1. Growing demand for optimized cloud platforms

Current strategies show a widespread underutilization of cloud resources, pointing to the urgent need for a strategic overhaul. Organizations historically have adopted a “lift and shift” approach, transferring applications and data directly to the cloud without major modifications or optimizations – leading to escalating cloud expenses, highlighting the inefficiency of current practices.

As we move into 2024, the drive to optimize cloud platforms is expected to become more apparent, particularly to accommodate the ballooning demands of generative AI. Advanced AI systems require an extensive allocation of resources, far more than traditional applications. Without a concerted effort to refine and build up cloud resource usage, businesses may face unsustainable costs.

Businesses need to be well-equipped to harness the full capabilities of generative AI while maintaining financial prudence.

Popular discourse suggests a reevaluation of on-premises systems. Given the recent reductions in hardware costs, integrating on-premises solutions might offer a cost-effective alternative or complement to cloud services. Integration here could serve as a strategic pivot for organizations to better balance and optimize their computational resources. 

2. Businesses will face major talent supply chain challenges

Companies in the tech industry face a major challenge in sourcing skilled talent for cloud-based and generative AI system development. Scarcity of qualified professionals is a bottleneck, limiting both innovation and growth. Recognizing this, forward-thinking companies are being proactive in their talent development efforts by creating their own supply chains for the necessary expertise.

To counteract the talent shortage, companies are not only relying on traditional external sources such as colleges and universities to supply skilled personnel. Instead, they’re taking direct action by investing in internal training programs. Initiatives here aim to equip existing employees with the requisite skills for cloud and AI technologies, building up a culture of continuous learning and adaptability.

As the industry advances, the ability to rapidly adapt and cultivate the necessary skills internally will be a defining – and deciding – characteristic of successful, resilient organizations.

Companies that excel in developing and growing talent are better positioned to lead in innovation, disrupt markets, and achieve sustainable growth. 

3. Cloud innovation will be increasingly business-driven

Traditionally, IT departments have led the charge in cloud innovation, making decisions based on technical feasibility and efficiency. While these considerations remain important, a paradigm shift is occurring. Business units are starting to be more influential in guiding IT decisions, particularly in cloud computing.

In 2024, expect to see business leaders exerting more influence over IT strategies, including how cloud technologies are deployed and managed. The coming changes here point to a broader understanding that IT initiatives must align more closely with business objectives to drive growth, competitiveness, and better customer experiences.

For instance, as cloud technologies become more integral to operations, decisions about cloud investments, architecture, and implementations are increasingly scrutinized for their potential business impact. CEOs, CFOs, and board members are key players in discussions traditionally reserved for IT departments.

Why business and IT alignment will be so important

As digital technologies drive market differentiation, the synergy between a company’s business goals and its IT strategy will (more than in previous years) determine its market position and state of operations.

IT isn’t seen as a simple cost center or support function, it will be viewed more as a central component of business strategy – demanding a heightened partnership between IT leaders and business execs. Decisions about IT infrastructure, cloud adoption, and digital initiatives must reflect and support the company’s strategic objectives and digital transformation goals.

For example, when a business decides to invest in cloud services, the decision-making process involves evaluating how these services align with the company’s growth plans, customer service objectives, and operational goals. IT leaders, such as CIOs and CTOs, work closely with business executives to make sure that technology investments and strategies are in sync with business priorities, driving value and innovation across the organization.

Tim Boesen

April 4, 2024

3 Min