The 2024 enterprise software un-predictions

Jon Reed & Brian Sommer Profile picture for user jonandbrian December 5, 2023
Each year, Jon and Brian try to bring you the saltiest tech (un)predictions the world has ever known. And each year, a few of them somehow come true despite themselves. Tech marketers, spike your eggnog - this one doesn't let up until the spiciest buzzwords of 2024 are unveiled.

Zolta via Pixabay
(Image by @44833 from Pixabay)

Aaargh! It’s that time of year again - when unqualified armchair prognosticators, fortune tellers and over-eager tech marketers offer up their most banal, obvious (or wrong) tech predictions.

Your weary, buzzword-infested inboxes need a holiday tonic – and we’re here to provide it!

Jon and Brian herewith offer their annual un-predictions: the deep-cleansing antidote to prognosticating tech guru syndrome. Enjoy!

24 un-predictions for 2024

1. A leading analyst firm’s obsession with generative AI runs head long into controversy when they can’t decide if it was the analyst or generative AI that hallucinated a report titled: “Cloud computing – it’s time will come soon!

2. A new software vendor will be launched in 2024, and it’ll be called “Fulness” because they’ll add Fulness to everything: Mindfulness, collaboratefulness, culturefulness, experiencefulness, etc. What can you add some fulness to?

3. A major vendor starts creating net promoter scores (NPS) for industry analysts that cover it. One particularly cantankerous, demanding analyst gets an eye-popping -166 NPS. As a consequence, the analyst firm promotes her!

4. Yet another major analyst firm declares "ERP is dead." Jon decides to hold a ‘best and final’ funeral to make the date official. What’s really telling is that no one comes. Fortunately, ERP is decomposable!

5. The ‘quiet’ everything phenomena is momentarily silenced when managers are at a loss for describing the time when people refuse to work overtime and weekends. The clock restarts when an hourly worker proclaims it quiet time.

6. The quiet mania does produce one positive in 2024 when PR firms go quiet one whole day without issuing a single press release.

7. A vendor’s executive team is forced to stop using the word “outcomes” during its keynotes when the hashtags #badoutcomes and #questionableoutcomes trend on their social channels.

8, An “AI-powered” ERP vendor implements a new AI-pricing model without invoking a human “co-pilot” to double-check the pricing first. Customers are pleasantly surprised to see their subscription costs dramatically slashed by the AI; the next earnings call is more than a little awkward.   

9. When an original gangsta (OG) rapper signs an endorsement deal with a major 5G mobile phone company. It’s called OMG.

10. Sign of the times in 2024: Tokenization – what a pot dispensary calls a blockchain-based chatbot.

11. Bot-mania will be huge in 2024. We’ll have Bot-tomless numbers of ML/AI-powered workflows. We’ll have users that will overly rely on bots and get frustrated (aka the Bot-tled up user). And for developers who tire of writing and testing bot code, they’ll hit rock bot-tom. Bots in 2024 – that’s what it’s all a-bot. (Time to cue Spinal Tap’s “Big Bot-tom”)

12. A PSA (professional services automation) vendor makes up a new word: professionalize. Does that mean Hawaiian-shirt-wearing consultants have to wear a jacket and tie? If so, Brian is in!

13. A vendor suspends an analyst from their analyst program after discovering the analyst sent their bot to an online briefing (the analyst bot asked a timely question about AI deep fakes, but was later exposed as a bot when it told the vendor the slide deck was “fantastic and amazing”). Little did that vendor know Ray Wang had already attended their last user conference in Las Vegas - via the form of a GTP-4 multimodal hologram.

14. Jira will be replaced by a new programming language: gyro. Users say it’ll be extra-yummy.

15. Brian gets so tired of HR speakers asking “What color is your mood ring?” that he - not his ring - turns full-on crimson.

16. An online search party has to be summoned to locate Jon after he gets hopelessly lost in a CX vendor’s “immersive metaverse,” valiantly trying to escape from an enthusiastic cabal of NFT-brandishing sales reps dressed as giant hamsters.

17. Controversy erupts when a vendor’s confidential org chart shows a direct correlation between org hierarchy and the number of times an employee has liked or shared the CEO’s posts on LinkedIn. Related: checking the “LinkedIn Lunatics” Subreddit before applying for a job at a particular company becomes common practice.

