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Preparing for the Future: Four Key Technology Areas That Will Impact Businesses

Last updated on April 8th, 2024 at 01:29 pm

By Jason Falovo

Over the last year, we’ve seen businesses across all industries start to explore newer technologies to help them streamline their processes, increase productivity, improve employees’ working environments and more. They’ve leaned further into cloud computing, focused even more oncyber security due to the increase in complex cyberattacks, and started to dip their toes into the artificial intelligence (AI) waters.

How will these (and other) technologies affect organizations in the near future? With many technological changes on the horizon that could impact businesses, here are some of the key areas business leaders should be thinking about.

AIAll business operations will be impacted as it starts to flow throughout organizations networks.

While it could be said 2023 was the year organizations invested in AI, 2024 will be the year we see an impact from AI — and it might not be very obvious to identify. 

ChatGPT is the most common application for AI today, but AI will start to grow and integrate in everyday applications and empower network connectivity. With that, all the applications related to the network will start to reap benefitssuch as bolstering network predictability, troubleshooting, security and more.

Security within the AI space will become more important. To prepare, organizations should ensure AI transparency and security practices are sufficient to get the most from AI. 

Consider that ChatGPT and other applications like it record and store transcripts of every conversation. Data flowing into the app can therefore exist in its dataset and help enhance the language models, but that same data could potentially be exposed to other users in future responses. It’s also important to note it’s accessible to human trainers. Competitors or other parties could uncover data that is confidential and has been copied into the app, or data that a user has entered in other apps. For example, if an employee enters confidential or sensitive information into Google Translate, that information could be used to train an organization’s AI models and get exposed in a Google Bard response. 

Businesses will need to plan for security measures that protect both users and their organizations when using AI applications. 

5G: With connectivity becoming a greater imperative, 5G wireless strategies will be important boardroom decisions.

The options for enterprise connectivity are expansive — from fixed wireless access, to private networks, to satellite and wide-area networks (WANs). Organizations across all different industries will have more connectivity options as we look ahead, but they’ll need to choose the solution that best aligns with their particular business requirements and operations. This is especially true as we continue to see organizations suffer significant business loss due to network outages.

Furthermore, the conversation about wireless will move into the C-Suite, becoming a strategic decision for the modern business. This decision will require organizations to examine all possible options — such as the inclusion of satellite and 5G into their IT architecture — to determine the best possible combination for their particular business. 

Internet of Things (IoT)The “smart” society will come to life  from cities, to malls, to businesses.

IoT devices are streamlining experiences and enabling the cities of the future, from powering smart infrastructure to traffic management to smart parking. We’ll continue to see an uptick in industries that leverage these devices to uplevel connectivity opportunities. As a result, this will drive an increase in efficiency, productivity, and meet the growing need for on-demand consumer and customer experiences. The result? We’ll see to see the beginnings of a “smart society”, as IoT-enabled establishments — such as shopping malls, public transportation services, and modern businesses — reach extraordinary levels of innovation.

However, businesses will need to ensure they’re focused on securing their IoT devices to protect their networks. With that in mind, IT leaders and cybersecurity professionals need to become familiar with the unique challenges IoT devices bring into the mix. They’ll need to understand why a zero-trust approach is vital, as well as how the right network hardware can secure an enterprise IoT environment.

Security: Companies will lean into air-gapped web security models to step out of the ransomware ring.

In order to stay ahead of ransomware threats over the last few years, many organizations have locked down access and tried to train their employees. In the coming years, though, companies will get tired of playing cat and mouse with ransomware actors, especially considering the high costs of ransomware attacks — not only on the monetary side, but also in terms of the disruption to business. They’ll want to take a more serious, concrete approach to create secure environments.

To a greater extent, we’ll soon begin to see organizations looking to solid, proven technologies that aren’t yet widely adopted — such as zero-trust web/browser solutions (like remote browser isolation) — to air-gap employees’ web and email sessions by running web browser sessions in an isolated cloud container, thereby creating a secure stream to their employees’ devices.

Business leaders who are looking to create productive, innovative and safe environments will need to begin to look more closely at some or all of these areas as we move forward. Working with the right technology partner can help ensure businesses are aware of all the possibilities available to them to support their business now, and well into the future.

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Jason Falovo is Vice President and General Manager, Canada at Cradlepoint, a global leader in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless edge network solutions.

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