Here is a five-path roadmap that can bind emergent AI sophistication with unified, event-driven data to quickly derive optimal business benefits.

In 2024 we believe organizations will begin to prioritize the business value of AI. Most AI applications today are Large Language Models or generative AI tools for text and images comprising a lot of whizbang and gimmicky consumer-facing applications.

However, when looking at their own AI priorities, organizations will need to focus on business value for their outward product AI enhancements. Every tool they use internally may also have AI enhancements that will bring business value. These additions will push up subscription prices — maybe even doubling the cost per AI use overall.

Edward Funnekotter, Chief Architect and AI Officer, Solace

There is clearly a balancing act that needs to happen to get a cost-to-benefit ratio in the right place. Here are more of our AI predictions for 2024.

    1. AI and data will be better-integrated

      To deliver real business value and intelligent insights, 2024 AI and data will get “productized” into “intelligent applications”, defined as consumer or business applications that are augmented with AI and various connected data from transactions and external sources.

      Technology suppliers and service providers will accelerate investments in additional data assets to improve their competitive position. For AI and data to work together in 2024, what is needed is a connected enterprise, and “unified control” where one platform is used to orchestrate operations across infrastructure; data; AI services; business applications; and processes.

      This means putting data in motion — to direct the right data to the right places and get it anywhere in the world.

    2. Data movement + AI will enable “intelligent applications”

      In 2024, organizations will need to shift from purely data “generation” to data and decision “velocity”. This needs an event mesh, a network of interconnected event brokers that enables the distribution of events information among applications. Using an event mesh makes it possible to layer AI inferences on top of each other, adding intelligence incrementally.

      The importance here is that an event mesh combined with AI can translate a series of analog events into a streamlined flow of information, allowing an extremely quick time to gain intelligence. The business value can be huge.

    3. The rise of “platform engineering”

      Platform Engineering is an emerging trend intended to modernize enterprise software delivery, particularly for digital transformation:

      • It is an approach that can accelerate the delivery of applications and the pace at which they produce business value.
      • It is a way to improve developer experience and productivity by providing self-service capabilities with automated infrastructure operations.
      • It involves building and operating self-service internal platforms — each platform is a layer, created and maintained by a dedicated product team, designed to support the needs of its users by interfacing with tools and processes.

      The goal of platform engineering is to optimize the developer experience and accelerate product teams’ delivery of customer value. Gartner predicts that a majority of software engineering organizations will establish platform teams by 2026, and that 75% of those will include developer self-service portals.

    4. AI will shorten software development cycles further

      2024 will also present a growing opportunity for AI usage in application development. Forrester, for instance, predicts generative AI bots (TuringBots) that will play a substantial role in shortening software development lifecycles by 15% to 20%.

      There is no question that AI will aid software engineers in creating, testing, and delivering applications, providing an assistive role to help accelerate development tasks.

      If anything, I believe 2024 will see development organizations spend more time looking at their software development lifecycles through AI tinted glasses, seeking to better gauge where current processes are flexible enough to embed AI in a way that provides real value.

    5. Heralding tomorrow’s integrated enterprises with EDA

      Amid the rush to real-time and AI-driven operations, large, disparate organizations still relying on a complex mix of legacy and/or siloed systems will still be limited in their ability to achieve optimal business value.

      In 2024, we believe there will be greater industry-wide urgency for event-driven architecture (EDA). This entails the combination of data transformation and connectivity attributes of an Integration-Platform-as-a-Service with the real-time dynamic choreography of an event broker and event mesh. This can allow systems new and old to be able to work together to offer seamless, real-time digital experiences, linking events across departments, geographies, on-premises systems, IoT devices, in a cloud or multi-cloud environment.

Balancing AI hype against real benefits

 In 2024 we will certainly see AI flow down into new products and solutions at the front-end, but these apps need the data fluidity to live up to their full expectations. 

At the back end there is also potential for AI to impact software development processes, but more work to be done before we see AI fully designing applications. 

Ultimately, AI-enabled or not, we will see more organizations evolve their application programming interface and integration strategies to be more event-driven, underpinning their journey to truly real time operations at scale: getting the right insights to the right people, in the right place, at the right time.