How can companies streamline their operations and open new avenues for growth in 2024?
Christoph Nagy, CEO of SecurityBridge, presented in detail what we can expect in the changing environment of 2024. He delved into the future of infrastructure, AI-driven software and cyber security for a sustainable digital age.
It is becoming increasingly important to consider potential developments within IT. Some of these developments are areas that require significant investment from IT budget managers in 2024.
He saw three main categories: infrastructure, software and applications, and cybersecurity. Due to the rapid development of technology, a number of trends may emerge within each sector, which cannot be exhaustively covered, so a big picture emerges in front of us thanks to the specialist.
This key category focuses on protecting IT assets and includes practices, tools, and policies to protect against cyber threats. This includes measures to ensure network, application and operational security, as well as data protection and data integrity. All businesses, regardless of size, face constant cyber threats.
However, more companies and enterprises are adopting proactive security measures, a trend that is emerging due to the increasing number of regulations around the world and the increasing sophistication of risks.
In 2024, IT departments are likely to focus their cybersecurity budgets on the following three defining areas:
Detect and eliminate advanced threats: Investments are likely to focus on automated and intelligent systems that can predict, detect and respond to cyber threats in real time using AI and machine learning technologies.
Cloud security: As organizations migrate to cloud services, they will allocate significant resources to the security of cloud infrastructures. These resources include tools for encryption, identity and access management, and monitoring to protect against breaches and meet compliance requirements.
Safety awareness and training of employees: Recognizing that human error is a significant vulnerability, IT departments will prioritize funding comprehensive training programs to ensure employees recognize and prevent cyber threats such as phishing and social engineering incidents. Furthermore, bridging knowledge gaps is becoming critical for organizations, especially due to the scarcity of IT security experts.
2. Software and Applications
This includes all types of software, from operating systems to critical enterprise applications. In addition, this category includes programs and operating environments running on on-prem hardware and in the cloud. It covers everything from basic system software to specialized applications, databases and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
Office and ERP applications will require the use of significant language model-based copilots. For example, SAP announced the SAP Joule AI Co-Pilot, a natural-language, generative artificial intelligence-based office assistant. Microsoft has already released a companion function for several office applications within the Office365 range.
In the area of software and applications, by 2024 the most significant expenses of the IT departments will be directed to the following:
ERP systems: Organizations must turn intensively to ERP systems to integrate and manage finance, supply chain, operations, reporting, manufacturing and human resource activities. However, their spending will be focused on ERP implementation projects and upgrades or migration initiatives, i.e. SAP S/4HANA. Furthermore, it can be expected that the first investments will be for AI Co-Pilot functions provided by ERP vendors.
Cyber Security Software: As threats escalate, significant investments are expected in security software solutions, including advanced endpoint protection, identity management, and threat detection platforms. By 2024, a significant increase in comprehensive cyber security platform solutions and a decrease in stand-alone solutions are forecast. This forecast is based on a greater need for workforce and expertise in cybersecurity. Maintaining multiple separate solutions is increasingly seen as a burden, so decision-makers are expected to favor broad-spectrum security platforms over narrow solutions.
Collaboration and remote work tools: As telecommuting continues to become prevalent, spending on software that enables remote teams to collaborate, communicate and be productive continues to be a priority. Collaboration and remote work tools include video conferencing, instant messaging, project management, and shared workspaces.
Infrastructure includes all the physical elements of IT systems, such as servers, storage, network devices, and data centers. It also consists of the cloud computing infrastructure and the hardware needed to support communication.
As this hardware moves closer to the data source (IoT, mobile devices), we should expect more and more edge computing – especially in areas where high-speed Internet is not widely available. For these reasons, edge computing will enable many new business models for businesses, such as in games or virtual reality.
In the infrastructure and hardware sector, in 2024 IT departments will prioritize spending in the following three areas:
Cloud-based infrastructure: Spending on storage, compute and networking capabilities offered by providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud is expected to increase as businesses continue to move towards digital transformation.
Network security hardware: In order to protect against growing cyber threats, significant investments are being made in advanced network security tools. These applications include next-generation firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and unified threat management solutions.
Sustainable and energy-efficient hardware: As awareness of environmental impact increases, IT departments will focus on sourcing hardware that is high performance yet energy efficient and with sustainable practices in mind. These energy efficient measures may also include upgrades to make data centers more energy efficient.
Conclusion: connectivity and intelligence
Moving forward into the year 2024, the evolution of IT spending is clearly characterized by the deep integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models in all areas of technology. This trend represents a shift towards connected and intelligent IT ecosystems where AI supports and drives innovation, operational performance.
Specifically, the continued adoption and development of cloud-based computing is expected to receive a significant portion of IT budgets, as organizations strive to take advantage of the scalability, flexibility, and efficiency of cloud environments.
Combined with the analytical and predictive power of AI, cloud computing becomes even more powerful, resulting in advances in cybersecurity, applications, and infrastructure. Businesses that invest in these integrated, AI-enhanced cloud platforms will be well positioned to increase their digital resilience and agility.
By adopting these key trends – uniform cyber security frameworks, artificial intelligence-supported co-pilots of enterprise applications such as ERP systems, and sustainable, intelligent infrastructure – companies are streamlining their operations and opening new growth paths, creating the key to success in the digital age.