6 Tech Initiatives That Will Enhance Your Business in 2024
Through years of partnering with businesses in various industries, we have learned the importance of keeping up with emerging trends and taking timely action. As we approach the new year, now is a great time to plan for technology that can empower your business and help you achieve your goals.
We analyzed technology trends for 2024 and found 6 tech solutions with high ROI potential. Every company has different needs and budgets, but investing in the right tech areas can make a big impact. Read this article to learn where to invest, optimize, and experiment for business growth in 2024.
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How to Create a Digital Transformation Roadmap for the Year Ahead
To ensure a successful digital transformation, it is essential to create a well-defined roadmap that outlines the steps and milestones for the year ahead. Top management must actively support the renovation projects. Without their endorsement, the information tech initiatives may not be taken seriously by the people meant to use them. That's why leaders should explain how the new system helps business goals and its implementation process.
7 steps to build your own digital transformation roadmap
Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when developing your digital transformation roadmap:
Assess your current state: Begin by evaluating your organization's current digital capabilities, infrastructure, and processes. Identify areas that need improvement and determine the desired outcomes of your digital transformation efforts.
Set clear goals: Define specific and measurable goals that align with your overall business objectives. These goals should be realistic and achievable within the timeframe of your roadmap.
Prioritize effectiveness: Identify the most critical business initiatives that will have the greatest impact on your digital transformation journey. Consider factors such as customer needs, market trends, and internal capabilities when prioritizing these initiatives.
Allocate resources: Determine the necessary resources, including budget, technology, and talent, required to execute your digital transformation initiatives. Ensure that you know where to find the right people and tools to move through your roadmap.
Create a timeline: Develop a detailed timeline that outlines the sequence of activities and milestones for each business initiative. Establish dependencies between tasks and determine the sequencing of activities. Some tasks must be completed before others can begin. Understanding the dependencies and sequencing will help you create a realistic timeline and avoid bottlenecks.
Communicate and engage: Effective communication is vital throughout the digital transformation process. Engage stakeholders at all levels of the organization to ensure alignment and buy-in. Regularly communicate progress, challenges, and successes to keep everyone informed and motivated.
Monitor and measure: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the progress and success of your digital transformation initiatives. Continuously monitor and measure these KPIs to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
By following these guidelines, you will be able to create a comprehensive digital transformation roadmap that will guide your organization to embrace new directions in the year ahead. Remember, digital transformation is an ongoing journey, and your roadmap should be flexible enough to adapt to emerging technologies and market dynamics.
If you need a dedicated team to put your digital transformation roadmap on track, let's talk! Follow this link to discuss how we can work together.
Generative AI in Business
Before we talk about specific technology solutions for 2024, let's consider a major trend that will affect most tech projects.
Generative AI transforms businesses by expanding automation possibilities. It uses big sets of data and copies human creativity to make special content. This technology enhances user experiences through personalized recommendations, product suggestions, and user interfaces. It automates creative tasks and rapidly generates substantial amounts of content, resulting in improved efficiency and cost reduction.
So when riding the wave, businesses shouldn't forget about another important question: how to ensure and control the quality of AI-generated content. Sometimes, the output created by AI may not meet the desired standards in terms of accuracy, coherence, or relevance.
The use of generative AI also raises ethical concerns, especially regarding deepfake content, spreading misinformation, and creating biased material. Businesses need to be aware of these ethical issues, as well as the legal and regulatory frameworks.
In this article, we will return to data protection and privacy more than once.
6 High-impact Tech Initiatives for Business in 2024
1. Conversational AI chatbots
AI has become intelligent enough to empower business chatbots. It can remember past conversations, provide helpful answers, and learn from each interaction. While it may not possess the superpower of empathy like a real person, it can serve as a knowledgeable assistant that is accessible 24/7, delivering high-quality responses to your customers.
Conversational AI chatbots and AI-powered virtual assistants have the ability to analyze customer queries and offer personalized responses. They can handle routine inquiries, troubleshoot common problems, and even generate leads. This includes guiding customers through the sales process by providing product information and assisting with purchases.
