Top Ten for 2024 and Beyond
With the start of a new year comes an opportunity to think about what opportunities that technology could bring organisations over the coming 12 months. With generative AI seeming to hit the headlines as much as the per capita recession, I have increasingly been thinking of the year ahead in terms of prioritization. Opportunities for technology to truly transform thinking, markets, and your business are endless – but our ability to fund, consume and manage the required change is the challenge we face.
In thinking of the year ahead, the BTC Team has identified key IT trends and technology challenges that we feel our clients will be facing next year. As independent IT management consultants, we not only see a variety of different industries suffering the same issues, but it’s our job to help you identify and form the solutions. Please feel free to contact us at any time to discuss how Beyond Technology can help your organisation with independent actionable advice that is free from conflict of interest.
Of course Generative AI has to top the list for 2024, with the technology industry increasing its billions of dollars of investment on a daily basis, the future opportunity for business will be as transformative as the industrial revolution. The challenge for 2024 is going to be to build the foundational infrastructure and optimise your IT function to be ready to be a proactive partner of the business in the deployment of AI and digital capabilities. Moving forward IT planning should have one eye focused on being ready, and the other on reducing technical debt to improve operational resilience and agility. Undoubtably each of this years top ten will have some component that will link back to AI readiness.
1. Carrier diversity and operational/cyber resilience – no one ever learns without making mistakes, unless they can learn from others. Optus in recent years has been exceedingly generous with its learning moments and the analysis of what went wrong in their recent catastrophic network failure has been a very useful moment for boards and executives across all organisations. Many company’s have already deployed dual-SIM mobiles for their emergency response teams and true carrier diverse SD-WANs is looking like the go-to architecture for 2024.
2. Digital Supply Chain risk assessment and management has become a regular topic in most board discussions. With the majority of the big publicised data breaches being initiated through an outside channel, everyone has recognised that your people and your partners can be there undefended weak link in their cyber defence. 3rd party audit rights, attestations and mandatory assessments have become a common response and we can expect this trend to intensify in 2024.
3. Strategic Cost optimisation & Frugal Cloud Architectures - As interest rate and inflation pressures continue to bite business through 2024, the expectation that the rate of IT budget growth will reduce should be considered. Organisations should seek to leverage cost optimisation opportunities while maintaining the push for resilience, security and agility improvements in a appropriately frugal manner
4. Data & Analytic transformations – As organisations have continued to digitise and collect more business data, both the opportunity and the risk has steadily increase. While most organisations now understand the risk of storing everything for ever, the growing capabilities of AI engines in analytics have doubled the need for deliberate planning on your data & analytics transformation journey.
5. AI, Privacy and Cyber Governance Policy – As businesses seek to exploit growing AI opportunities the requirement for staff to undertake Structured Experimentation will require both planning and risk mitigation strategies. The need to consider your technical and control policies across your technology environment will also become increasingly critical with the new privacy regulations and cyber security obligations expected in 2024.
6. FinOps is the framework that connects the business to the spending priority on IT capabilities and provides a path for governance and accountability with continuous and iterative practices. With the cloud procurement practices of IT teams often be compared to moving from buying beer by the bottle (on-premises procurement) to the installation of a Tap directly into the bedroom of an alcoholic, it is not surprising that cost control and purchase decision governance is a big topic for 2024.
7. AI, Privacy and Cyber Governance Policy – As businesses seek to exploit growing AI opportunities the requirement for staff to undertake Structured Experimentation will require both planning and risk mitigation strategies. The need to consider your technical and control policies across your technology environment will also become increasingly critical with the new privacy regulations and cyber security obligations expected in 2024.
8. 3G shutdown and Windows 10 EOL– although some may feel like the impending 3G shutdown might feel like the Y2K bug of last century, for some industries it poses a very real danger. It is not so much a concern identifying 3G only devices, but ensuring that older 4G devices supporting machine to machine communication that are deployed in remote locations are able to operate on the frequency bands that have coverage at those locations. Planning for the scheduled Windows 10 EOL should be nearing completion and 2024 should be used for the migration or retirement of those devices.
9. Priority Planning, deciding what not to do is often just as important on identifying the opportunity landscape. The more that the IT function properly engages with the business the truly limitless appetite for more information, more automation and improved capabilities is increasingly uncovered demonstrating the insatiable demand the business has. Maintaining focus and prioritisation is critical to success in delivering your improvement and remediation projects.
10. Improved technical governance and further increased board-level oversight of IT operations – The importance of secure, reliable and efficient IT to support the competitiveness of businesses will continue to be a focal point for many boards. Data custody has become an increasing concern as increasingly complex supply chain and IT environments threaten to affect the “line of sight” of organisations to its information. Boards will continue to ask questions on their risk levels for data integrity, information protection and privacy compliance. We expect many more organisations will opt for Independent external review to provide appropriate oversight directly to the board.