Taking control of generative AI and launching hyperproductivity – What does 2024 have in store for IT?

Uzi Dvir, CIO at WalkMe, explains the way firms will respond to the rise of AI
Uzi Dvir
2024 graphic

As 2024 draws closer, it can seem like Generative AI (gen AI) is the only story in town. In the UK alone, around 1 in 6 organisations have embraced at least one AI technology — meaning there’s plenty of room for expansion — while a report from McKinsey stated almost 75% of organizations are, at the least, experimenting with gen AI.

However, 2024’s digital transformation challenges and opportunities stretch beyond gen AI. Safeguarding AI use and shining a light on employees’ “shadow AI” will be important. But we will also see the growth of hyperproductivity, as organisations use every resource at their disposal — from technology to their partner ecosystem — to work as effectively and efficiently as possible. 

And at all times, there will be the human factor. Regardless of technology investment, an organisation’s most valuable resource will still be its people. If digital transformation projects aren’t focused on helping employees make maximum use of the technology at their disposal and do their jobs better, the inevitable result will be waste.

With that in mind, these are our predictions for the year ahead: 

Businesses will become more human-centric to curb digital transformation waste

In 2024, businesses will realise that digital investments need to be human-centric, or they will fail. In recent years, some businesses have been ‘keeping up with the Joneses’: digitally transforming because everybody else is, without fully considering the impact on employees. This has led to businesses spending millions on new tech without fully realising the expected benefits. 

That will become a thing of the past in 2024, with businesses focusing less on the technology itself, and more on the people it serves. We will see IT teams focusing on consolidation, automation, and AI to make technologies more efficient and effective to use. 

It goes without saying that technology still matters — apps need to work and operating systems need to be secure. But if employees do not use their software and unlock the intended benefits, then businesses have failed. Digital adoption will become an increasingly important piece of the puzzle. By becoming more human-centric, businesses will empower employees to get on with the task at hand, ultimately driving productivity.

Shadow AI won’t disappear, but businesses will find ways to shine a light on it

For all the benefits gen AI can bring, businesses are also increasingly aware of the risks it poses. “Shadow AI” — which refers to employees using AI applications without employers’ knowledge or oversight — is one such risk that businesses will need to shine a light on or face disastrous consequences. 

Employees using gen AI tools without guardrails could be unwittingly sharing sensitive data with the gen AI’s central learning database and, as a result, losing control of who views it and what it's used for. On top of this, unmonitored use of AI outputs can easily result in dissemination of false information, accusations of plagiarism, or even accidental IP theft.  

As gen AI tools become more and more commonplace, businesses will focus on discovery:  understanding exactly how and why staff are using these tools, and using this to regain control. After all, if they know why staff are using certain gen AI tools, they can help them get the same results much more safely. 

Companies will accelerate their investment in safeguarding generative AI for employees

Investment in technology is increasing, even more than in office spaces. AI brings perhaps the largest growth potential of any category today, and also some of the largest risks. Companies will invest in both seizing the AI advantage while proactively addressing and mitigating its risk factors.

AI’s investment path will likely keep climbing in a similar manner to cloud and internet adoption. McKinsey also found the two biggest risks with generative AI to be inaccuracy and cybersecurity. These issues will continue and escalate, but enterprises’ ability to face such risks will improve along with their technology posture.

Ultimately, as gen AI finds its place in the work world, employers will ensure they institute the right guidelines, risk mitigation technologies, and parameters to secure company information from “unknown unknown” risk factors that AI will inevitably generate. 

IT partners will be critical in helping businesses achieve HyperProductivity

Enterprises will be aiming for HyperProductivity to achieve a significant increase in efficiency, output, and performance across business processes and departments. This will, in turn, demand technology investments including in automation and AI — and the expertise to manage these. 

Businesses will need partners to help them adapt, as the degree of change involved will demand technology, expertise, and even leadership, which many organisations haven’t previously needed. For instance, companies in banking, insurance, healthcare, and other highly-regulated industries will need partners to aid in implementing HyperProductivity-enabling technology without affecting compliance.

Enterprises that foster HyperProductivity will outperform their peers, leading to a race for data insights and for the tools that empower workforces to operate at previously impossible levels of output. There will be a renewed investor focus on how companies enable AI-powered HyperProductivity, and organisations that get these factors right are most likely to outshine their competitors and attract more investors.

Written by
Uzi Dvir
CIO at WalkMe
December 12, 2023
Written by
December 12, 2023