Monthly Archives: December 2023

Aligning Information Technology Spending with Business Goals

As seen in various trend reports, spending is expected in certain areas like cloud computing, digital innovation, and more. These developments sound exciting, but whether or not your company wants to embark on one of these directions depends on your business goals. Read on to learn how to assess whether emerging technology fits with business plans.


Perform an Information Technology Audit


A good place to begin, when contemplating tech spend for the coming year, is assessing where you are. In cooperation and communication with your trusted technology advisory, CIO or the head of information technology, look at your IT picture–including infrastructure and devices as well as policies and operations. Reviewing all your tech assets can show where more spend might be needed.  Are there devices, such as, PCs, Macs, and servers are out of warranty and no longer in compliance? Is there any risk of data loss or compromise, or inability to comply with data protection regulations? And are there legacy systems that could be moved to the cloud, to save operating expenses? Finally, could expanding your consulting budget to work with your technology budget help you start new tech initiatives? These and other questions can show you strong points in your infrastructure as well as any deficiencies.


Examine Trends in Terms of How They Can Help Your Business


For 2024, many businesses are looking at some exciting trends. For example, Artificial Intelligence can help with automation, which in turn can save labor costs. Many companies are hoping to use the cloud for their internal infrastructure as well as customer-facing applications. Taking note of these trends and even being excited about them is significant, but you also need to look at your objectives. Would automation serve your business, and in what way? For example, automation might help your call center workers help customers with more complex problems, leaving simpler questions to a chatbot. Migrating a certain percentage of your internal infrastructure to the cloud can help convert capital expense to operating expense while taking advantage of the scale and security of cloud computing. With constant digital innovation, cybersecurity remains an issue and a key area of expenditure. 


Make Your Tech Department a Partner in Spending Decisions


Ideally, your tech department (or even head of IT) will be aligned with overall business objectives. This brings the assurance that IT investments will benefit the business as a whole and provide value (which is not just monetary). Alignment can lead to more effective and efficient IT operations, since unnecessary tasks could be eliminated. Alignment can strengthen the organization to be resilient and flexible in a challenging business environment.


In looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, excitement about new technologies needs to be tempered with consideration of how they support business goals and strategies. For more guidance, please contact your technology advisor today.

What’s Coming Up: Technological Trends in 2024 and Beyond

With cutting-edge technology and digital innovation continuing to take center stage, technology spending is expected to continue expanding. With digital innovation like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and even the Internet of Things also comes a greater potential of cyber threats. Read on to learn more about technology trends and how they may affect businesses in 2024 and beyond


Tech Spending to Increase in 2024


In general, worldwide technology spending is expected to increase by 8%, according to a Gartner article in October of 2023. The key sectors expecting growth include software at 13.8% IT services at 10.4%. Data privacy spending is expected to jump from 18.5% in 2023 to nearly 25% in 2024, and even network security equipment is expected to grow but more modestly, from 12.9% to 13.9%. Main business drivers are digital innovation, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, according to a Telarus report for 2023. Businesses are expecting to think about moving legacy systems for business operations to the cloud, when previously most of the cloud applications used were for customer-facing services. This has the possibility of driving managed services spending as well. Along with digital innovation comes cybersecurity concerns, propelling information security and risk management spending to $215 billion, a 24% increase from 2023. 


Harnessing Artificial Intelligence


An IDC blog post forecasts global IT spending to expand to over $500 billion by 2027, with more spend allocated to AI implementation and adoption of AI-enhanced products and services. Technology providers anticipate investing money along with time and  brainpower in incorporating AI into the core of their business. Although AI is a major turning point–with ChatGPT’s 3.5 series released nearly a year ago– generative AI is not expected to come to the fore until about 2025. Artificial Intelligence is still expected to be in the background, improving processes. For example, it works with Microsoft’s Copilot to aid collaboration by combining the power of large language models with users’ data. It can operate with common MS applications like Word and Excel, offering assistance in real time. While primarily for businesses of 300 workers or more, it has potential to serve smaller businesses as well. 


Applications of Internet of Things


Internet of things (IoT) involves connecting devices to networks, with applications  in the energy and security sectors, including video surveillance. With more cloud use, data centers need physical security protection. A “smart” (connected) surveillance camera can be connected to other devices like alarms, to alert security professionals to potential threats. Artificial intelligence might operate with IoT to produce close-to-human image analysis.


The Internet of Things has much to offer the energy sector, too. Connected devices can monitor energy usage, helping reduce cost by scheduling appliances to be on and off at different times, shutting off some during peak times. Customers can partner with utility providers to make energy use more efficient and less expensive. 


Cybersecurity Considerations


Because digital innovation also leads to more threats, businesses looking to move customer service and back-office work to the cloud must pay attention to (and possibly spend more on) cybersecurity. Protections are needed for data, applications and infrastructure against escalating cyberthreats. The software sector also needs to pay attention to cybersecurity, with AI creating security fears like loss of data control. According to Gartner, double-digit growth is expected in all segments of enterprise security spending in 2024.