Deloitte’s 15th Annual ‘Tech Trends’ Report Finds Business Leaders Working to Balance ‘Shine’ and ‘Substance’ to Drive Outsized Business Outcomes
Report identifies advancements across six macro technology forces critical to business transformation over the next 18-24 months
Generative AI is the tech story of the year, but overfocusing on any single technology risks failing to see the forest for the trees.
Leading organizations are balancing new investments in emerging technologies with redoubled efforts to strengthen foundational infrastructure, core systems and technology teams.
While efficiency gains are low-hanging fruit, businesses cannot “shrink their way to success.” Pioneers are instead seeking to differentiate by using emerging technologies to catalyze growth, sustainability and innovation.
Deloitte’s annual “Tech Trends” report seeks to make sense of what’s now, new and next in enterprise tech. This 15th edition chronicles the growing business imperative to balance today’s tactical needs with tomorrow’s strategic ambitions. It further highlights how AI, including Generative AI, can liberate workers from the mundane, enabling them to concentrate on higher-value, future-oriented work, and boldly posits that in an age of creative machines, creative humans matter more than ever.
- 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 operationalized 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 quickly moving from “talk” to “walk” with Generative AI, experimenting en masse. That said, leaders are turning the corner from “art of the possible” to “art of the profitable” by laying a firm foundation, prioritizing data modernization, identity and access management, spend governance, hybrid architectures, and monitoring and observability. Leaders are further recognizing 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 maximize their existing investments. Next up: Classical computing further augmented by rapidly maturing “post-digital” paradigms like quantum and neuromorphic computing.
- 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: 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 organization. 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 defense. Leading organizations are further responding through a mix of policies and technologies designed to more 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 centers, and other systems in dire need of modernization. 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 prioritize those that need treatment. Directionally, this posture paves a path towards more personalized and cost effective remediations across the tech stack, even self-healing technologies that reduce tomorrow’s modernization spend.