The beginning of a new year is a great opportunity to reset your thinking and plans, and hence, this post may be of help. The year 2023 saw one of the most disruptive technologies (Chat GPT) take the world by storm and with the potential to impact our lives like never before. I guess we have more in store. Here are a few tech trends that may be some fodder for thought for the CIOs / Professionals to consider as they plan for 2024. And since you can’t take the Bollywood out of me, I have used it metaphorically for easy recall 🙂
TWINNING OF BUSINESSES
The ease with which one can acquire IT and OT feeds/data points leverages the power of cloud computing. Adopting 5G technologies and building visual analytics makes digital twins a MUST-DO in the CIO’s List. 2024 will see a rapid increase in the growth of digital twins of assets, manufacturing facilities, stores, and maybe even consumers.
These (JUDWAs) twins are going to drive better and smarter business decisions. I have seen manufacturing teams test the hypothesis in the digital twin and execute it in the physical one. This has led to a reduction in manufacturing cycle times, better equipment maintenance, and near-zero defects in products. The CIO needs to make an assessment of the data points available, evangelize Digital twins with the manufacturing heads, and create a plan to generate value.
SECURITY never SLEEPS
CIOs/CISOs are going to see one of the most challenging years. Post-COVID, the CIOs are left with hybrid infrastructures to support WFH/WFO, which in itself creates few risks. With lines blurring between IT and OT, Ransomware attacks becoming easy, AI getting used to engineer attacks, and deep fakes becoming increasingly deceptive, there is a lot at hand to manage
A CIO/CISO needs to keep assessing the organization’s security posture on a regular basis, benchmark with the industry best, and create a plan to be there. CISOs in progressive organizations are budgeting a minimum of 15% of their IT spending on security. However, CIOs, beware: this is a year wherein we will see a lot of news related to confidential data getting stolen. It continues to be “Jagte Raho” times for CISOs.
EXPERIENCES create the MAGIC
The CIO needs to anchor all work done on creating winning experiences that can be delivered to the stakeholders, may it be for customers, employees, or business partners. This is not a technology problem.
Delivering great experiences will depend on the IT team’s ability to empathize with the customer/partner/employee challenges. The customer-centric IT outfits spend a minimum of 10% of their time in the market. The CIO has to take accountability for creating seamless, contextual, and personalized phygital journeys. AI driven Omnichannel experiences in 2024 will be in focus. I clearly see Customer Data Platforms (CDP) becoming mainstream technology to drive magical experiences. This is the year wherein the CIO can be a cause in creating “Chamatkar” (Magic) for all stakeholders
BUSINESS Value of IT
The demands on the IT teams to drive technology-enabled transformation are going to be far higher than before in 2024 and will continue to rise. The funding
also will come more willingly than before. The CIOs can bucketize the investments into operational, transformational, and disruptive. However, a stronger onus (Paisa Vasool) to justify the value will come in. The CIO needs to have a business-aligned framework to measure, monitor, and communicate the business value of IT. Progressive CIOs will take the bold step of adopting KPIs for themselves, which will be around generating a certain value (Additional revenues or Lower costs) through cutting-edge technology. As a CIO, are you considering a KPI of 5% of your Net Sales generated through Algorithms?
The new DONS
The hyper-scalers and cloud service providers are soon becoming the new DONs. The cloud is not just a disruptive technology but has now become more of a business necessity. The integration of AI and ML, the rise of edge computing, the prevalence of multi-cloud & hybrid environments, and the advancement of Infrastructure as a Code (IaC) are the defining trends.
Organizations seeking for agile innovation and finding it difficult to manage skills have started aggressively moving on to the cloud. I foresee a large number of business-critical applications like ERPs going to the cloud. CIOs need to understand the shifts from Capex to Opex and create an organization-specific strategy for modernizing and sustaining the IT landscape.
The NEW KIDS on the BLOCK
CIOs need to keep tracking the new kids on the block. Gen AI came in like a crown prince (Shehzada) last year. As a CIO, if you have not started Pilots of any sort on Gen AI, then I guess you are about to miss the train of exponential transformation.
You will need to plan in a manner to ensure atleast 4-5 use cases into production in 2024. These experiences and learnings will help the CIO plan a more solid strategy for Gen AI. As a CIO, you will need to keep an eye on the other Shehzades who are in the making, namely Quantum computing, Autonomous intelligence, blockchain, Extended reality/Wearables, AI Augmented Development, Platform Engineering, and Sustainable systems.
It’s a bit of a challenge to cover the details of tech trends. Maybe you can put your insights in the comments and build on this content. Thanks in advance for that.
Deepak Bhosale is an AVP at Asian Paints.