Matt Smith, Managing Director of Technology Transformation and CIO practice for Investigo and InX, part of The IN Group, discusses the dynamic landscape of technological advancements as we step into 2024.
Technology has seen great advancements in several areas over the past year, propelling the world into a new era of innovation and efficiency. To name a few, AI advancements have continued to evolve, Extended Reality has found broader applications across industries and blockchain technology has continued to provide more secure solutions for various applications.
As we transition into 2024, a horizon of new tech trends will emerge, further changing the world of work as we know it. In particular, the profound impact of Artificial Intelligence on technology and its future is undeniable. These developments will offer a range of opportunities for businesses and their staff, further advancing the world of technology in 2024.
CIOs, especially, will be at the forefront of navigating technology developments for their organisation and managing the evolution of AI, hybrid working, data and bimodal planning will be top of mind throughout the year to come.
Key to these trends is for tech leaders to ensure they have a team of high-skilled tech talent with the knowledge and understanding to adapt to new technological shifts and lead their organisation’s transformation journey.
The adoption of Generative AI
Generative AI has had an enormous impact on businesses over the past year or two with the ability to create or generate content, such as images, text, or other data, often through algorithms and Machine Learning techniques. In 2024, Generative AI will only continue to be adopted across many businesses.
Generative AI can be used by industries to enhance work efficiency, simplify processes and allow employees to accomplish more. This could leave other businesses behind if they do not embrace these advancements.
The shift to Generative AI can be a game-changer for companies, but without the right tech talent, the benefits won’t be truly felt. At all stages of the talent pipeline, businesses need digitally adept staff to implement and utilise developing technology on a day-to-day basis. Whether it’s a new graduate or a C-level leader, CIOs must work with their business to recruit technically skilled staff.
To stay competitive, CIOs must transform potential uses into practical business applications. Implementation for implementation’s sake can have an adverse impact on staff and resources, so businesses must understand and roadmap impactful AI applications designed to boost business efficiencies.
Is hybrid working a thing of the past?
Hybrid working divided opinion in 2023, raising the question of whether it will remain a priority for 2024. Boards want people to head back to the office; therefore, it is predicted that hybrid working may start becoming a thing of the past. KPMG’s CEO Outlook survey reported that 64% of leaders predicted a full return to the office by 2026, due to increased opportunities to build relationships with colleagues and efficacy in learning.
However, according to The IN Group’s recent research, 93% of employers are still offering remote or hybrid working practices despite boards wanting people to head to the office. This way of working is supported by research from CIPD that found that 4 million people have changed their careers, as well as 2 million leaving their jobs last year due to a lack of flexibility in the workplace.
When it comes to tech talent, remote working gives them the flexibility that many desire, so hybrid working remains a favourable option, reaping the benefits of both office and home life.
Tackling data is a top priority
As technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated, it is much easier to obtain and analyse data – supported by the rise of AI. As a result, there is an understandable feeling that organisational decision-making is characterised by a more scientific and solid foundation compared to earlier years, when intuition, gut instinct and personal experience played a more prominent role in guiding activities.
Data-driven business decision-making is more important than ever and that means businesses need access to the best technology and staff to maximise data. Whether it’s implementing data aggregation systems or hiring data scientists for analysis, the volume and usage of data will only continue to increase – and businesses must stay on top of this.
Bimodal planning is here to stay
Bimodal planning persists as a reliable strategy in navigating the recent turmoil of economic uncertainty, political instability and widespread conflict. These issues have vividly underscored the inherent limitations of relying on long-term plans in the face of unpredictable external factors.
In light of this, there is an emerging acknowledgement that shorter-term plans, covering a strategic window of 12-24 months, hold greater weight and practicality compared to their more extended 3-5 year counterparts.
In the private equity (PE) sector, for example, some businesses are deliberately extending their timelines for portfolio company value creation rather than exiting when initially planned. This approach may signal a broader trend in businesses which favours adaptability and responsiveness over rigid long-term projections.
As organisations continue to contend with an unstable and unpredictable environment, the emphasis on bimodal planning becomes more pronounced, highlighting the strategic imperative of balancing stability and adaptability in the pursuit of sustained success. Bimodal planning is here to stay.
Tech transformation for 2024
The fast-paced evolution of technology in 2023 has set the stage for a transformative year ahead in 2024. Key trends, including the profound impact and mass adoption of Artificial Intelligence, as well as the ongoing relevance of hybrid working, underscore the need for businesses to stay ahead in the tech landscape.
As the demand for tech talent continues to rise, the ability to navigate and lead tech transformation efforts becomes vital. Leaders must not only recognise the importance of staying up to date with emerging trends but also acknowledge the pivotal role of Generative AI in business applications.
As businesses gear up for 2024, the imperative is clear: to thrive in a tech-driven era, companies must invest in tech-savvy talent, embrace emerging trends and consider the culture of adaptability to secure a competitive edge in the ever-evolving world of technology.