In summary, intelligent chatbots are revolutionizing customer support by delivering timely and accurate assistance, whether it's answering FAQs or resolving complex issues.
Advantages of this technology initiative:
Enhanced customer support capabilities
Faster assistance and response time
Scalability to handle more customers
Positive impact on brand image
Handling multiple discussions simultaneously
Also don't overlook the data analysis power of AI. Chatbots can collect valuable information on customer preferences, behaviors, and pain points. This data can be analyzed to uncover insights for product development, marketing strategies, and enhancing customer service.
2. Prioritizing cyber security
Businesses deal with a lot of sensitive information, such as customer data, financial data, trade secrets, and proprietary information. Cyberattacks are becoming more common and sophisticated, so cybersecurity is still a major concern in 2024. Therefore, focusing on cybersecurity should be a top priority for businesses that want to reduce risks and protect their digital assets. This is particularly vital for healthcare and finance companies.
AI threat detection systems are an effective solution for analyzing large amounts of data in real-time, finding potential threats and anomalies that traditional security measures might miss.
To bolster your security using AI, consider working with your team to develop or integrate AI-powered threat detection solutions. This could involve the creation of custom intrusion detection systems, security analytics platforms, or the implementation of AI-based security tools.
To make sure AI models are effective in cybersecurity, it's important to train them with relevant data. Continuous learning and adaptation are key for AI-powered cybersecurity.
In addition to using AI technology, stronger encryption techniques can improve data protection. Consider using post-quantum encryption, advanced encryption standards, or blockchain-based encryption methods.
To further strengthen security measures, it is crucial to develop and enforce strict data privacy policies, access controls, and identity and access management (IAM) systems. These measures will ensure that data is accessed only by authorized personnel, minimizing the risk of unauthorized breaches.
Advantages of cyber security technology initiatives:
Protect sensitive data
Maintain customer trust
Avoid costly breaches
Enhance risk management
Safeguard company reputation
Different industries and countries have specific rules and standards for cyber security. Businesses must adhere to these regulations to avoid penalties and ensure compliance with the law. This has a direct impact on their spending. For instance, the financial sector typically allocates a higher budget towards cyber security compared to the agriculture sector.
3. Automating Business Processes
Integrating digital transformation presents a valuable opportunity to streamline many business functions by replacing manual processes with automation.
For example, a company can implement accounting software and human resource software as part of its digital transformation initiatives. By eliminating the need for manual data entry and repetitive tasks, employees can focus on more strategic activities.
Automation in business processes. Source: Marketsplash
Advantages of these technology initiatives:
optimizes business core functions
provides insights and analytics for better decision-making
unlock opportunities for business growth and innovation
Now, let's delve deeper into the automation of these two core business functions.
In 2024, using accounting software for your business can help simplify financial processes like bookkeeping, invoicing, and expense tracking. It also provides up-to-date insights into financial data, allowing businesses to make informed decisions and improve their financial performance.
Businesses have two main options: build their own accounting software or use a third-party service. Building from scratch gives you control over customization and data security, while third-party solutions offer a balance between cost and speed of implementation.
To implement your own software, you can either work with an internal team or hire a development partner with relevant expertise. The process will involve choosing a technology stack and designing a system for data entry, report generation, and other important accounting tasks.
Ensure that your software follows data security best practices and complies with relevant financial and data privacy regulations, such as GDPR or HIPAA.
You may also like: How to Choose the Right Tech Stack for Your Project
Human resource software
Human Resource (HR) software, or Human Capital Management (HCM) software, is a solution for companies that need assistance in hiring, payroll, and overall performance tracking.
HR software streamlines the hiring process by automating tasks such as job posting, resume screening, and applicant tracking. It also facilitates employee onboarding by providing a centralized platform for new hires to complete paperwork, access training materials, and familiarize themselves with company policies.
It is also a solution for efficient decision-making as HR software can provide data from all business departments.
Reasons for businesses to use HR software:
When the business is growing and HR tasks are becoming too complex to handle manually.
To ensure compliance with labor laws and generate detailed reports.
To simplify the process of hiring and managing employees.
To save time and reduce administrative work for HR staff.
