Predictions 2024: Infrastructure, software development, enterprise software

As 2023 comes to an end, it’s only natural to think about the year ahead. Forrester has just unveiled its 2024 predictions for enterprise software, software development and technology infrastructure; here is a breakdown of what the company believes will transpire:

Enterprise Software 

Forrester defines enterprise software as “the set of packaged applications that are often used by a given functional area of expertise or vertical industry”. In 2024, the company’s main prediction is that enterprise software vendors will advance innovation needs while also accelerating how organizations consume and invest in enterprise software, addressing topics such as: cloud adoption and generative AI (GenAI) for enterprise software, adequate responsible and ethical governance strategies across business operations, and deeper business functional integration with enriched enterprise wide capabilities.

Highlights from the company’s Predictions 2024: Enterprise Software report finds that industry cloud growth will be slow, with an increase of only 10 per cent.

As enterprises still struggle with economic challenges, in 2024 they will continue to prioritize managing costs out to bring growth in. While many industry clouds tailored to specific verticals have been developed by a range of vendors, adoption will be slow, as it still is expensive and lacks clear return on investment, Forrester says. 

While more companies turn a focus to their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts, amid new regulations from the EU, Forrester says it’s not soon enough for these functions to actually drive change in 2024, as no action has been taken for years when this opportunity was available. They predict that embedded sustainability offerings will fail to make real changes in CO2 accounting.

In addition, when it comes to AI, the report finds that software commitments to GenAI will drive 90 per cent of firms to modernize their core. In 2024, Forrester predicts that the artificial intelligence (AI) hype will continue to grow, however it will be met with marginal productivity and top-line growth if commitments stall with front-office operations only.

In Forrester’s Priorities Survey from 2023, just over 60 per cent of global business and technology professionals familiar with their organization’s tech strategies and priorities expect it to increase its AI investments over the year.

Software Development 

When it comes to predictions in software development, Forrester sees TuringBots all over 2024. 

TuringBots — an AI development assistant technology — are quickly gaining attention in the world of robotics and automation. The term was coined by Forrester itself, who named the tech one of the top 10 emerging technologies of 2022.

TuringBots are robots designed to operate autonomously and interact with their environment using AI algorithms. They find applications in many industries, including industrial automation, home automation, and healthcare.

The Predictions 2024: Software Development report says they will improve software development lifecycle (SDLC) productivity by 15 to 20 per cent. Next year, many organizations will go from experimentation with TuringBots to embedding them into their SDLC.

In 2024, Forrester predicts that Backstage, an open platform for building developer portals, will become the predominant framework for self-service developer portals. The report states that the number of top-tier companies, such as Mercedes-Benz, American Airlines, Ericsson, and Lowe’s, investing in a Backstage implementation is only increasing. Next year, the company expects Backstage adoption to expand and become the number one framework used by IT infrastructure and operations teams to automate and expose infrastructure capabilities in the form of a developer portal.

Predictions also indicate that improved developer experience will be a top five investment for development teams. To better compete in today’s job market where developers are scarce, enterprise technology leaders will make investing in developer experience a top priority to attract and retain talent. 

Technology Infrastructure 

Forrester notes that the technology infrastructure will be “ripe with disruption” for 2024, in comparison to other, slower years. 

One of its predictions is that 20 per cent of VMware enterprise customers will escape the VMware stack. According to Forrester, the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom has changed how VMware customers feel about the brand. The report shares that many are unhappy about significant price hikes, lack of support, and forced mandatory subscription to software bundles.

Consequently, many of VMware’s enterprise clients are exploring alternatives to its virtualization, cloud management, end-user computing, and hyperconverged infrastructure products, despite the company’s dominance in these technologies. 

Forrester’s Predictions 2024: Technology Infrastructure report also shares its thoughts on satellites, noting that next year, satellite will take the lead in rural and remote high-speed connectivity environments.

The International Telecom Union has estimated that three billion people lack internet connectivity. Solutions such as public 5G and 4G can’t help these populations due to lack of coverage in rural areas. This is where satellites come in. Satellites can  provide high-speed internet connectivity for scenarios such as low-density census areas, recreational vehicles, boating, trucking, and agriculture. Forrester predicts Starlink will double its subscriber base, reaching three million in 2024 on a global scale.

And finally, one of Forrester’s predictions is about data centres, saying that half of all new data centres will leverage heat reuse. Today, data centres are responsible for about one to 1.3 per cent of global energy consumption.

With a new law in Germany potentially coming in to effect which requires public authorities, corporations, and data centres to use less energy through practices like heat reuse, many believe that this is just the start of a move towards such laws elsewhere in the world. Heat reuse involves utilizing excess heat from servers to address energy demands outside the data centre.

Next year, Forrester suggests that data centre builders will preemptively invest in this practice to reduce costs and meet their own carbon commitments in anticipation of this new wave of potential legislation.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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