We’re going to explore the top 10 key technology priorities that should be at the top of every business’s list to securely progress and grow in 20...
2023 saw the rise of many technological innovations, namely the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence and solutions utilising machine learning. AI technology becoming more accessible has sparked the imagination for new business opportunities and the integration of advanced technologies to improve operations and enhance customer experiences.
For business leaders and IT manager, striking the balance of moving forward and remaining competitive by adopting new technology solutions, whilst simultaneously safeguarding business data from advanced cyber threats, is going to be a tricky task. We’re going to explore the top 10 key technology priorities that should be at the top of every business’s list to securely progress and grow in 2024.
Cyber security has been a priority at the top of most business’s lists for a number of years now due to the increasing pace of technological innovation and the risks to data that this innovation brings. In 2024 we will continue to see businesses prioritise cyber security and invest in solutions that will help to protect their data from advanced and emerging threats. According to the UK government 71% of UK businesses rate cyber security as a ‘very high’ or ‘fairly high’ priority.
Cyber criminals using AI to create more sophisticated attack methods pose a real risk to businesses of all types. This isn’t to say that businesses shouldn’t be embracing AI-powered technologies, in fact harnessing the power of AI should be a priority and we will touch upon that a little later on in this article. However, it does mean that businesses will need to strengthen both their cyber security solutions and policies in order to mitigate the risks posed by cyber criminals utilising AI.
Ironically, although AI does hold the power to equip cyber criminals with the features necessary to launch more sophisticated attacks, it will also be useful to effectively defend against attacks too. From fuelling the automation of threat detection and patch management to using machine learning to analyse network behaviour and identify changes or security incidents – effectively integrating AI within cyber security solutions should be a priority for businesses going forward.
Moving away from the threats and benefits of AI, there are other technologies that will pose a risk to cyber security if they are not effectively protected.
Expanding the use of Internet of Things through the connection of devices within a business, opens up extra endpoints that, if not properly secured, will become vulnerabilities that cyber criminals will leverage in order to gain access to data. Deploying solutions, such as advanced encryption to protect data travelling between connected devices and regular threat monitoring across devices will be vital in order to prevent infiltration and data theft from cyber criminals.
Ransomware attacks have become an ever-increasing threat over the last few years and this threat is expected to continue rising in 2024. The disastrous potential for disruption, loss of data and financial damage poses a major risk to businesses, so it is critical that they invest in strong defensive security measures, and reliable data storage and backup solutions to safeguard against attacks, as well disaster recovery technology to protect business continuity, should the worse happen.
With new, advanced technologies becoming more accessible for many businesses; the increased expectation of hybrid and remote working for workforces; and the shutdown of legacy infrastructures causing older, analogue solutions to become obsolete, all businesses will need to embark on a digital transformation journey, if they haven’t already. Businesses will need to look to move their business over to digital solutions in order to remain competitive, secure and profitable.
From a consumer perspective, we will continue to see a rise in digital spending, with consumers engaging with businesses online rather than in person. Since the end of the pandemic, customer expectations of seamless, tech-enabled digital experiences with businesses have grown, placing pressure on businesses to deliver more technologically advanced customer service offerings. Businesses across the globe are already investing in digital technology to future-proof operations, enhance customer experiences and enable the flexibility necessary to provide hybrid ways of working, with predictions of global IT spending hitting $5.1 trillion in 2024.
However, simply investing in digital solutions isn’t enough to take advantage of digital transformation within your business. In order to ensure digital transformation journeys are a success, businesses will need to invest time into optimising strategies to cope with the demand placed upon them, both from employees and customers. Investing both money and time into training to ensure teams are capable of using digital technology successfully is vital to ensure businesses see a return on their investment in digital solutions and to ensure they can use the new solutions to provide the standard of service customers expect. Detailed digital transformation plans alongside effective digital solutions is key in order to drive success.
