"The AI hype of 2023 will recede, replaced by a year of practical exploration. Leading organizations will aggressively explore ways to leverage the technology and build a cogent AI strategy.
But AI isn’t the only name in town. Other emerging technologies and dynamics present massive opportunities. Explore our predictions for trending topics including automation, sustainability, and the future of work."
According to Forrester’s (Nasdaq: FORR) 2024 predictions, released on October 25, in anticipation of the European Union AI Act going into enforcement in 2025, 50% of large firms in the region will proactively invest in AI compliance. Before the Act is implemented, European firms will need to define their AI compliance strategy, including acquiring new technology and talent to securing the third-party support they need. Additionally, as misinformation fuelled by AI-generated images, deepfakes, and faux human influencers rises — 81% of online adults in the US, UK, Spain, and Italy agree that there is a lot of fake news and misinformation on social media — news outlets like the BBC will become coveted sources of information.
Forrester’s predictions analyse the dynamics and trends across different topics and industries, including technology and innovation; B2B marketing, sales, and product; AI and automation, customer experience (CX), and the future of work. These insights help leaders gain a competitive edge to thrive in the year ahead.
Highlights from Forrester’s 2024 predictions include:
CX will improve for the first time in years — thanks to generative AI. The key to CX improvements in 2024 will be behind-the-scenes genAI that helps customer service agents answer questions faster and better, resolve CX issues on first contact, and leave customers feeling heard.
Clouds will launch prompt engineering services — to no avail. Cloud hyperscalers will announce either a preview or the general availability of prompt engineering, the process of structuring text so that it can be understood by a genAI model. Enterprise adoption, however, will be limited.
Enterprise AI initiatives will boost productivity and creative problem-solving by 50% in the year ahead. Generative AI is poised to increase productivity across all IT roles — not just among developers. Additionally, business, technology, and marketing leaders’ investment in genAI in the year ahead will augment employees’ creative problem-solving time by up to 50% — driving customer-centric innovation and creating greater business value.
Generational differences will alter B2B buying preferences. Millennial buyers make up 75% of business buying teams. In 2023, 40% of these buyers will demand early access to B2B product experts. When engaged in face-to-face buying, these buyers find personal interactions with product experts more meaningful than all other in-person activities.
Europe will lead hybrid work adoption. Forrester predicts that Europe will outpace the US in flexible working in 2024, with 40% of Europeans working remotely at least some of the time. The Netherlands leads the continent in its support for flexible working, with 74% of workers allowed to work remotely in 2023. And only 11% of European business leaders expect employees to return to the office full-time.
“While genAI applications are still emerging, enterprises can no longer ignore or downplay its impact,” said Laura Koetzle, VP, group director at Forrester. “Given the risks associated with the technology, European firms will take proactive measures to stay compliant and explore genAI use cases to enhance, empower, and engage employees and customers.”
According to Craig Le Clair, Vice President, Principal Analyst at Forrester, "In 2024, leading firms will surge ahead with transformative automation initiatives, fueled by a new wave of AI enthusiasm. Physical and cognitive automation will be boosted by advances in physical automation and practical application of large language models (LLMs) in operational enterprise use cases. LLMs packaged as autonomous workplace assistants (AWAs) or digital coworkers will augment a variety of operational use cases. Physical automation will see autonomous delivery take center stage, and process intelligence will take a data-first approach."
What genAI, and AI in general, will bring in 2024: Will it live up to the massive amount of hype we’ve seen in 2023?
According to Michele Goetz, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester, "The short answer is yes. 2024 will be another banner year for AI overall, ushering in a new era of intentional AI, where gimmicks and technical experimentation of genAI give way to more focused and strategic initiatives. In fact, this trend is already underway. In our July 2023 AI Pulse Survey, 67% of enterprises indicated that they are folding genAI into their overall AI strategy. Another shift the survey revealed is AI moving away from a practice of data science and model building to what we’re seeing now, with 70% of enterprises exploring genAI under technology organization leadership."
Here’s three of Forrester's 2024 predictions around AI:
Sixty percent of workers will use their own AI to perform their job and tasks.
Eighty-five percent of enterprises will expand AI with open source models.
A major insurer will offer a specific AI risk hallucination policy.
To read the full Predictions 2024: Artificial Intelligence report to get more detail about each of these predictions, please click here