Brian Hopkins, Vice President of Emerging Tech Portfolio

Show Notes:

Forrester this week unveiled its list of the top 10 emerging technologies for 2024. There are some new technologies on the list, some new flavors of existing technologies, and a couple holdovers to keep an eye on. In this episode, Brian Hopkins, vice president of the emerging tech portfolio, discusses which technologies made the list this year and why.

Before digging into the technologies, Hopkins first explains the methodology used to create this year’s list, which involves analyst and research input, reviewing client inquiries about various technologies, the current market trends, and even monitoring investments made by the venture arms of tech firms. Hopkins also takes a moment to review how the list is organized — by “benefit horizons” and not in order of overall importance or impact.

From there, Hopkins digs into the specific technologies in the top 10, starting with the four in the short-term benefits horizon, three of which are generative AI-related tech. Hopkins says the first two technologies made the list based on the maturity that genAI has achieved in the past year. “We needed to separate out generative AI for language from generative AI for visual content, because the tools being built around these capabilities are moving in different speeds and in different directions,” he says.

The other two technologies in the short-term horizon are the coding bots known as TuringBots, a repeat from last year’s list, and IoT security, which Hopkins says became more important this year due to AI’s ability to expand IoT attack surfaces.

From there, the conversation turns to the four technologies in the medium-term benefits horizon, including three technologies new to the top 10 list: quantum security, AI agents, and autonomous mobility. Hopkins says quantum security made the list this year after several trends emerged that highlighted the need to invest in quantum security infrastructure sooner rather than later. “AI agent” is a term used to describe a new and expanding use case for genAI: executing tasks for an employee or customer instead of simply answering questions. And while autonomous mobility has been on the top 20 emerging technologies list in the past, it jumped onto the top 10 list this year based on its increased use in areas of public transportation and corporate logistics.

The long-term benefits horizon has two familiar technologies to continue monitoring: Zero Trust edge and extended reality. Both were on the list last year, and Hopkins says tech leaders should continue to keep an eye on them despite slow adoption trends and vendor delays.

The episode closes with Hopkins providing a final piece of advice for technology and business leaders evaluating new technologies and planning out their future IT roadmaps, so be sure to stick around for that.

Want to learn more?

To get a deep dive into the top 10 emerging technology list and see a demo of a new genAI tool available to Forrester clients, check our upcoming webinars on July 10 in North America and EMEA and July 25 in the APAC region.

And be sure to check out the agenda for our upcoming Technology & Innovation Summits for keynote and breakout sessions on many of these technologies.