2024 will see an even greater focus on customers through the effective use of data which will unlock new insights.

This is according to Ethan Searle, business development director of LanDynamix, who says there is a big shift to software-as-a-service (SaaS) models with strong emphasis on ensuring authenticated access controls are secure.

“This move ties in with the focus on driving productivity. The bottom line is people and systems are the two main mechanisms needed to multiply money exponentially. They make up the real value in any business. Technology ensures the people in the organisation are able to consistently execute their jobs functions efficiently and consistently, ensuring the all-important customer experience is never jeopardised.

“To synopsise a famous Steve Jobs quote – a computer is the most remarkable tool we’ve ever come up with. Modern workplace productivity is enabled through providing staff with quality access to the tools, delivered via SaaS models, that in turn make money for the business. In short, technology enables businesses to do more with less.”

Searle says AI is set to make a much bigger impact in business operations in 2024, especially as more organisations start exploring large language models to solve a variety of business problems.

“There will be greater use of the data we already have, with AI and automation to enable this. We see customers actively looking to use analytics, AI and large language models to maximise productivity, and to proactively improve customer experiences. This will impact even relatively simple areas like stock replenishment.

“Today, businesses are looking at ways to use their data, analytics, and AI to predict low stock levels and proactively replenish their customer’s stock in line with demand. This will prove to be a major plus for the retail sector.”

The efficient, distributed workforce is already a mainstream reality thanks to improved connectivity, local data centres and the maturity of collaboration tools, data analytics and AI, he notes.

“We are seeing the proliferation of a remote working model across industries and have trialled it successfully within our own organisation. I expect remote work to grow even more now that the technologies we need to support it have matured and are available as integrated packages that can be controlled within organisations,” Searle adds.

He says in the past, much of the remote work hesitation among enterprises was due to concerns about managing productivity and employee availability, and because many of the collaboration tools and technologies supporting remote work were not integrated.

“Now that applications for email, messaging and sharing are all integrated within the Office 365 stack, for example, it allows the remote worker to do everything they need to do through the business’s OneDrive, and the organisation still retains control of its data and applications. With localised data centres, the user experience is far better, and we have mature data analytics and AI technologies to effectively monitor and manage productivity.

“As a result, I see the office landscape changing and work becoming a lot more distributed within the next decade.”

Searle concludes that AI-enhanced automation will also make strong inroads into everyday operations. Business will become a lot more efficient, and likely also more profitable.