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Experts predict tech surge in 2024 but warn of cost-cutting chill

The year 2024 is shaping up to be a pivotal one for businesses across industries.

As the world continues to navigate a post-pandemic landscape, technological advancements, shifting consumer expectations, and economic uncertainties are colliding to create a dynamic and unpredictable business environment. To help you navigate the road ahead, we’ve tapped into the minds of Optimizely leaders to uncover their bold predictions for the year to come.

From the rise of artificial intelligence as a business imperative to a wave of mergers and acquisitions, increased IT spending, and a renewed focus on customer loyalty, these experts offer a glimpse into the trends that will shape the future of business in 2024. Get ready to dive into their insights and discover what it takes to thrive in this ever-evolving landscape.

Alex Atzberger, CEO 

“I think we’ll see IT spending go up next year. Companies are coming out of a tough economic environment in 2023, and they’ve been forced to skimp on tech infrastructure. Teams who’ve felt the pain from that will advocate for better infrastructure. A good portion of this increase will come from AI, but not all of it, since that tech is still untested.

“Look for solutions like ERP, CRM, and DXP to account for a lot of the uptick. For consumer brands, it’ll be a banner year for martech. Not only are ad budgets likely to be up, but also big advertising events like the Olympics will make a difference. For political advertisers, the U.S. presidential election is a big driver, and it will drive ad revenue for all media, since millions more eyeballs will be following the horse race on new and legacy outlets.” 

“Companies of all types will seek to lower costs, even if they have a good year. Still feeling the pain from last year, CFOs will likely look to cut costs wherever they can, especially in companies where a low growth environment took a toll on margins. That’ll translate into enterprise software purchasing trends, too. Point solutions will be out, and more cost-effective suites will be in.” 

Rupali Jain, Chief Product Officer 

“If 2023 was a big year for AI, we can only expect 2024 to be an even bigger year. In fact, teams will no longer have to prove that AI will add value to their workflows because AI will no longer be a “nice to have” but a “must have.” Instead, if teams want to opt-out of using AI, they’ll need to have major justifications to convince companies leaders that it’s the right move and the competitive risk is low. Next year, we’ll also see a lot of M&A activity.

“On the AI front, vendors are going to be consolidated. This is because the startups that are a simple veneer of OpenAI will see their value plummet, while those with specific value-adds will rise above the fray. Of course, these companies will need some form of special sauce that differentiates them from the base-level capabilities provided by models from Microsoft and Google. 
 
“But even beyond AI, product leaders will have opportunities to explore acquisitions in 2024 unlike almost any time in the past. So, to my fellow product execs, get your lists of favorite companies to acquire ready and be prepared to look at ways to grow your business inorganically.” 

Deane Barker, Global Director of Content Management

“Because of the increased use of generative AI, there’s going to be a novelty factor given to human-generated content starting in 2024. This will be similar to how cultured diamonds became rarer and more interesting as lab-made diamonds proliferated. Generative AI will still be an important resource and widely used for content generation, but I think we’ll see writers do interesting things to let people know that they wrote this and let their voice come through to distinguish themselves for generated content.

“There’s going to be a reckoning or a shakeout of delivery technologies. Lots of promises were made about “modern frameworks” (which usually meant headless), and not all those promises paid off. We’re seeing the pendulum swing back towards server-side rendering and even static site generation. It will be interesting to see how far this reverses.” 

Tina Nelson, Product Strategy Director

“In 2024, we’ll see a bigger focus on customer loyalty. To gain customer loyalty, you’ll need to find ways to connect with customers that demonstrate that you know them. Leveraging first-party data is critical to building the long-term relationship. Using that data to personalize the experience based on their behaviors to drive engagement and demonstrate that you understand them.

“It will also be important to have the relationship-based customer experience be the same across channels such as website, mobile and social. Similar to this year, businesses will still look for efficiencies in their internal processes and tools – finding ways to simplify. To support this, we’ll see an increase in the value of generative AI to streamline work tasks and more interest in TCO as organizations look for tools that can integrate within their martech stack.” 

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