FUTURE UNVEILED: Trace3’s Top Predictions for 2024

By Katherine Walther | Trace3 Vice President of Innovation

Each year, the Trace3 Innovation team reviews the investments in enterprise technology startups and our client requests. From there, we do our best to make predictions about the upcoming year. As our main mission is to scout and vet emerging technologies and advise our clients, we are uniquely positioned as prognosticators of the coming year.

Predictions are a tricky game, most years, we hit more than we miss, when we miss, more often than not the miss is about timing. Right theme, right solution, but maybe just a year or two off.

Over the years we have discovered that predictions captivate the minds and open the imaginations; even for those that make them. The key is really in the delivery, the unpacking if you will.

Last year, we published our predictions on which solutions we believed were going to have an impact on enterprise IT. While this list was incredibly fun to develop, it lacked a meaningful relationship to the overall theme that it was tied to. After all, the theme really tells us what is happening with far more context than the solution itself.

Given that the Trace3 Innovation team sits in the unique position between the investment community and the user community, we have developed classifications to organize the themes:

  • Investment

    Themes in this category are purely based on dollars invested in startups. The dollars are mostly sourced from venture investment but can also include self-funded and even some private equity dollars.

  • Adoption

    Themes in this category are comprised from direct client requests, sales and survey data reflecting adoption of technologies.

  • Signals

    Themes in this category are a natural evolution that occur through analysis of both the investment and adoption themes. As an example, given the investment and the rapid adoption of AI in the enterprise, it stands to reason that infrastructure (cloud & on-premises) will see an increase in demand to support the initiatives of the business.

When one is in the business of trendspotting, there are times when a theme is in all three categories occurs. Given the enterprise sprint into AI, helped by our friends at Microsoft and OpenAI, we are seeing a greater overlap in these categories than we have in the past.

Before we pass along our outlook to the first half of 2024, we want to equip you with the best way to use this information:

  • Determine if the theme is worth getting to know more about and how that may be applicable to your organization (Leverage Trace3’s Innovation team to dive deeper).

  • Check your roadmaps to determine where these themes may play out for your organization.

With that in mind, I present Trace3’s Innovation Team 2024 Enterprise Technology Themes.

2024 Themes

Investment: Operationalizing Security Risk Resolution
The current working theory is that most organizations have amassed many tools with the desired outcome to be able to observe, detect and remediate security risk. Given that most organizations have workloads across multicloud and on premise, the number of vulnerabilities has outpaced human capacity. This is resulting in missed vulnerabilities, deprioritized remediations and dwell time that is guaranteed to make most leaders uncomfortable. The answer lies in the creation of automation, reporting and accountability solutions. A theme we are referring to as operationalizing security risk resolution.

Example Investments: Silk Security, Avalor, Torq, Tines, Discern Security, Dropzone AI

Investment: Generative AI Use & Security
Just when you thought you had heard the last of “shadow IT”, generative AI applications come whispering through your organization overnight. Many organizations are doing their best to block the capability, but with every organization and every tool seeking to become an AI tool, the era of shadow IT lives on. The battle has two sides, on one hand, you have all the existing tools in your environment adding generative AI capabilities (that you may or may not know about), and on the other hand there are so many applications that individuals make take advantage of with just a swipe of a credit card and a mere twenty dollars a month. Approaching this problem will require policy, training, abstraction layers and observability solutions.

Example solutions: Nudge Security, Island, Layer X, Jericho Security, Hidden Layer, Sentra (ChatDLP)

Investment: FinOps Leads to Engineering Optimization
FinOps, an evolving cloud financial management discipline, is increasingly becoming the catalyst for automating engineering optimization. Innovations in the space are seeking to elegantly handle the ever-widening gap between architecture and cost. The trick will be to shift out of the paradigm that one solution will be able to successfully automate optimization across varied technologies. Solutions are currently focused on individual disciplines, such as Kubernetes or storage. Given the cost implications of an over architected solution, these tools will more than pay for themselves in short order.

Example Solutions: ScaleOps, Granica, Sedai

Investment: Developer Enablement
Technology organizations prioritize delivering software or business value with the least amount of overhead and friction. Empowering the developer with tools that foster robust, scalable and secure applications end to end is where we find many innovations. With a heavy focus on automation, we find solutions spanning “copilots” to infrastructure all with the same goal. While there is a heavy interest in enabling developers, there is still a gap in understanding exactly how much developers impact an organizations transformation. Investments in this space are aiming to shore up this understanding and appeal to a varied set of buyer personas.

