Skip to main content

Six macro technology forces critical to business transformation – Deloitte Tech Trends 2024

Africa must act now to enable agile thinking, efficient creation, and fast deployment of relevant technology solutions

Johannesburg, South Africa – May 9th, 2024: Deloitte’s annual Tech Trends 2024 report focuses on six macro technology trends and considers the context of today, tomorrow, and future strategic ambitions. Tech Trends highlights how AI, including Generative AI, can liberate workers from the mundane, enabling them to concentrate on higher-value, future-oriented work, and boldly suggests that in an age of creative machines, creative humans matter more than ever.

“Technology is more important for Africa than ever before, to be a catalyst for faster economic growth and to break down barriers to entry into newer segments that were difficult to reach in the past. The report provides clarity on what to focus on now and into the future,” said Omeshnee Naidoo, Director and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Programme Leader for Deloitte Africa.

The history of Information Technology (IT) has been defined by pioneering advances in interaction, information, and computation, which together serve as an enduring source of innovation.

“We’ve all got our eye on emerging technologies, but to ensure we can capitalise on the rapid technology evolution that we’re experiencing, we need to spread our focus beyond one singular hero of the future – namely Artificial Intelligence (AI),” says Omeshnee Naidoo, Director and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Programme Leader for Deloitte Africa.

“While Generative AI stands to transform the way we do things, we still need to place emphasis on empowering the people who use it to stay ahead of next-gen cyber threats.”

Deloitte Africa subject matter experts provide a view of what local business leaders must consider when planning for future transformation and growth. This includes:

  • For African organisations to maximise the true potential of their technology and digital enablement teams, the culture of the organisation must adapt to allow for agile thinking, efficient creation, and fast deployment.
  • Africa does not have legacy infrastructure or other hindrances to contend with, technology advances and new emerging technologies such as AI has the potential to enable the continent to overcome real issues across critical sectors i.e., healthcare, education, mining, agriculture to name a few.
  • Although AI is the hottest trend everyone is speaking about, there is still a long way to go until effective and scalable deployment is possible – that will affect measurable change. Organisations must be thinking long-term while solving for immediate challenges. For example, how can cloud solutions be more effectively utilised.

The Deloitte Tech Trends 2024 report highlights three ‘elevating forces’ which consider spatial computing and the industrial metaverse, Generative AI as a growth catalyst and how business is moving beyond brute force. While the three ‘grounding forces’ consider the impact of DevEx in empowering the engineering experience, truth in an age of synthetic media and how to move beyond technical debt to technical wellness. Read the full Africa perspective here.

The Tech Trends report explores three ‘elevating forces’:

Interfaces in new places: Spatial computing and the industrial metaverse.
Augmented and virtual reality for consumer applications have garnered a lot of attention, but these technologies are making their biggest impact in industrial settings, where companies are using the industrial metaverse to power digital twins, spatial simulation, augmented work instructions and collaborative digital spaces that make factories and businesses safer and more efficient. Accessible, high-fidelity 3D assets are paving the way to an operationalised spatial web, where a digital layer atop reality accelerates ways of working. Eventually, autonomous machines, advanced networking, and ever-simpler interaction modalities will converge into to a “post-screen” future.

Genie out of the bottle: Generative AI as growth catalyst.
Enterprises are working quickly to adopt Generative AI. That said, leaders are turning the corner from “art of the possible” to “art of the profitable” by laying a firm foundation, prioritising data modernisation, identity, and access management, spend governance, hybrid architectures, and monitoring and observability. Leaders are further recognising that Generative AI, at its most strategic, is less about reducing costs and more about elevating ambitions.

Smarter, not harder: Beyond brute force compute.
While cloud services still provide more than enough functionality for most business-as-usual operations, cutting-edge use cases such as deep learning, complex simulations and digital twins require increasingly sophisticated code and computing power. Pioneering businesses are leveraging a heterogeneous mix of hybrid architectures, private and public clouds, hyperscale, niche and edge platforms to maximise their existing investments. Next up: Classical computing further augmented by rapidly maturing “post-digital” paradigms like quantum and neuromorphic computing.

The report also highlights three ‘grounding forces’:

From DevOps to DevEx: Empowering the engineering experience.
As technology is increasingly viewed as a core differentiator of most businesses, tech talent is in turn becoming more in focus than ever. Yet, ways of working are far from efficient — time spent on feature development is trending downward. For companies dedicated to attracting, retaining and engaging the best tech talent, a new focus is emerging: the developer experience, or DevEx, a developer-first mindset aiming to improve software engineers’ day-to-day productivity and satisfaction by taking into consideration their every touchpoint with the organisation. DevEx points to a future of integrated platform choices, intuitive toolchains, development pods and cultural shifts that together better enable both traditional and “citizen developers” to drive tech value.

Defending reality: Truth in an age of synthetic media.
With the proliferation of AI tools, it’s now easier than ever for bad actors to impersonate and deceive their targets. Deepfakes are being used to subvert voice and facial recognition access controls and in next-gen phishing attempts. The good news: a raft of emerging AI, ML and even quantum powered tools are poised to help contribute to the defence. Leading organisations are further responding through a mix of policies and technologies designed to proactively identify harmful content and make employees more aware of the emergent risks.

Core workout: From technical debt to technical wellness. 
After years of investments in once-cutting-edge innovations, companies are grappling with an expanded set of core technologies —mainframes, networks, data centres, and other systems in dire need of modernisation. Those who want to lead in the future need to forgo reactive and piecemeal approaches to technical debt for a more holistic frame: Technical wellness. Preventative wellness assessments help teams identify the areas of their tech stack that can continue serving business needs and prioritise those that need treatment. Directionally, this posture paves a path towards more personalised and cost effective remediations across the tech stack, even self-healing technologies that reduce tomorrow’s modernisation spend.

“Existing systems and investments—represented by the business of technology, core modernisation, cyber and trust—will need to integrate well with more pioneering innovations so that businesses can seamlessly operate while they grow,” concludes Naidoo.

The full report is available for download here.


Media contact:
Geraldine Grealey
Mobile: 076 674 4274