It’s hard to think of a time when IT has received so much media attention. At Ipsos Jarmany, we’ve lost count of the number of Gen AI scare stories published since way back in January. Only recently the ructions at OpenAI with the dismissal and reinstatement of Sam Altman dominated headlines for a couple of weeks.
Anyway, with all that behind us, we should turn to what lies ahead and the areas of focus for our data and analytics strategies. Spend on both continues to increase exponentially. Currently valued at $225.3 billion globally, investment is expected to reach $665.7 billion by 2033 as companies increasingly rely on data and analytics to drive growth.
We’re not going to argue with the sentiment here because our clients are certainly benefitting from greater use of technology to deliver their goals.
So here are our predictions for the year ahead. Enjoy.
#1 Data Governance & Ethics Will Be A Top Priority For Organisations
Let’s kick things off with governance and ethics. The truth is that legislation is tightening on data control, and the penalties for getting it wrong are high. Failure to comply with GDPR regulations can result in penalties of up to £17.5 million or 4% annual global turnover, whichever amount is greater.
This may be old news to many businesses, but we see many companies greenwashing governance, meaning they’re making false claims on how they govern their data. They are their own worst enemies, because not only is good governance critical from a legal perspective, it’s also important from an operational standpoint. It helps businesses achieve their goals. This is why many businesses are putting it ahead of AI as a priority in 2024, and we can understand why.
#2 Data Culture Is Going To Be Taken Much More Seriously
Taking up spot number 2 is data culture. Every employee should get the chance to improve their data literacy — and that’s not just for their own good, but for the good of the business too. A thriving data culture is going to be even more important to a company’s success in 2024, especially as AI becomes more widely used.
Everyone should be talking about how data can and should be used at all levels of your organisation. Unfortunately, this has been seriously overlooked, hence as few as 8% of companies successfully scale their analytics capabilities. In short, they haven’t thought about how to build their culture before they invest in the tech. You’ve been warned.
#3 Data Ops & Automation Will Play a Key Role In Saving Organisations Time, Resource and Money
We appreciate that mentioning data ops and automation isn’t likely to get anyone in the party mood. Nevertheless, we’ve attended loads of meetings and seminars this year where ops and automation have been high on the agenda. So why is everyone talking about this data management stuff?
To say 2024 is going to be a pivotal year in business with the rapid evolution of AI could be the biggest understatement of the year. Therefore, our advice is that every business gets its data pipelines in order fast. It could make the difference between success and failure over the coming years, and if that isn’t enough for you, it’s also going to help save time and money on your data analytics.
#4 Data Security Will Gain More Investment
Let’s face it, data security probably isn’t the most exciting topic that we anticipate will be trending in 2024, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Data security is more important than ever as consumers are becoming increasingly concerned over their data privacy. That said, you can be sure that security as an issue isn’t going away, and, in fact, it’s going to be even more important in 2024.
We’re seeing heightened privacy laws for one thing. Speak to anyone in AdTech and they’ll tell you about the demise of cookies as they become blocked by default in many web browsers. Plus, in the UK, GDPR guideline changes are on the table as the Government seeks to move away from the one-size-fits-all EU version.
There’s no escaping the impact AI will have on data security either. As you’ll probably have read hackers are using AI to design malware that can hide from security systems. But on the other hand, AI is also helping analyse huge volumes of data for companies to help spot those hidden attacks. What’s clear, however, is that investing in data security can save millions.
#5 Micro Partitions Will Be The Key To Efficient Data Operations
Appearing for the first time in our end of year Top 10 — micro partitions. If you’re not familiar with micro partitions, then let us shed some light; this is a feature in the Snowflake data platform that we think businesses will use to make their data operations more efficient.
It’s just one of the reasons why the Snowflake platform, which is used by more than 8,500 businesses, continues to grow in popularity. In simple terms, the feature divides the tables where your data is stored into micro partitions. The benefits include faster query performance, data compression, concurrency and horizontal scaling.
