability a priority for tech companies large and small, and this is a trend that will continue to snowball in 2024. The demand for bold new sustainability solutions relating to everything from greener raw materials to more efficient carbon capture technologies will spell opportunity for impact startups and forward-thinking VCs.
For example, mining companies are tipped to spend more than $218 million on AI platforms by the end of this year, reflecting the significance of machine learning when it comes to detecting mineral deposits, reducing waste and generally reducing impact on the environment.
Digital twin technology will also be in heavy demand, allowing companies to generate virtual versions of machinery, infrastructure and landscapes, thereby being able to predict the precise environmental impact of their projects and mitigate against them.
A fruitful new year
All of this is only the tip of the iceberg for 2024, and we’re looking forward to deploying our expertise to advise companies entering the M&A market in the coming months. If you’re planning to take that step, get in touch to chat.