Experts predict that automation will become more prominent this year and that companies will need to train their staff as they try to adopt AI and rush out new products.
2024 is in full swing and exciting times are anticipated for businesses, with predictions from experts around AI and automation.
Discussions around automation have been growing as the technology advances. For example, Keith Lynch, the country manager for Red Hat’s Irish operations, said last year that automation and digital transformation will be “critical components” in enhancing future workflows and IT orchestrations.
A PwC report released at the end of 2023 claimed most financial services firms still rely on manual risk assessments to deal with financial crime and that automation is required to tackle this issue.
AI clearly had a massive impact on the tech sector last year, with businesses of all sizes rushing to release new AI products for their customers – and to enhance their own services.
As both AI and automation technology continues to advance, let’s look at some top predictions for ways that these enterprise sectors will adjust this year.
2024 will be the year of automation
As some experts said in their predictions for the IT sector, teams in the tech sector are expected to face tighter budgets this year. Ian van Reenen, the CTO of IT platform 1E, expects automation to take “centre stage” in 2024 as IT teams will be expected to “do more with less and squeeze budgets”.
Van Reenen referenced a Forrester analysis from last year, which predicted that only one in 10 technology leaders would get growth right despite “clear calls to action from senior leadership”.
“I predict that this number will actually be quite worse, so leaders must pivot to automation to bring down operational costs and increase team efficiency,” van Reenen said. “One of the ways we’ll see automation in action next year is within the IT help desk.
“If organisations can reduce the number of issues and incidents, that will decrease the volume of tickets reaching the service desk daily, which will cut costs and give time back to the user.
“Another way is through personalised customer service. Being more intentional about the client-customer relationship and augmenting a customer team that can provide concierge-style services will help vendors get through being asked to do more with current capabilities.”
Massimo Pezzini, head of research at Workato, believes that CIOs will invest more in enterprise automation in order to be better equipped to transform, scale and improve agility in business processes to respond to uncertain environments.
Organisations will aim for full automation
Various tech sectors have adopted automation to some degree in their workplaces, but Eric Johnson, the CIO of cloud computing company PagerDuty, believes 2024 will be the year when organisations focus on “transforming the entire organisation to be more automated”.
“Historically there have been pockets in the organisation that were doing this, but with the pace of new innovative automation solutions there will be a surge in adoption,” Johnson said. “Automation from the help desk and back office to the go-to-market and engineering teams will be done and in a much more integrated way.”
More AI training among staff
Chris Dimitriadis, the chief global strategy officer at ISACA – a leading global professional association – said businesses are likely to adopt generative AI to innovate, optimise costs and boost productivity.
However, he said more training is required among staff before businesses can use this technology effectively.
“Our research suggests just 7pc of organisations are providing all employees with AI training,” Dimitriadis said. “If employees aren’t ready to use AI, business’ investments simply won’t pay off, at least in the medium to long term.”
Dimitriadis also suggested businesses will need to prepare for greater regulatory scrutiny in terms of how AI is used.
“As AI becomes mainstream, governments will look to follow in the EU’s footsteps and create their own comprehensive laws around AI,” he said. “That translates to additional responsibility for businesses to comply with new legislation to avoid regulatory breaches and ensure they’re making the most of what AI has to offer.”
AI products will be rushed to market
While some novel AI products were already available in recent years, the launch of ChatGPT towards the end of 2022 saw many companies jump on the AI rat race to create a swarm of new products and services for consumers and enterprises.
Andy Patel, a senior researcher at WithSecure, predicts that this trend will continue and that AI-powered services and products will be “rushed to market” as competition among start-ups and established corporations heats up, though this may create challenges for some companies.
“Not having AI functionality in your product will mean the difference between it being viable and useless,” Patel said. “And that means little-to-no attention paid to security, just as we saw with the first IoT [internet of things] devices. ‘If it’s smart, it’s vulnerable’ is about to take on a whole new meaning.”
Generative AI will lead to pervasive AI
Rodrigo Liang, the CEO of generative AI software company SambaNova Systems, predicts that the focus on this sector will lead to “pervasive AI”, where AI is deployed by businesses across all of their functions and workstreams.
“The key to getting there will lie in the development of platforms that address companies’ security, privacy and widespread adoption challenges, and models that increase value year over year, ultimately making AI a major asset for company-wide transformations rather than a helpful tool to improve isolated, rote tasks,” Liang said.
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