#6 Terraforming Is Set To Become The Default For Managing Cloud IT
Terraform, from which we derive Terraforming, is one of the most popular infrastructure as code (IaC) tools available, supporting a wide range of cloud providers, and we anticipate it’ll really take off in 2024. Now the default method for managing cloud IT, IaC tools represent a huge market, expected to be worth $2.8 billion by 2028.
By Terraforming, you can manage your cloud resources as a single unit and automate deployments. Plus, you can lift-and-shift those resources easily between different platforms. Terraform is a declarative IaC tool, which means you define what you want, and it figures out the rest.
Expect to see changes around Terraform licensing in 2024. HashCorp, the brains behind Terraform, announced the adoption of a business source licence for Terraform, which is a middle ground between open source and end-user licensing.
#7 No Code Self-Service Platforms Are On Course To Be The Next Big Thing To Aid Data Democratisation
Expect no code self-service platforms to play a key role in developing data cultures over the coming year. These platforms empower people, who don’t have IT expertise, to build their own digital applications without breaking into a sweat, making data capabilities much more accessible to a much wider audience. It’s possible because no-code platforms use building blocks to design the application logic. In 2024, more than 65% of application development activity will be low code or no code.
The future seems clear then; however, be advised the low code/no code world we’re heading in to comes with a few dangers. As is often highlighted, they can create vulnerabilities that will need addressing. These include authorisation misuse, data leakages and asset management failures for starters.
#8 Sustainability In Data Will Come Under The Spotlight
In 2024, data will have a bigger say in sustainability. Firstly, data modelling and forecasting, driven by AI, will make it easier for businesses to connect processes to sustainability goals like net zero. Being able to evidence the outcomes will no doubt help win business among customers, who increasingly want to see sustainability claims backed up with figures.
Data will also need to account more for its own carbon footprint as we head into the coming year. AI especially has come under the spotlight as a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to the amount of power that it soaks up. Respected publications have said how training an AI model can emit as much carbon as five cars across their lifetimes. Hence businesses are going to have to be even more aware of their IT carbon footprint, thinking up ways to reduce processing requirements.
#9 Data Observability Is Going To Be More Heavily Policed
Linked to sustainability, data can expect to be more heavily policed in 2024. Get ready for organisations to start pulling back the curtain on their data processes to understand exactly how much processing is going on for example. Of course, data observability can do much more than that. IBM points out that it leads to higher data quality, faster troubleshooting, improved collaboration, increased efficiency, improved compliance and greater revenue. It’s an impressive list.
Data monitoring data has been with us for some time, but we think it’s going to be used much more heavily and companies will think more closely about their data operations.
#10 Gen AI: Reality Will Kick In When You Dig Into Your Data
We were thinking of leaving this blank. Afterall, what more can be said about Gen AI that hasn’t already? Actually, there’s still a lot to say around Gen AI and thankfully more serious discussions are beginning to happen now the hype is (arguably) fading.
We’re seeing more business start to think how they can accelerate their AI strategies, all the while developing use cases for Gen AI projects. It’s great to see because Gen AI and AI more broadly can be truly transformative. Although, we’re anticipating that the AI hype will diminish when organisations lift the lid of their data and discover that their data quality, quantity and format isn’t in a strong enough position to facilitate AI models.
At Ipsos Jarmany, we’re excited for the opportunity to assist numerous companies in implementing their AI strategies and establishing a robust data foundation as we move into 2024.
Get In Touch
There is a lot of opportunity in our list to make 2024 even better than 2023. But isn’t that the great thing about technology: it keeps getting better and better? Moreover, the improvements aren’t merely lineal—they’re exponential.
On the flip side, the sheer amount of technology out there can make it feel harder to navigate to the right solution for your organisation. Perhaps you’re not ready for Gen AI yet and you need to get your data house in order first. But how do you do that?
At Ipsos Jarmany, we continue to help businesses realise all the opportunities available from technology. Our expertise in data, starting from developing strategies to delivering transformational solutions, has helped our clients make 2023 a special year, and we’re looking forward to making 2024 even more successful.
If you’d like to discuss how Ipsos Jarmany can support you on your data and digital journey in 2024 then please contact us today.