The AI Odyssey: From Concept to Practical Reality in 2024

In the coming year, artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to shift from a conceptual discourse to a practical reality, transforming organizational processes across various industries, including government entities. Assessing how technology will impact on the modern workplace in the year ahead, Alyssa Blackburn, predicts three areas where AI will have an impact.

1. Storage cost is a now problem that needs to be addressed and managed

We know that the volume of data stored globally is only going to increase exponentially. In 2020, there was 6.7ZB of data stored globally and by 2025 we’ll reach more than 200ZB of storage used, which is an outstanding 61% compounded annual growth rate.

It's an undeniable fact that cloud storage costs are also rising and organisations have no choice but to bear the costs as cloud storage is now a necessity, if not the only option for most organisations.

In a recent “State of the Cloud” survey, 82% of respondents said that managing cloud spend was their biggest challenge, beating out security at 79%. 94% of IT leaders said their cloud storage costs are rising as all cloud providers have raised their storage prices in the past year. 

As businesses are bearing the brunt of the economic downturn and going through or considering cost reduction programs within their organisations, they should look at their storage spend and leverage new technologies such as AI to manage the data they have stored so they are able to easily find and access what they need, use the data and get rid of it when it’s no longer required.

By developing and implementing effective data management strategies, organisations have the ability to cut down on their storage costs by either moving some deprioritised content to cheaper storage, or destroying content when it’s no longer needed to free up storage space

2. AI will move from being a conceptual discussion to a practical one

In 2024, we’ll see process-based AI slowly become mainstream as more organisations across industries, including government, start to leverage the technology for faster decision-making and to automate processes. AI and automation when used together, will change the nature of work.

These two technologies hold great promise to improve human productivity and make existing business processes more efficient. It is through process-based AI that organisations will see the quick-wins.

Generative AI on the other hand will hit a few bumps before organisations start to fully reap the benefits. Generative AI comes with more risks as it’s only as good as the data it has access to.

Issues around AI regulations and legislation will also come to the surface. Currently, AI operates in a regulatory environment that is patchwork at best and as a nation we expect the government to come up with some clear parameters covering copyright, privacy and consumer protection, to eliminate the risks posed by generative AI and ensure AI is not mis-used.

3. AI will change, not replace, jobs

AI will be used to automate tasks, not replace entire occupations. However, jobs are transforming as AI becomes more accessible. As AI gradually moves into the implementation phase, there will be a mindset shift in what we thought would be the fallout of AI; i.e. job losses. Instead, businesses will start to realise the full potential of AI and how it can be used for better outcomes and faster decision making. 

However, jobs will change and people will need training as additional expectations are added to their job description, such as using AI to do more advanced tasks. The biggest impacts of AI will likely be in data management, processing data and collecting data. But according to a McKinsey Digital analysis, AI will also transform how businesses go about decision making and collaboration, communication, documentation, processes of applying expertise, managing and interfacing with stakeholders.

Alyssa Blackburn is Director Information Management at AvePoint.