2024 Tech trends leaders need to prepare for

By Robert Half on 14th May 2024

Technology leaders from Robert Half and Protiviti explore three tech trends in 2024 that leaders need to prepare for. What makes digital transformation stick? Why is cybersecurity everyone’s business? And why is understanding data before getting excited about artificial intelligence is important?

According to a global survey Robert Half has conducted among c-suite leaders on digital transformation, AI and machine learning will be the biggest disruptors, followed by immersive technology, the Internet of Things, Blockchain, and Robotic Process Automation. Digital transformation is dominating boardroom discussions.

In this article, we explain how leaders can put ‘innovation’ in digital transformation and why data should be the priority before AI. We pose key questions and outcomes to help managers prepare for key tech trends in 2024.

Read more: What’s on the cards for UAE recruitment in 2024?

Innovating your digital transformation

There are few professionals who understand both technology and tax, employees are learning on the job. At the same time, everyone appreciates the need to make the project stick. They know digital transformation is easy to say, but not so easy to do.

The best way to begin making a change is to raise awareness. At the outset, an innovation strategy helps to provide structure and a safe environment for creativity and the evaluation of ideas. It also creates a culture in which people are willing to, and able to, innovate.

Leaders could run design thinking sessions on tax and technology. This will challenge assumptions, redefine problems, and identify potential solutions. Everyone could be involved, to help share knowledge and identify employees with key skills. It is often those at the edge of a business, who work with technology every day, who bring fresh ideas and perspectives.

Once those design thinking sessions have taken place, then project teams can be set up. Each one should have employees from different areas of the business. The project should also be explained in simple terms: why it matters, the benefits, and how it can be delivered. In 2024, developing an innovative approach to major projects – and keeping people at the forefront – will be a powerful path for leaders to take.

Read more: The benefits of employee training

Why cybersecurity is everyone’s business

Digital transformation introduces new systems to streamline processes, but they also introduce risks. It is important to have controls in place, but it is also vital to understand how systems work together. What does the architecture look like? How are systems connected? How do they fit into the digital transformation strategy? And, most importantly, where are the weaknesses?

Good cybersecurity can help businesses gain competitive advantage and improve their operations, which means it now reaches every corner of a business and impacts every decision. Because security matters everywhere, it is now everyone’s business: from the c-suite leaders with budgets to spend, to employees exposed to a potential attack.

Finding people with cybersecurity experience and certifications is important, but raising awareness, and providing training, is pivotal. If most hackers are gaining entry through phishing or spam emails, for example, then education will help to prevent attacks. In 2024, businesses will need to combine the skills of cybersecurity professionals with increased awareness across their teams. If cybersecurity is everyone’s business, then it is everyone’s job to understand it.

Read more: Instilling effective employee communication in the workplace

Data first, AI second

AI will remain a key tech trend in 2024, but it is important for leaders to remember that AI models are only as good as the data on which they are trained. So here are key questions for businesses to ask themselves before they roll out their plans: What are these models going to do? How will the data be used? Does it need to be transparent and explainable? Does it discriminate in an unintended way?

If a business is building AI models that will alter people’s jobs, then the inputs and outputs of those models need to be considered. Many businesses have focused on training in cybersecurity in recent years and similarly businesses will need to develop robust training around data. Those adopting AI will most assuredly need a Data Literacy Programme that is rolled out across all levels of the business, so individuals are developing better skills.

As technology evolves, and the digital backbone of businesses strengthens, the ability to innovate to mitigate against cyberattacks and to understand data will be the difference between success and failure. In five years’ time, leaders who grasp these opportunities will be stronger. For those who don’t, the outlook is less certain.

This article has been developed in conversation with Hiren Joshi, Maria Sartori, Richard Sinden, and Christian Schmitz at Robert Half; alongside Belton Flournoy, Michelle Moody, Erwin de Man and Kentaro Ellert at Protiviti.

For more of the latest advice and trends, please visit our insights page, or alternatively contact one of our recruitment experts today.

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