The future is notoriously hard to see coming.
In the 1997 sci-fi classic Men in Black — bet you didn’t see that reference coming — a movie about extraterrestrials living amongst us and the secret organization that monitors them, the character Kay, played by the great Tommy Lee Jones, sums up this reality perfectly:
1500 years ago, everybody ‘knew’ that the earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody ‘knew’ that the earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you ‘knew’ that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll ‘know’ tomorrow.
While vistors from distant galaxies have yet to make first contact — or have they? — his point stands. We simply don’t know what we don’t know … until we know it. Try though we might to predict, project, prognosticate, and prophesy, the future, and all its uncertain certainties, continues to allude us. Unpredictability is sorta the future’s thing.
Nowhere is this more evident than IT, where, like life, change is the only constant. Hell, the entire sci-fi genre was born out of our inherent awe and anxiety over the future’s unpredictability and our ever-evolving relationship to technology. We just can’t help ourselves from imagining what the future might hold — and if it could, potentially, involve aliens, flying cars, or sentient robots. The latter, perhaps, being less fantastical than ever before.
2024: Great Expectations
After months and months of January, it’s the 16th of January. Crazy, right? These first (nearly) three weeks of the New Year have felt — for me at least — like three months and three days all at once. Time, it appears, works differently now. That, or 2024 will be one doozy of a year.
Already, we’ve lived through a dizzying stream of headlines, from unexpected retirements and polarizing resignations to phishing schemes and record snowfall to tragedies, controversies, and conflict. All that and the New Year still, technically, has its new car smell.
With 350 days remaining, 2024 is shaping up to be a year of tumult and transformation, even by IT’s chaotic, dynamic standards. Predicting exactly what to expect is, of course, quite challenging.
Some trends from the recent past might endure, such as the increasing frequency and sophistication of cybercrime or the maturation of our cloud strategies. However, high-stakes political elections, economic and social tensions, and the Generative AI (GenAI) boom will muddy already muddy waters.
As the 2024 landscape begins to take shape, it seems only one thing is clear: Our profound lack of clarity.
Predicting the Unpredictable
So, you’re probably wondering: If the future is so inherently unpredictable and IT is particularly inherently unpredictable, why even try? Well, for starters, it’s fun! But more importantly, just because we can’t foresee exactly what the future holds doesn’t mean there is no value in making educated projections and/or preparations.
Often, the best prognostications begin, not with the future, but with the past and present — examining what was and how that may impact what will be. This was the driving force behind our recent 11:11 webinar, titled, “2024 IT Predictions: What to Make of AI, Cloud, and Cyber Resiliency.” During the discussion, our panel of industry thought leaders and experts from 11:11, Cohesity, and Fortinet took time to examine the year that was in relation to the year to come, offering practical insights and actionable strategies to help organizations adapt and thrive amidst the upcoming uncertainty.
Here’s a brief, high-level look at their informative conversation, which centered around three key pillars: Gen AI, Security and Cyber Resiliency, and Cloud.
It’s pretty clear, especially over the last six-12 months, that the “Age of AI” is upon us. It seems like AI is all anyone in IT wants to talk about these days. I don’t know about any of you, but at least some of my Thanksgiving holiday (for those of us in the states) was monopolized by articles and podcasts covering the situation over at OpenAI and the future of AI in general.
But as with anything this popular and potentially transformative, it is also polarizing. Recently, Forrester crowned GenAI, “The greatest technological advancement since the Internet.” While Wired has AI ushering in a “New Digital Dark Age.” No big deal. So … which is it?
Our webinar discussion aimed to cut through the all noise, hype, and dystopian proclamations, asking and answering questions like:
- If the Age of AI is, indeed, upon us, and we’ve arrived at some sort of inflection point, what’s actually newsworthy and what’s just noise?
- Do AI-marketed IT tools, specifically, ones targeting cyber security, belie a false sense of security?
- How will GenAI impact IT —cloud, security, cyber recovery — in the coming year?
Security and Cyber Resiliency
The fact is, we’re stuck in a vicious cycle. We’re creating more data than ever before and that data is more precious to our organizations and our customers than ever before. The more valuable our data is the more threats — internal and external, malicious and accidental — continue to rise, leading to higher costs associated with securing said precious data from said threats. According to research from Cyber Security Ventures, the world will need to protect 200 zettabytes of data by 2025, with global cybercrime damage predicted to reach $10.5 trillion annually.
In response to this dire reality, our webinar discussion delved into the nitty gritty, asking and answering questions like:
- How exactly are our experts seeing cybercriminals gain initial access to networks? What techniques should we be looking out for in 2024?
- Security budgets are finally increasing, but is new technology, on its own, enough?
- How can organizations improve their cyber security resiliency in 2024?
Finally, our experts tackled the state of cloud, past, present, and future. For example, Gartner forecasts that worldwide spending on public cloud services will soon reach $592 billion with Forbes predicting the number of large organizations with a multi-cloud strategy to rise to 85 percent in 2024. Meanwhile, the most common obstacles around implementing a cloud strategy continue to include: cost control, security, and a lack of in-house expertise, according to Foundry.
Our webinar discussion took all these factors into account, asking and answering questions like:
- Is the current rate of cloud adoption sustainable?
- What cloud trends and challenges do we expect to continue or become more prevalent in the year to come?
- What does it mean to employ a “cloud smart” strategy rather than a “cloud first” strategy?
- How can we be more “cloud smart” in 2024?
To hear the answers to all these questions and more, watch or listen to our “2024 IT Predictions” webinar discussion today.