We live in an age of rapid digital innovation. Recent years have seen dramatic growth in exciting new technologies that promise to have a transformative impact on how we live our lives and run our businesses. By embracing the most impactful modern solutions you’ll empower your business to deliver value to its customers, and maintain a streamlined, efficient operation that maximises your productivity and profitability.
So what new technologies should you consider for your business next year, and further into the future?
Here at PAQ IT, our mission is to help businesses across Galway, Limerick, Cork and beyond harness digital transformation as a vehicle for sustained growth and business success. While creating a future-focussed IT strategy requires a tailored approach, there are some emerging technologies to look out for in the years ahead that look set to bring significant benefits to businesses of all sizes, and across almost every sector. Here are 5 things to achieve from IT in your business in 2024.
Next-generation Cyber Security
According to a report by Hiscox, 71% of Irish businesses experienced a cyber-attack in the last 12 months, representing a marked rise on the previous year, when the figure stood at 49%. These findings are consistent with global data, which suggests cybercrime is growing rapidly, becoming perhaps the most significant threat facing businesses that operate digitally.
Cyber security analysts have also noted a trend towards more sophisticated and potent cyber-attacks, with easier access to effective hacking tools enabling criminals to inflict more damaging attack campaigns. The situation therefore requires businesses to be on their guard, and invest in multi-faceted cyber security tools that make use of the latest technologies.
Traditional, signature-based threat detection tools remain an effective repellent against the most common cyber threats, but for more advanced protection you may want to consider investing in a “next-generation cyber security solution.
Utilizing AI and machine learning, next-generation cyber security solutions can spot activity patterns and user behaviours that could indicate an impending cyber breach, allowing security teams to take swift decisive action against inbound threats. These advanced security platforms provide cross-environment threat detection, covering accounts, identities, apps and infrastructure across both cloud and on-premises networks. This enables real-time, end-to-end protection across the vast and varied locations where modern businesses store their data, providing full visibility into the security status of every corner of an IT system. Response actions can even be automated, reducing the burden on security staff and immediately neutralising evolving threats before the criminals are able to gain a foothold in the network.
If your business has challenging data protection needs, or you simply want to upgrade your existing defences to counter more sophisticated cyber threats, consider exploring the world of next-generation cyber security with your IT provider.
Artificial Intelligence and Automation
Artificial intelligence and automation are two technologies that are already making waves, as businesses seek to become more productive, streamlined and agile.
While AI has garnered significant attention recently thanks to the likes of virtual assistants and ChatGPT, many businesses have yet to explore AI in any meaningful way: but that may be about to change. Growing awareness of AI’s potential in the workplace is slowly translating to increased adoption, and the use cases are varied and numerous. From analytics tools that create detailed financial forecasts to AI-powered marketing tools that can deliver highly personalised campaigns and predictive security platforms, AI’s many uses have the potential to enhance value delivery, and help businesses achieve more with fewer resources.
Automation has arguably seen more widespread adoption already, particularly via enterprise software programmes that provide options for applying automation to countless business processes, from employee onboarding to expense processing and everything in between. Self-service portals, chatbots, virtual assistants and interactive voice response represent just a few of the many applications of automation within customer service channels, and such technologies are likely to accelerate and gain new functionality in the years ahead.
From marketing to finance, HR to customer support, AI and automation can be integrated into virtually every business department and function. Make these captivating technologies part of your digital journey in 2024.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a network of interconnected devices which gather, share and compute data. The goal of IoT infrastructure is to create a streamlined, integrated system that can carry our actions or tasks with increased or even full autonomy, empowering businesses to reduce the burden of time-consuming, manual processes.
Almost all of us have IoT devices in our homes now, with the likes of digital thermostats, smart speakers and video doorbells demonstrating just a few of the many IoT use cases.
In the workplace, IoT has seen varying levels of adoption, with healthcare, manufacturing and logistics leading the field. IoT technology can have a transformative impact on workflows that demand labour-intensive data gathering and other manual processes.
In healthcare for example, monitoring technologies make it possible for doctors and nurses to remotely observe patient condition, allowing staff resources to be allocated as efficiently as possible. In delivery fulfilment, inventory tracking systems combine with wireless scanners, streamlining delivery processes, reducing human error, and allowing customers to track the delivery status of their purchase.
Your IT provider should be able to coordinate the secure integration of IoT into your business, to help you simplify manual workflows and exploit the benefits of real-time data insights.
Today’s business software and services place great emphasis on seamless digital integration. This refers to the ability to connect data and workflows across different platforms and programmes, enabling cross-platform automation and eliminating the need for manual data handling. Digital integration can be the first step in unlocking profound strategic advantages. For example, through digital integration, business analytics tools can empower organisations to consolidate, visualise and draw insights from previously segregated data stores, supporting managers in making better informed, data-driven decisions.
Cloud-native solutions and services naturally offer better integrability than many of the legacy solutions they replace, so improved data integration is a trend that is likely to continue as more businesses migrate IT functions to the cloud. Talk to your IT provider about strategies for improving data visibility and integration in your business and remove the barriers that create inefficient data silos.
Cost-conscious IT solutions
Today’s taxing economic climate demands that businesses across all sectors look for ways to reduce costs, while achieving the same (or improved) outcomes. The last decade or so has been the age of cost-effective IT, driven mainly by the cloud, which has granted businesses of all sizes access to a wealth of IT opportunities on a cost-efficient, scalable and agile basis. In the year ahead, your IT provider should be instrumental in helping you extract maximum value from your IT, and in helping you consolidate and reduce your IT spending. Consider the following cost-saving IT initiatives in the year ahead:
- Use Cloud software services. Cloud-hosted software-as-a-service solutions provide malleable access to empowering features and functionality, with subscription pricing that can quickly adapt to the changing needs of your business.
- Assess your broadband needs. Have your IT provider assess your internet bandwidth needs, and consider whether you’re paying too much for broadband performance your business doesn’t strictly need. Switching to a cheaper product could save you money, while having no noticeable impact of performance.
- Extract value from data. Consider using business insight tools to extract latent value from the data your business holds. Analyse marketing strategies to determine which work best, make accurate financial predictions, and spot hidden patterns in the behavioural trends of your customers.
- Consider hybrid working arrangements. Enabling remote work, even on a limited basis, could reduce pressure on your office space and allow you to operate from a smaller, more affordable location.
- Switch to VoIP telephony. VoIP can provide manifold cost savings, through lower call costs, zero maintenance overheads and scalable, transparent monthly billing.
Your IT should be working in your commercial favour, not crippling your business with unaffordable running costs. Make IT cost savings a priority for your business as you head into 2024.
PAQ IT – Your Premier Choice for Managed IT Services, Support, and Solutions in Limerick, Cork, Galway, and Beyond!
At PAQ IT, we’re dedicated to assisting businesses throughout Limerick, Cork, Galway, and beyond in embracing digital transformation for sustained growth and success. Through our innovative “Kaizen 360” program, we enable businesses to harmonize their people, processes, and business technology, unlocking the 75% of value often overlooked by other IT support providers.
From comprehensive cyber security services to cutting-edge cloud solutions, efficient process automation to top-notch IT support, PAQ IT offers tailored, end-to-end packages to meet all your IT requirements seamlessly, allowing you to focus on managing your business effectively. Let PAQ IT be your trusted partner in navigating the dynamic technology landscape, ensuring your prosperity in Limerick, Cork, and Galway.
Contact us today for a complimentary consultation. We’re eager to help you succeed with technology.