Throughout 2023, we witnessed remarkable advancements across various key technologies, spanning autonomous driving, automation, robotics, augmented reality, and virtual reality integrated into intelligent production processes. The swift evolution of artificial intelligence across a wide array of applications has notably reshaped the technological innovation landscape, marking numerous significant milestones and expanding the horizons of progress. The prerequisite for some of the groundbreaking developments is the ability to transmit gigantic amounts of data in real time. This enables high-performance networks that are constantly being developed further by experts. With a view to 2024, the demands on network infrastructures will continue to increase – in order to transmit ever larger amounts of data, the computing power of the networks must be expanded as well as their storage capacities.
As experts in high-performance networks, we analyze the challenges and trends anticipated in 2024 to identify promising technology trends. Our insights delve into which of these developments will notably influence the landscape of the network industry in the coming year.
1. Cybersecurity : Advanced defense systems against the threats of the future
In view of increasing reports of data theft and misuse, the topic of cybersecurity will continue to occupy a prominent place on the list of the most important technology trends of the year in 2024.
We are seeing increased integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the latest cybersecurity solutions. Equipped with constantly evolving algorithms, systems can recognize patterns in real time and react dynamically to previously unknown threats. This adaptive approach enables companies and authorities to flexibly adapt defense systems to the constantly changing threat landscape.
Cybersecurity is the number one technology trend and an indispensable component for organizations of all sizes and industries. The increasing digitalization of business processes and the increased use of cloud platforms require digital security and network infrastructures that act preventatively against potential cyber attacks. The European Union, among others, is demanding this with its NIS 2 directive, which must be implemented by the end of 2024.
In 2024, cybersecurity is no longer just about defending against attacks, but also about creating a resilient digital environment. Network integrators are already taking on the challenge of adapting existing concepts to growing requirements and proactively investing in advanced cybersecurity solutions.
2. IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things): Innovations and perspectives in networking
The Internet of Things (IoT) has long since found its way into private households. But the focus is increasingly shifting towards the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), which enables comprehensive networking in production, logistics, energy and other key sectors. IIOT brings together intelligent devices, complex data systems, and IT and OT networks in a comprehensive symbiosis.
The advantages for companies are enormous: Through improved networking, IIOT enables downtime to be drastically reduced and production efficiency and safety to be increased. Data traffic in IIOT networks differs significantly from traditional data transmissions in telecommunications or IT networks. Although the amount of data per packet may be small, the number of data packets transmitted per second can increase significantly. This places higher demands on the transmission performance of the network elements.
The construction of such networks therefore requires special expertise. The presence of proficient IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) providers is crucial for industrial companies to actualize smart factories. Network specialists like Xantaro recognized this trend early on and, in view of the increasing demands on network infrastructures, have already developed novel solution concepts with specialized teams.
3. Automation through artificial intelligence is the focus of future technologies
The advancing use of artificial intelligence (AI) was undoubtedly one of the most important technological breakthroughs of the past year. With the help of AI, companies could advance the automation of many processes as early as 2023. Automating certain processes represents a transformative way for companies to optimize their production and counteract the effects of the skills shortage.
To address this shortage, companies are increasingly relying on robotics and automation, including powerful software. This tech trend not only extends to the production level, but also impacts the network infrastructure in every modern company. The need for automation of IT and OT processes will continue to increase. Even in 2023, large companies often reached their limits when implementing network projects because there was a lack of capacity for important activities. The challenge lies not only in the number of tasks to be completed, but also in the necessary expertise and the (still) missing level of automation.
Therefore, the year 2024 will be characterized by the joint efforts of hardware and software specialists to advance the desired implementation of automation. Xantaro has already developed a solution with XFAST software that enables customers to test new operating system versions for critical network elements extensively and fully automatically for possible malfunctions before they are implemented in production environments. Through these services, corporate customers also benefit from carrier- class quality testing methods that can help increase the availability and performance of IT infrastructures. Products and services of this type will be in high demand in the coming year in order to be able to successfully implement even complex projects with the existing specialist staff.
4. 5G: Innovations and prospects for 2024
The fifth generation of mobile communications, better known as 5G, will continue its evolution in mobile communications. These groundbreaking technologies not only enable significantly higher data rates, but have also opened up completely new applications, including the operation of 5G campus networks.
The implementation of 5G campus networks enables complex communication problems in industry to be solved that were not possible with previous technologies. From the complete networking of workers in shipbuilding (Connected Worker), to connection on a complex and large construction site, 5G enables reliable communication. The technology is already being used in logistics centers and even for remote maintenance of aircraft. As a technology trend, 5G will continue to open new horizons in 2024 and create opportunities that were previously only possible with great effort or not at all.
Experts expect 5G campus networks to move more and more out of the proof- of -concept stage and into productive use in 2024. Through the increasing use of this enabling technology with constantly growing ranges and mobile bandwidths, new applications will continue to emerge, including significantly more mobile applications of AR and VR technologies that require enormous bandwidths. The resulting new opportunities will then lead to the further expansion of private 5G networks.
5. Quantum computing: The revolution in data processing is emerging
In the ongoing quest for innovative solutions, the significance of quantum computing is growing as a pivotal “enabler” for processing vast amounts of data efficiently. Whether this is hype or a serious technological revolution is constantly debated.
Modern supercomputers can achieve a lot, but they reach their limits when it comes to specific problems and require a lot of time to find solutions. This is where quantum computing comes in and promises radical change. The special feature lies in the term itself: by applying the laws of quantum mechanics, extremely complex tasks are solved that cannot be mastered with conventional technology. Particularly interesting is the potential acceleration of simulations in areas such as drug development and energy economics through the use of quantum computing .
For data communication, quantum encryption will also become increasingly important for cybersecurity in the future, but these technologies are currently still in an early phase of development.
Conclusion: The year 2024 promises a transformative phase for the network industry, largely driven by five important tech trends. If the conditions are created with stable, high-performance network infrastructures, companies will also be able to use new and further developed technologies in 2024 to successfully manage complex projects.