To efficiently manage remote or distributed teams.
To conduct performance evaluations and track goals.
The main steps in setting up HR software include conducting a needs assessment to identify areas that require improved HR processes. Next, select the appropriate HR software that aligns with your business needs. Configure the software to meet your organization's requirements. Train personnel on how to effectively use the software. Continuously monitor and evaluate the software's performance to ensure it successfully accomplishes your HR goals and objectives.
4. Transforming Client Management
If you don't have a CRM system in your company, 2024 might be the time to get one. The benefits of using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can't be underestimated. It aids businesses in integrating marketing, sales, and customer service processes. CRM impacts business ROI, but like all technology initiatives, it should be well-planned.
The main idea of CRM is to centralize customer data, integrate it from various touchpoints, and provide a holistic view of each customer. This can help support teams personalize their interactions, marketing teams run targeted campaigns, sales teams track leads, prioritize follow-ups, and close deals more effectively.
AI will keep being vital. Businesses can use AI for tasks like automation, personalization, and insight from data. In 2024, CRM systems should focus on being user-friendly and intuitive. This includes providing a seamless user experience, simplifying workflows, and reducing the learning curve for users.
When implementing a CRM system, it is important to choose the right software that aligns with your business needs and goals. Such products as Zoho and Salesforces provide customization options, allowing you to tailor the CRM to your specific business needs. Consider factors such as scalability, integration capabilities, user-friendliness, and your unique business requirements.
You can plan integration with an in-house team or outsource a development team experienced in CRM implementation. Together, you will translate business requirements into software configurations and make realistic forecasts for the project.
Advantages of transforming client management through a CRM system:
Improved customer relationships
Increased sales productivity
Enhanced customer service
Streamlined sales processes
Better data management and analysis
To get the best results from a CRM system, it is important to have proper training and integration plans. Business leaders should conduct training sessions to teach people about the CRM's features and provide hands-on experience. The goal should be to ensure that everyone incorporates the new system into their daily work. These steps are key to tap into the full potential of the CRM system.
5. Intelligent applications
Intelligent applications, or I-Apps, are AI-enabled apps that use machine learning, predictive analytics, and natural language processing to provide personalized user experiences. These apps can learn, evolve, and make smart decisions using user data and feedback. The new wave of intelligent apps offers great opportunities for companies ready to explore the benefits now.
Before diving into development, it is important to define how decision-making can be improved or which business processes need streamlining.
Examples of Business Use:
Personalized Marketing: analyze customer data to deliver targeted marketing campaigns. Intelligent apps can tailor offers and messages based on preferences, purchase history, and browsing behavior, increasing conversion rates.
Predictive Analytics: analyze historical data to make predictions about future events. This helps with demand forecasting, inventory management, fraud detection, and risk assessment, enabling data-driven decisions and operational optimization.
Personalized Recommendations: analyze user preferences and interactions to provide personalized recommendations. This enhances the user experience in e-commerce, streaming services, news aggregators, and social media platforms, increasing engagement.
How is it implemented?
Intelligent applications need a lot of data to learn and make accurate predictions. So, you'll have to gather and prepare the relevant data for training these applications. Make sure to follow data privacy and security rules to protect sensitive information.
Next, machine learning and AI techniques are used to create and train the models that power intelligent applications. This involves choosing the right algorithms, training the models with available data, and fine-tuning them for desired performance.
The following step is the integration of the intelligent application into your existing systems and workflows, which may involve developing APIs or connectors. Ensure proper testing and validation before deploying the applications in a production environment.
If your organization lacks expertise in AI and machine learning, consider hiring or partnering with experts in these fields. There are also services that can help you implement intelligent applications faster. For example, Microsoft Azure and Accenture offer pre-built tools, frameworks, and infrastructure to help developers incorporate AI capabilities into their applications.
Advantages of Using Intelligent Applications:
enhances user engagement
improves decision making
automates repetitive tasks
enables predictive analytics
6. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
AR and VR applications will continue to expand beyond gaming. Augmented and virtual reality can create value for education, healthcare, retail, and entertainment. They can also enhance remote work with more immersive experiences.
