While it has been tough to ignore the business world’s infatuation with generative AI, curiosity about the metaverse appears to be dwindling. What technological components will be essential to H2?
The devices that will shape the upcoming year are predicted by corporate leaders and specialists in emerging technology every year. Have these predictions changed now that the year is more than halfway over?
The Fascination With AI in The Business World Continues to Expand
The publication of ChatGPT last November sparked an obsession with this set of technologies in H1 2023, the sheer scope of which few people could have expected. Artificial intelligence has always been on the radar of astute company leaders.
“Generative AI will keep gaining significant traction in boardrooms.” Regarding its potential reach into so many facets of business, Kate Smaje, global leader of McKinsey Digital, asserts that it will function as a Trojan horse.
Any leader who has put off adopting generative AI—possibly due to the anxiety it causes among workers who fear losing their jobs—can no longer manage to wait. According to Smaje, AI has developed into a crucial corporate tool that might potentially open up new employment opportunities.
The emphasis is shifting from technology alone to human-tech collaboration, according to the speaker. “Now, it’s about the reskilling challenge of producing the next generation of quick engineers; the investment in what it takes to lead an AI-enabled organisation; and the change management needed to maximize this potent technology.”
Cybersecurity: Never Glamorous, But Still Absolutely Essential
The development of AI has increased the demand for ever-more-effective cybersecurity solutions. Nearly half of all IT leaders, according to a study performed by Charles Eagan, chief technology officer of BlackBerry, predicted that a successful cyber attack made possible by generative AI would take place within the year.
It has now become obvious how precise the prediction was, he claims.
Even without accounting for cybercriminals’ use of AI, the number of attacks keeps increasing. According to the UK government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2023, which was released in April, there were 2.39 million instances of cybercrime in the previous year.
PayPal, JD Sports, Capita, X (previously Twitter), and the NHS are among the organisations known to have experienced serious data security breaches this year alone. News of a cyberattack on the UK’s election rolls only recently became public.
According to Eagan, weak software supply chains tend to uncover vulnerabilities that allow hackers to bypass the defences of multiple companies at once. A significant instance is the June cyberattack on payroll service Zellis, which resulted in the compromise of thousands of employees’ personal information at companies like BA, Boots, and the BBC.
According to him, “too many businesses mistakenly believe that the safety of their software partners is at least as strong as their own.” “Trust by itself is insufficient. Instead, extended detection and response, or 24×7 threat monitoring, is essential.
However, AI also has defensive uses. Predictive AI, which Eagan refers to as “cybersecurity’s great equaliser,” helps businesses spot attacks more proactively and react to them more efficiently.
It may also give you peace of mind to know that, according to BlackBerry’s research, 44% of UK businesses expect to start the new year with AI-powered cyber protection in place, with that number rising to 78% by the end of 2024.
Did The Concept of The Metaverse Turn Out To Be a Distraction?
The number of online searches containing the term “metaverse” peaked in January 2022, according to statistics from Google Trends, and has been declining ever since. However, some companies are still betting on virtual worlds and extended reality.
In particular, Apple’s Vision Pro mixed-reality headset was widely anticipated when it was unveiled in June 2023. Recent research from management consulting firm Bain suggests that the metaverse may generate up to $900 billion (£708 billion) in income by 2030, despite the possibility that it will remain in the early stages of development for at least another five years.
But what exactly does the metaverse have to offer companies?
Pete Williams, director of data at Penguin Random House UK, asserts, “I’ve never encountered an atmosphere where these kinds of things make for easy engagement, even in hybrid working. “It’s always based on how flexible your connection is and what gear you’re utilising. A constant experience is quite challenging to obtain.
He talks about the early failures of mixed-reality hybrid meetings made by a colleague and how frustrating they can still be.
Williams asserts, “I don’t think anyone is prepared for it.” “The recent growth of hybrid working gave us the impression that it would be simple. But since individuals are reuniting in person, that objective has lost ground. To make the metaverse attractive to people once more, it truly going to require someone radical like Apple, with a user-based perspective rather than a technical one.
Why Data Literacy Should Be a Top Priority
The democratisation of internal data should be a priority for firms in H2, according to Williams. This abundance of information “has to be freed to mingle,” wherever it may be located within the organisation.
He contends that businesses must combine this activity with a focused effort to raise data literacy across the board.
“Give people the skills needed to engage with the information – the ability to put together an argument that resonates with the data,” advises Williams to any business leader.
Reaching that point is as much about leadership and culture change as it is about specific IT tools. This principle applies across all tech teams in organisations, according to Smaje.
The utilisation of existing technology by businesses will be more important in the coming six months than new technological trends, according to the analyst. Instead of merely discussing the technology itself, I think we will talk more about leveraging the potential of technological trends.
Despite the recent rapid ascent of AI, most organisations still depend on people to comprehend, shape, and use the sophisticated technology at their disposal.