From the stuff of sci-fi movie scripts to a solution that provides real tangible benefits for business operations, communications and more, it’s safe to say that 2023 was AI’s breakout year. The widespread accessibility of AI-powered solutions, such as ChatGPT, put the cat amongst pigeons in 2023 with some people praising the opportunities this technology can provide and others voicing concerns about how it could affect the job market and security. Thanks to this technology becoming more accessible and featuring prominently in the news, we had the opportunity to start to understand what AI actually is and what it can do. We also began to understand the risks posed by this technology if it is maliciously leveraged by cyber criminals.
If 2023 was the year that saw the rise of AI technology, 2024 will see the harnessing of the capabilities this technology has to offer. Many businesses have already started to implement AI solutions within their day-to-day operations, such as the adoption of chatbots and AI-powered IVR solutions, that enable businesses to offer more convenient forms of communication for customers and service more customers without increasing resource. Throughout 2024, businesses will continue to see the transformative power of AI solutions in combination with cloud computing to automate processes, such as security monitoring, optimise workflows and more.
However, one key consideration that businesses will need to figure out within their AI adoption strategy is the skills of their workforce. In order to take advantage of everything AI has to offer and, simultaneously, avoid falling victim to the risks it poses as well, employees will need to develop their AI skills. An increase in knowledge and experience will also encourage trust for a technology that still holds the power to cause fear for those who don’t fully understand it yet. Board members, C-suite and managers will need to lead from the front and ensure that adoption of AI technology within business processes are bolstered by comprehensive training and transparent communication.
Speaking of communication, 2024 will be the year for businesses who haven’t made arrangements to future-proof their communications and connectivity in preparation for the PSTN switch off, to make the move to digital solutions. With less than two years to go before the December 2025 deadline, the clock is ticking for businesses who are yet to switch over to full fibre broadband or VoIP communications. Despite the switch-off being announced in 2017, many businesses are yet to switch over to digital solutions and it is likely that some businesses will leave it until the last minute. This will result in delays in installation and the risk of overspending on solutions due to the sudden rise in demand as we approach the switch off deadline.
To avoid unnecessary costs and disruption, prioritising preparing for the PSTN switch off in 2024 is key for any business who is still relying on legacy technology. However, finding the right digital solutions can be a challenge if you are unsure on the technolohy you might need. Working with a knowledgeable provider is a beneficial step to ensure you are investing in solutions that are going to offer the best value to your business, meet your budget requirements and future-proof your operations.
Making the switch over to digital solutions not only prepares your business for the PSTN switch off, it also enables your business to take advantage of newer and emerging technologies to grow and progress your business. For example, switching over to VoIP telephony allows your business to take advantage of UCaaS solutions that combine multi-channel communications with a range of productivity tools that keep employees engaged and workflows moving. Moving to full-fibre connectivity can provide increased bandwidth and speeds that enable your business to seamlessly move to the cloud which opens the doors to a wealth of opportunities including improved security, automated workflows, customised applications and platforms and more.
It’s no secret that, globally, we are placing pressure on the earth’s natural resources due to unsustainable practices and activities. From pollution and energy consumption and excessive waste, the technology involved in running a business does cause a negative impact on the environment, which is a factor that consumers are beginning to take notice of. As the climate crisis and our impact on the planet is covered widely within the media, customers are becoming more aware and are prioritising working with businesses who are adopting sustainable practices and eco-friendly processes.
Implementing sustainable technologies to reduce the environmental impact of operations should be a priority in 2024 and can be integrated within a business’s digital transformation plans. From investing in cloud computing solutions from vendors that use renewable energy sources to power their data centres to reducing or removing the need to power and commute to a physical office space, there are many ways technology can be used to make business operations more sustainable. When searching for sustainable technology solutions, it’s key to research providers and investigate their environmental and sustainability commitments to ensure they align with your goals.
Whether you’re looking to make the move to the cloud, embrace AI technology within your communications or future-proof your business in readiness for the PSTN switch-off, our team of knowledgeable specialists are here to help. We’re proud to hold a range of prestigious partnerships and accreditations from the biggest names in the industry, including Microsoft, Mitel, 8×8 and more, so you have access to the very latest solutions alongside outstanding service.
If you’re looking to invest in new technology or upgrade your existing solutions, contact us today or call 0344 875 8880.