The year 2023 was a year of technological developments. AI has found a place in many business processes. Despite this, many still struggle with the challenge of taking full advantage of it. In addition, cybersecurity risks put significant pressure on 2023, putting plans for digital transformation on hold. Isabel Moll, Vice President & Managing Director Dell Technologies Netherlands, shares her outlook for 2024, focusing on emerging trends that will impact the entire industry.
- More diversity and agility
Currently, 18% of Dutch IT professionals are women. The government aims to increase this percentage to 50% by 2030. Although more men than women work in IT, a positive trend is visible: the number of men grew by 8% in recent years, while the number of women increased by 20%. I expect this trend to continue in 2024. Diversity in IT teams is crucial, as it increases the space and opportunity to look at tasks and assignments with different and new perspectives. In addition, technology is developed for a diverse group of people, therefore 'creators' and developers should ideally also be diverse. Employers also benefit from more focus on attracting and hiring women, as this increases the talent pool. The current times call not for static plans but for agility in organisations, which is only possible with diverse profiles in your organisation and ecosystem.
- Zero trust becomes the standard
Good data governance will become increasingly important with the democratisation of AI and the increasing shift of data and intelligence to the edge. This is also important because we are facing an ever-growing threat surface, making it extra important to develop true Zero Trust architectures. Zero Trust is becoming the standard that organisations are working towards. Dell Technologies recognises the importance of this, for ourselves and for our customers. So in 2023, we introduced our Project Fort Zero, the industry's first commercial, fully Zero Trust private cloud system. This paves the way for Zero Trust adoption across industries.
- Putting AI into practice
By 2024, conversations about GenAI will shift from theoretical ideas to practical applications. While there are many creative ideas about how GenAI will change organisations and the world, concrete examples on a large scale are lacking. In the coming year, business GenAI projects will reach a mature level, with organisations focusing on transformational GenAI projects and using their own data and business context to train, refine and draw conclusions from models.
The recent Dell GenAI Pulse Survey shows that 76% of the 500 IT managers surveyed expect GenAI to have significant impact on productivity, processes and cost savings. IDC predicts a surge in AI-related IT spending, with Global 2000 organisations spending more than 40% of their IT spending on AI-related initiatives by 2025. This will lead to a double-digit increase in the pace of product and process innovations. We must realise that AI will cause significant architectural changes across the IT ecosystem. Think consciously about AI. Align vision, strategy and action for long-term success.
- Further hone IT skills
According to IDC, 65% of organisations will be unable to get full value from their technology investments by 2026, due to inadequate funding for training initiatives. This development concerns me, as it is precisely more investment in employee skills that is expected to be more widespread by 2024. Inadequate training on AI, cloud, data, security and other new technologies can have a direct and negative impact on an organisation. It is essential that organisations create a culture and space where learning and always developing new skills are encouraged and an 'always be learning mindset' is the mantra. Never before have we seen change unfold at such a rapid pace as today. One thing is certain, continuous change is the zeitgeist we are in, or as Peter Hinssen beautifully put it at the Gartner IT Symposium: "The Never Normal". If we truly embrace this by continuing to learn, it will prepare us for (unexpected) changes and major innovations.
- From idea to innovation
The main obstacle to innovation, according to Dutch respondents to Dell's Innovation Index, is a lack of time. This highlights the importance of prioritising. According to 77% of respondents, their leaders are more focused on the day-to-day management of an organisation than on innovation. So there is work to be done.
- The same survey reveals a gap in the perception of innovation. Despite the positive view of innovative corporate cultures, only 17% of organisations in the Netherlands are considered innovation leaders and adopters. This is important, as innovation leaders and adopters are 1.7 times more likely to accelerate their innovation during a recession than laggards. The good news is that the Innovation Index is a snapshot in time and organisations can improve themselves by preparing their people, processes and technology for innovation. This message seems to be slowly but surely settling in with many organisations and these will take significant steps in this next year.