18. A “self-healing” database checks into the hospital after applying the “anti-COVID cream” recommended by ChatGPT.

19. An aggrieved venture capitalist becomes the first person ever to sue their own “smart home,” after being permanently locked out. The smart home mounts the defense that “This home is smarter without you in it – look at your crypto DeFi startup investments.”

20. What happens to tech bros when they attend a jock keynote at a user conference? They quit saying ‘hundred percent’ and start saying ‘hundred and ten percent’. Unfortunately, the vendor receives a noise complaint after the deafening chants of “We’re all in!” finally subside.

21. The best technology/cable TV crossover show of 2024 will be Maine COBOL Masters – watch as Chaste, Ashton and the gang try to renovate some 1960s code for a local state agency.

22. In a market surprise, an upstart AI vendor gets customer traction with “irresponsible AI – because regulators will never catch up with us!” Customers, worn out from hand-waving “responsible AI” keynotes, sign up in droves.

23. An ESG executive underwhelms his wife at Christmas by spending all his gift money buying her a year’s worth of carbon offset credits.

24. Lead-hungry vendors won’t be subtle this holiday season: “Wishing you and your families have a great holiday season - please share the gift of our faultless uninterrupted container databases!”

25. (bonus) “You didn’t make them cry again?” becomes the question analysts ask Brian at every 2024 vendor briefing.

New must-know tech buzzwords for 2024

It wouldn't be a new year without some shiny new self-driving buzzwords to impress your synergy-weary friends.

Virtuous Reality – An unscripted television show where everything is rated PG.

Resilliness – When a tech vendor takes the need for resilience to absurd levels.

Crapform – What you call a ‘platform’ that isn’t worth sh*t.

Hydromatic automation – Inspired when a Gartner exec, under pressure to inject life into the shopworn term hyperautomation, rewatched John Travolta in a classic musical (“This car is hyyyydromatic!”).

Leadership 404 – when a corporation takes down their board member web page until they can actually field a diverse executive team.

Lobotomized vehicles – when car customers demand that their data-leaking “smart vehicles” are returned to their prior state of unplugged perfection.

Tomb a Zoom call with dead people (more than five video meetings in a day and you may qualify for this one)

Quiet Quilting – to lure developers back to the office, companies create a special place for developers to relax and sew/knit. 

Trapezoidal Economy – when the “circular economy” hits those legacy bottlenecks. 

Brandgasm – when an executive needs some time alone after viewing their embargoed generative AI chatbot announcement. 

Data outhouse – a typically dank place holding crucially important data that’s not in the corporate data lake or lakehouse – data that the AI needs to produce a halfway-decent result (and can’t find). 

Past Implementation – a Fast implementation that fell hopelessly behind.

EX-XR – The term for marketers and product leaders recovering from their time promoting the metaverse and wearing VR headsets during team meetings. 

Flight Engineer – When an AI pilot and co-pilot aren’t enough, it’s time to bring back the Flight Engineer!

TikTokked – When an enterprise CMO becomes obsessed with viral B2C marketing. (e.g. “We don’t have the budget for that webinar series; we’ve been TikTokked.”)

Strain  What happens when a firm is struggling to ‘train’ its large, language model

Surreal Time – A zero-latency virtual reality experience that has too many AI hallucinations running concurrently.

Singularity What a dating app can trigger when AI is your wingman/co—pilot.

2024 Un-Predictions Generator - now with HR and business outcomes!

Making your own guru-level un-prediction has never been easier! Just pick a winner from each category, and let us know of your (extra cripsy) outcome!

Unpredictions generator - by Brian Sommer and Jon Reed
(Unpredictions Generator by Brian Sommer, all rights reserved)

The ultimate enterprise pickup line will change once again - to "Say, if my AI-powered chatbot said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me virtually? (Brian) or “I’ll show you my prompts if you’ll show me yours.” (Jon)

As before, Brian still won’t make it onto Facebook. Seems he can’t get it to work on his TRS-80. And: somewhere, somehow, someone will once again be thanked for their leadership (#TYFYL).

If you're looking for more, track Jon and Brian on Twitter - we'll be sharing some near-misses from the cutting room floor. Jon also has a penchant for satire and strikethroughs in his weekly hits/misses roundups.

Image credit - Feature image - Zolar by @44833 from Pixabay. Un-predictions generator created and copyrighted by Brian Sommer.

Disclosure - No vendors were involved in the satirical production of the un-predictions, thankfully for them and us. Bots weren’t involved either – between Brian and Jon, we have enough human-made hallucinations as it is.

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