How and where it can be used?
Business use of augmented and virtual reality is no longer just about gaming or bulky headsets. This technology is multifaceted and ready to enter the business world.
Companies can use AR and VR technologies in business to enhance customer experiences. In the retail sector, AR and VR can allow customers to try on clothes or visualize furniture in their homes before making a purchase. by interactions, such as virtual try-ons, virtual showrooms, and product visualizations.
Design and product teams can assess various concepts without the need for physical prototypes. This helps firms, like manufacturers, to bring high-quality products to the market quicker. Product images are a useful asset on a company's website, especially for large and pricey online purchases.
AR and VR technologies are also being utilized in the healthcare industry for medical training, patient education, and surgical simulations.
Extended reality is useful in the workplace, especially for training. It allows workers to practice difficult tasks in a simulated setting, reducing costs and enhancing learning outcomes. Virtual reality (VR) environments enable remote workers to gather and interact in virtual meeting spaces.
Another trend that has emerged and will continue to grow is events in Web3. Immersive gatherings in the metaverse can take the form of conferences, workshops, exhibitions, showcases, as well as networking and social events. Using Web3 technology like blockchain, VR, AR, and other new tools, event planners can craft one-of-a-kind virtual events. It adds an engaging vibe to these online meet-ups.
Businesses aiming to use AR and VR technology need to identify the right use cases that align with their goals and target audience. It is also crucial to consider the industry specifics, assess hardware and software requirements, as well as integration with existing systems. Collaborating with experienced developers or partnering with AR/VR solution providers can facilitate a setup process.
Advantages of using AR and VR in business:
Enhanced customer experiences
Improved product visualization and design
Cost-effective training and simulations
Remote collaboration and virtual meetings
Faster time to market for products
Extended reality technologies could potentially contribute a significant boost to the global economy by 2030, according to an economic impact assessment conducted by PwC economists. The estimated value of this boost is $1.5 trillion. This value will be derived from various areas such as enhancing customer experiences, expediting product development, and enhancing workplace safety.
Bottom line: a trend or a business choice?
We've been talking a lot about technology trends in business. And it's not just a buzzword or a way to be trendy, but rather a logical path for businesses that set big goals.
Embracing AI, implementing strong security practices, and fostering a connected workforce are signs of being ready for the unpredictable market of tomorrow. When businesses take on new projects, they are not only securing their future but also shaping their brand image as leaders in innovation.
Handling these projects can be challenging, so it's a good idea to seek additional resources for them. This could be an in-house IT team or hiring a dedicated development partner. Outsourcing a development team can provide the skills and resources you need without the stress of hiring and training.
It is especially relevant for low-cost IT projects or high-impact business initiatives that require unique know-how. Partnering with a seasoned tech provider allows you to accelerate your digital transformation, helping you achieve your business goals more quickly.
In this regard, feel free to contact us, as our professional team has an understanding of how to find and implement the most suitable solutions for your business case. We deeply analyze the business industry and your unique requirements to deliver reliable and scalable technology.
How to apply technology to grow a business?
Applying technology to grow a business involves identifying the areas where technology can have the greatest impact and implementing solutions accordingly. This can include leveraging AI and automation to streamline processes, using data analytics to make informed decisions, adopting CRM systems to enhance customer management, and exploring emerging technologies like AR and VR to improve customer experiences.
What are the future tech trends impacting business choices?
AI, chatbots, better cybersecurity, virtual reality, process automation, and smart apps are key trends in business today. By learning about these trends and utilizing them, businesses can stay ahead of the competition.
How can companies gain from AI and machine learning tools?
These technologies automate tasks, improve decision-making with predictive analytics, enhance customer experiences with personalized recommendations, and optimize business processes for efficiency and accuracy. AI and machine learning tools provide insights from data analysis, enabling companies to make data-driven decisions and uncover opportunities for business growth and innovation.
How does automation boost efficiency and cut costs in a business environment?
Through task automation, employees can focus more on strategic activities that will bring business value. This leads to increased productivity, faster turnaround times, and reduced errors. Automation also cuts down on the need for human involvement, saving money by reducing labor costs.