While the world witnessed many key events unfolding throughout the year gone by, it would be safe to say that 2023 was a pathbreaking year in the recent times for technology advancements. We saw meteoric rise of Generative AI and emergence of AI spring, a prominent view of experiencing mixed reality around us, rise of digital platforms, next generation of large language models (LLMs), and integrated AI offerings by big tech and leading product companies. We also witnessed measures being taken to strengthen technology governance by defining guidelines for handling and processing personal data, greater transparency in using AI, etc. New policy measures were taken for encouraging emerging technology usage like announcement of India Quantum Mission in India.
As we embark on our journey to 2024, anticipating headwinds of economic and geopolitical uncertainties, digital technologies would remain a strong driving force for the organizations, providing necessary resilience and distinctive capabilities to create or capitalize on new opportunities. Around 66 percent of global leaders have echoed to have effectively used digital technologies to realize and advance their business objectives in recent times. Their organizations have witnessed improved profitability or effectiveness over the last two years by leveraging digital interventions. This momentum is likely to continue in 2024 as well. In the landscape of disruptive technology capabilities, AI (including Generative AI), Edge, XR, Web3 and XaaS, and digital platforms would be the workhorses for driving transformation agenda over the next few years across front, middle, and back office of organizations. These capabilities could result in tech conversational and experiential interactions, better customer conversion, improved fulfillment, and relevant insights.
By now, there seems to be a unanimous acknowledgement among business leaders that Generative AI is expected to have the biggest impact in the coming years. With initial hype settling down, organizations have started to look for relevant, realizable, and tangible benefits of Generative AI. It is expected that around 71 percent of companies may introduce their first generative AI solution in the next 2 years. However, the approach and pace could be tailored. Digital leaders, characteristically defined with mature inherent digital capabilities, could have a clear intent to undertake bold transformations, rapid experimentation, and widespread adoption. Digitally defined or optimized organizations may be adopting a more watchful approach of creating a framework for identification of optimum opportunities and progressing in measured steps.
A key to succeed in these disruptive times, business can take a note of some key aspects of their digital strategy and chart out an appropriate approach for their transformation journey.
- Value-driven technology initiatives. Given the ever-increasing diversity and count of technology-driven initiatives in consideration, focus on potential and realizable value form these initiatives is getting sharper than ever. Digital leaders could be expected to quantify, measure, and maximize contribution of technology initiatives. Technology and function-oriented micro-strategies can enable the leaders to realize short-term ambitions, showcase value at early stages, and focus on more productive initiatives.
- Compounding effect of innovation. India is home to around 3K+ deep tech startups, which may offer unique, cutting-edge solutions to business problems. An effective innovation strategy aligned with business objectives can accelerate transformation journey and significantly reduce the time-to-market of new offerings. Business can look to identify and engage relevant ecosystem partners to explore the unknown, and rapidly scale.
- Striving for fungibility in tech skills with digital fluency. As tech increasingly gets intertwined with our workplace activities, existing capacity can be utilized for other productive activities. Therefore, it could be prudent for organizations to explore their readiness against a constant churn in emerging skills of the future. Adjacent skill families can be amalgamated to create a fungible workforce. Digital fluency could enable employees to understand the safe ways of working in an AI-enabled workspace
- Empowering business to realize ESG goals. With businesses gradually moving toward integrating ESG in their corporate strategy, they could look to leverage digital capabilities for better information collection, assessment, reporting, and insights generation at different stages of their ESG journey. This could provide the required resilience to businesses and help them take timely interventions.
- Reimagine the operating model. Rapid pace of digital transformation would necessitate organizations to relook at the existing operating model. Digital functions could be expected to showcase the art of the possible, prescribe adequate technology governance, and provide the required infrastructure to sustain modern tech transformation, while working with agility.
The astonishing pace at which new solutions are emerging and percolating down the value chain is unprecedented. Business leaders need to constantly watch out for new technology innovations and recalibrate their transformation priorities. Operating at agility would be crucial but understanding different aspects of new initiatives is also critical to assess holistic impact. At the end, it would all narrow down to how the digital strategy would enable business to successfully realize their business ambitions.