At least this is what one study is indicating, based on projections of four years of data and a global survey.

Through an Oct to Nov 2023 global survey of more than 3,400 C-suite executives across 20 countries, 19 industries and a full range of corporate functions to compare respondents’ perceptions of change and business disruption, one business research firm has asserted that 2024 will be a year of unprecedented change in the business landscape.

Globally, the firm’s data showed that technology disruption had increased the most in 2023, rising to first place (from sixth in 2022), catapulted by advances in generative AI. Respondents from the Asia Pacific region (APAC) had also ranked technology as the top cause of change for 2024.

The second top cause of business change was talent management (including issues such as skills shortages and lack of employee engagement); although APAC respondents ranked it lower than the others. Talent management was nevertheless among the top three challenges that respondents felt would hold back their organizations’ ability to respond to change.

The business landscape forecast for 2024 includes six factors of change affecting businesses:

    1. Technology
    2. Talent
    3. Economic
    4. Geopolitical
    5. Climate
    6. Consumer & Social

In addition, AI-led data modeling was used, including 40 proprietary and public data series covering the whole of 2019 to November 2023 from institutions such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG). 

This approach supposedly identifies the specific change factors that had the most substantial impact on the overall rate of change in 2023, such as labor productivity and IT spending. 

Overall takeaways

Based on the multiple sources of comparative data, the forecast notes that the rate of change globally had risen sharply since 2019: 183% over the past four years and 33% in 2023 alone. 

Against this backdrop, the survey data has indicated that 63% of APAC respondents had expected the pace of technology disruption to accelerate even further in 2024, and 81% saw generative AI as more of an opportunity than a threat — and more beneficial to revenue growth than costs reduction.  

However, across the region, 44% of respondents had acknowledged it would take more than six months to scale generative AI and take advantage of it, while 61% were approaching investments with more caution because of societal concerns about the responsible use of AI. 

According to Ng Wee Wei, Senior Managing Director and Southeast Asia market unit lead, Accenture, the firm that released their business forecast: “In 2024, a pivotal juncture for businesses in South-east Asia is marked by a buoyant economic outlook. Reinvention becomes a crucial differentiator for thriving in this climate. We believe that the companies that will succeed in the next decade are those that embrace a strategy of continuously reinventing every part of their business using technology, data and AI, including harnessing the power of generative AI, and ensuring their people are at the center of their transformations.”