Example Solutions: Spectro Cloud, Appvance, AppMap, Pynt, EndorLabs

Investment: Runtime Security
When we first recognized this as a theme, we didn’t immediately see that it is also becoming a popular term to differentiate. Runtime security is not new, but the approach and the environments are where the innovation is occurring. Runtime security is showing up in cloud security, application security, API security, Kubernetes security and more. This theme is the next evolution from the posture management and out of the glaring challenge of operationalizing observability and remediation. Emerging solutions in runtime security are focused on detection and remediation.

Example Solutions: Oligo, Ghost Security, Sweet Security, Spyderbat, AppMap

Adoption: Copilot Prioritizes Data Security Posture Management Adoption
Most organizations are evolving their internal posture regarding AI and at the same time Microsoft is enabling generative capabilities within the M365 environment. Preparing for Microsoft 365 Copilot involves both technical and organizational readiness, ensuring the infrastructure, policies, and user knowledge are in place to leverage the power of AI within these tools. A key component to readiness is understanding security, privacy and data residency. M365 Copilot gathers business context based on each user M365 permissions and most organizations have not fully adopted least privilege concepts. To approach this key challenge, many organizations will need to leverage tools to determine what type of data asset is available to who. This will allow organizations to get a handle on their overly permissive documents that may be lurking about.

Example Solutions: Symmetry Systems, Cyera, Sentra, Sphere

Signal: Efficiency in D&A
Organizations continue to feel the pressure of decreasing time to value on data driven projects while removing blocks and silos limiting rapid decision making. The need for augmentation, automation, and democratization of data is growing to create a modern and more adaptable user experience for consumers and decision makers. High quality data will become one of the largest hurdles. Solutions are unifying data and ml operations into single platforms, eliminating silos through data collaboration, and actualizing real-time analytics for the enterprise:

Example Solutions: Rivery, Qwak, Select Star, Cinchy, Delta Stream

Investment, Adoption, Signal: AI Infrastructure
It is being said that by 2028, approximately 70 percent of business will integrate generative AI into their core operations? This means that over the course of the next four years, organizations will focus time and effort to modernize their IT infrastructure to handle trusted data, automation, and AI-both traditional and generative. Organizations will invest in technologies that will support all the above, not just in compute, but all other underlying systems and technologies: Cloud & Edge computing, data management & storage, networking and connectivity improvement, machine learning operations and large language model operations and more.

Example Solutions: Prosimo, Gradient AI, HippoML, Inferless, RunPod, CyrusOne

Investment, Adoption: MGM Cyber Attack Lesson
One of the key lessons learned from the MGM cyber-attack is the critical importance of recognizing that relying on a single security measure is not enough to protect against the advancing social engineering attacks. As a result, the Trace3 Innovation team has received renewed interest from our client base in passwordless technologies. We recommend a comprehensive approach to eliminate as many vulnerabilities as possible related to the identity ecosystem. Robust security layers like those offered in passwordless solutions will compliment identity threat detection and response tools, coupled with user awareness training, this defense in layers is the standard.

Example Solutions: TruU, Silverfort, Living Security, Inside-Out Defense, Oleria, Apono, Semperis

Investment, Adoption: Knowledge Management/Discovery
Organization pursuit of information search is never-ending. As an organization scales, sharing information becomes more and more challenging and productivity takes the hit. Innovations in this space include employing the use of deep learning models, knowledge graphs and now generative AI to connect content and context in an elegant manner that is promised to delight even the most decerning users. Emerging solutions integrate and index an organization’s most important data sources (incl. metadata). Considering content, people, and activity, solutions deliver a unified, personalized semantic search.

Example Solutions: Glean, Hebbia, Raffle, Seek AI

We hope you have enjoyed the quick rundown of our predictions, over the coming weeks and months, you can expect a deep dive into each of these categories. We welcome your thoughts on the year to come. If any of these themes perked up your ears, please reach out to us for a deep dive on the topics at innovation@trace3.com.


Katherine Walther is the VP of Innovation at Trace3, where she transforms enterprise IT challenges into innovative solutions. Dedicated to disseminating information about the future of technology to IT leaders across a wide variety of domains. Pairing a unique combination of real-world technology experience with insight from the world’s largest venture capital firms, her focus is to deliver market trends in the key areas impacting industry leading organizations. Based out of Scottsdale, Arizona Katherine leverages her 22 years of both tactical and strategic IT experience to help organizations’ transform leveraging emerging technologies.

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