Top technologies to consider for 2024
February/March 2024 Footnote
What technologies should you be looking out for? It’s a question we must address periodically to ensure we have access to all the tools we need to work as efficiently and accurately as possible. |
In particular, we see four specific technologies you should have on your radar for 2024 and beyond: Artificial intelligence, Zero Trust Security models, automation platforms and cloud-based platforms.
In this article, you will learn about each of these technologies and how they can help your organization achieve its objectives in 2024.
Artificial intelligence is real!
Much has been written and said about artificial intelligence (AI), but the simple truth is AI is here, it is real and it is working! Tools such as ChatGPT, Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s Copilot can help you and your team get more work done in less time — with minimal investment and training required.
For example, you can use ChatGPT and Bard to assist drafting engagement letters, preparing responses to IRS notices and researching accounting and auditing standards. Likewise, if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you will be able to use Copilot to generate reports summarizing information contained in your Outlook inbox, generate PowerPoint presentations from Word documents and automatically identify trends and insights in Excel-based data.
To be fair, AI — like people — is not perfect. ChatGPT and Bard generate their responses based on the content in Large Language Models (LLMs). Accordingly, if the LLM is not appropriately “trained,” incorrect results can materialize. We should, therefore, always carefully review the results for accuracy and appropriateness. However, most professionals will find using AI is easy, acquiring AI tools is inexpensive and the results are typically accurate.
If you’ve not yet signed up for a free ChatGPT or Bard account or haven’t looked at the Copilot preview in Windows or Microsoft’s Edge browser, try them today — you’ll likely be very happy with the results!
Minimize security risks with Zero Trust Security models
Zero Trust Security models (ZTSMs) represent the next frontier in information security. ZTSMs are based on the principles of trusting no person, no connection, no application and no device. In other words, the trustworthiness of every user, internet connection, software application and device must be validated frequently and continuously.
The concept of ZTSMs traces back to 2010 when an analyst at Forrester Research Group presented the concept of ZTSMs in a paper, describing continual verification of every user, device and component connected to a network. Today, Windows 11 embraces the concept of ZTSMs.
As many organizations adopt Windows 11 in 2024, you should expect to see a rapid increase in the number of organizations and users minimizing risk by relying on ZTSMs.
How automation can positively impact your business
Automation is a must-have technology in successful organizations and every business should seek opportunities to automate repetitive processes. In fact, with ongoing labor shortages showing no end in sight, automation could determine whether some businesses will survive.
If you’re just starting with automation, look to automate repetitive tasks. Common examples include team member expense reporting processes, using “scan-andpopulate” tools to automate accounts payable and individual tax return data entry and automating approval processes using tools such as Power Automate. From there, you can expand into automating other tasks, including moving data from one system to another using Zapier, automating customer service requests or managing inventory levels using automation platforms.
Remember, the labor shortage we are all experiencing is here, it is real and it shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon. Therefore, you should seek to automate processes where you can.
Cloud-based platforms: The new standard
In the past decade, cloud-based platforms have become standard operating procedure for almost every business. From Microsoft 365 subscriptions to cloud-based accounting and business intelligence platforms, to fundamental tools such as Adobe Acrobat, seemingly every business-oriented tool is now cloud based or cloud complimented. Yet, lost in the shuffl e is the profound and positive impact cloud-based platforms can have on business operations.
With cloud-based platforms, team members can work the same way, regardless of their work location. In other words, their workfl ows do not differ when they work in a traditional office versus when they work from home or alternate locations. Further, with cloud-based platforms, software publishers can add new features to their platforms without team members needing to seek out and install software updates.
In sum, cloud-based platforms offer tremendous productivity-enhancing options, and now is the time to embrace them!
Keeping up with the latest tech
Technology continues to evolve rapidly, and it can be difficult to differentiate between emerging technologies that will enhance your productivity versus those that are merely fads. However, four specific technologies — AI, ZTSMs, automation and cloud-based platforms — will almost certainly have a profound impact on you and your team in 2024 and beyond. Therefore, now is the time to embrace these tools and prepare to use them to generate the return on investment you’re seeking.
Tommy Stevens is one of the shareholders of K2 Enterprises. He focuses on creating and delivering content and is responsible for many firm management and marketing functions. You may reach Tommy at email@example.com and you can learn more about K2 Enterprises at www.k2e.com.