As we step into 2024, the tech scene unfolds with a mix of innovation and uncertainty. 2023 was the year that generative AI exploded into the mainstream, but is the bubble about to burst? Are more companies going to succumb to inflationary pressure and cut back? What ramifications will nearly half the planet’s population heading to the polling booth this year have on the global economy?
The feeling of insecurity that has been hampering progress in a post-COVID world is lingering and the economic knock-on effect of this means that businesses are prioritising getting the most out of their current infrastructure, while balancing investment in newer technologies to ensure longevity. For suppliers across the cybersecurity, cloud, data and AI spectrum, this can equate to drawn-out purchasing decisions coupled with fierce competition…but the opportunity is still there.
Any comms programme worth its salt should be tied to bottom line growth. This means aligning with the latest trends that are front of mind for buyers and adding value to the conversation and landing key messages with potential buyers.
Let’s take a look at some of the key trends that need to be accounted for.
Regulation continues to gain momentum with significant shifts in data privacy on the horizon with the EU’s Data Governance Act (DGA), which gives individuals even greater control of their data. The NIS 2 Directive reinforces cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, and similar regulations are expected globally.
As AI integrates deeper into critical systems, security concerns heighten. Adversarial AI and manipulation of AI models present new threats that demand robust development and security practices.
Security is also becoming an integral part of the DevOps lifecycle, with DevSecOps practices embedded throughout development and deployment as security automation tools and continuous threat detection become essential.
Ethical considerations around AI bias, fairness, and explainability are gaining traction. Regulatory frameworks, such as the EU’s AI Act, are expected to finalise, setting global standards for ethical AI development and deployment.
Generative AI and large language models (LLMs) continue to evolve, creating realistic text, code, and creative content. Applications span marketing, drug discovery, and personalized education, but scrutiny for potential misuse grows, which in turn feeds an increasing wariness of the technology.
AI and machine learning are integrating deeper into DevOps pipelines, automating tasks like code testing, configuration management, and infrastructure provisioning. The emphasis on explainability and security of AI-powered automation tools is growing.
Sustainability concerns are causing data centres to double-down on striving for net-zero emissions by adopting renewable energy sources, energy-efficient hardware, and liquid immersion cooling technologies, with AI-powered optimisation is set to further enhance efficiency.
Prefabricated, modular data centres are providing faster deployment and scalability, catering to edge computing needs, however, security considerations for distributed infrastructure are becoming paramount. Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) is becoming more prevalent, simplifying data centre management, but security vulnerabilities in HCI deployments also require close monitoring.
Enterprises are embracing hybrid and multi-cloud architectures for flexibility and redundancy. Challenges include secure workload portability and data governance across diverse cloud environments.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, edge computing becomes critical for processing data closer to its source. Ensuring secure edge deployments and robust data privacy measures will be essential.
Faster processing capabilities and advanced AI models drive the widespread adoption of real-time analytics, enabling organisations to respond to data insights instantly.
With maturing data regulations like the CCPA and GDPR, organisations must prioritise data privacy by design, implementing robust data anonymisation and access control measures.
Companies are reckoning with an increasingly varied and complex technological landscape that is evolving at lightning pace and fear being left behind, but the increased security from regulators coupled with the growing number of cyber-attacks at all levels means the wrong investment decision has the potential to wreak havoc.
This means that many technology solutions are faced with the paradox of increasing demand but sluggish decision making. Clearly, in this environment, communicating trust whilst simultaneously answering the questions of ‘Why now?’ is vital.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to overcoming these challenges, but there are measures technology businesses can take to augment their marketing strategy. A well thought-out, strategic communications programme that proactively places the business ahead of competition whilst aligning with the key issues that are front of mind for your target audience can pay dividends for bottom line growth.
Don’t forget to catch our very own panel session titled Does Cybersecurity have a Comms Problem? on March 6, 15:10 to 15:35.