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Concurrent Engineering Blog

5 reasons why 2024 will be a landmark year for digital transformation

Posted by Concurrent Engineering on 22-Jan-2024 10:42:34

If 2023 was the year of AI, what will 2024 hold? Let’s find out more.


2024 is shaping up to be a year of rapid progress in digital transformation. If last year was when the AI revolution went mainstream, this year will see AI consolidation, as well as several other advancements. 


Three engineers looking at a laptop


In this article, we’ll share five developments in the digital transformation space that we believe will have a significant impact. Let’s get started.


1 - AI


Let’s start 2024 where we ended 2023, with AI the two letters on everyone’s lips. Don’t expect any slowdown in the growth of AI, although we’re still not at the ‘replacing humans’ level yet.


Manufacturers will continue to leverage the potential of AI to become more efficient, create better products and make life easier for their employees. In design, AI-powered tools are helping engineers make better use of their materials, optimise designs and work faster with CAD applications than ever.


The controversies around AI will still make the headlines, as creators object to the reuse of their ideas and others lament the lack of inherent ethics in AI. However, in manufacturing, the benefits continue to outweigh the drawbacks.


2 - Agile


Agile methodology - where companies work in iterative development cycles incorporating inter-departmental collaboration - has long been a software development staple. In 2024, expect Agile to take hold in hardware development too.


Companies that embrace Agile in hardware development are seeing great results, including reduced risk, higher productivity and faster time to value. However, a recent PTC survey showed that only 28% of digital transformation ‘leaders’ fully utilise Agile for physical products, so there’s lots of room for growth.


Being a digital-first workflow, Agile has been embraced by Gen-Z developers, who make up more and more of the total workforce every year. Expect to hear more about Agile as the year progresses.


3 - Spatial computing


Spatial computing - the overarching term for virtual and augmented reality - is progressing rapidly. As the technology allows more efficient interaction with data and content, expect adoption to accelerate.


One massive event in spatial computing in 2024 will be the launch of Apple’s Vision Pro VR hardware and software suite. Apple believes it will revolutionise entertainment, work and even how we communicate. It would take a brave person to argue.


PTC also has new spatial launches planned for 2024, building on the success of the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox.


4 - Cybersecurity 


The lightning progress we’re seeing in digital transformation poses many questions around cybersecurity. We all love the possibilities digital transformation delivers, but we need to know we’re safe, especially as cybercriminals’ tactics become increasingly sophisticated.


One concept growing in the space is ‘secure design’. This focuses on developers building security into their products from the beginning, rather than building the product and then figuring out how to secure it. We hope it will make the industry (and, by extension, the rest of the world) more cyber-resilient in 2024.


5 - Software/Hardware integration


Finally, let’s look at the increasingly blurred lines between software and hardware development.


Software and hardware now go hand-in-hand, which is evident in smart connected products that users expect to ‘just work’. To make these products faster and more efficiently, hardware and software teams are now more likely to work in tandem, with constant communication.


This interaction necessitates a greater focus on Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), a methodology that sets out how hardware and software teams should collaborate to get the best finished results. 


In 2022, PTC acquired the leading ALM infrastructure company, Codebeamer. We hope to share some exciting developments around this in 2024.


Onwards and upwards


Those are our five predictions for the digital transformation space in 2024, but they’re by no means exhaustive. We haven’t mentioned sustainability, the changing nature of work or even climate change. However, with these developments and more, interconnected and driving each other forward, we know 2024 will be a landmark year for digital transformation.

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