As we reach the end of 2023, the business world stands at a technological crossroads. The coming year is set to be a watershed moment, driven by the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI). The revolution is no longer at some point in the distant future. It’s here, and it cannot be ignored.
Businesses face two challenges. The first, relatively simple, concerns the adoption of new technologies. The second challenge is perhaps more demanding, but it’s exciting too. Businesses must reimagine their future in an AI-driven world. They need to examine their purpose, their goals and their position in the marketplace.
The AI revolution wouldn’t be possible without cloud technologies, which offer much more than just a shift from physical servers to virtual storage. Accessibility, security and performance can all be improved. Energy consumption can be reduced and business continuity assured. Taken together the benefits mean that cloud technologies represent a fundamental change in how businesses operate, innovate, and compete.
However, many companies, particularly traditional ones, remain hesitant, clinging to the familiar comfort of on-site servers. This reluctance may seem prudent, but it is fraught with risks – a lack of scalability, inefficiency and inflexibility. In an era of radical change, an inflexible, physical on-premise solution can’t be the best option.
Radical change isn’t an overstatement. Nor is it marketing hype. It’s what’s happening. The recent unveiling of SharePoint Premium at Microsoft Ignite 2023 exemplifies the transformative power of AI in business operations. It's not merely a product update; it's a bellwether for how AI can revolutionise content management, governance, and collaboration. Such tools are now essential for businesses to remain agile, responsive, and competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
Yet, there's an even more profound shift occurring. Traditional businesses are finding that their data could be more valuable than their primary products or services. Take a moment to think about that. Ask yourself how a business creates or adds value in this new digital age? Make no mistake, in a data-driven world, the ability to effectively harness and leverage data will deliver a critical competitive advantage. Business models need to be re-examined.
As we look towards the future, the role of AI in business is undeniable. It's no longer a question of if but how quickly and profoundly AI will reshape the business landscape. Those who embrace these changes, adopting cloud and AI technologies, stand to gain a significant edge. Conversely, those who persist with traditional IT strategies risk not just falling behind but becoming irrelevant.
My message for businesses in 2024 is clear: there is nothing safe or sensible about cautious investments in traditional IT. The era of AI and cloud technology is here, and it demands bold, forward-thinking strategies.
The right IT partner, with a deep understanding of the transformative potential of these technologies, is more than a service provider. It’s a vital ally in navigating this new terrain.