The rush to meet climate action mandates, to adopt AI ethically, and to build cyber resilience, are recurring themes in predictions.

The public availability of generative AI tools has brought greater attention to the possibilities of AI, which will only continue to gather pace in the new year. Still, in 2024, businesses in ASEAN will have to grapple with how they can weave AI into their organizations effectively while taking advantage of other emerging trends impacting the business landscape.

Here are some of the key business and technology trends we think will open a new chapter for ASEAN companies, and ways they can embrace them.

    1. Not all organizations will be fully prepared to leverage AI
      The AI industry will be one of the main drivers of the global economy over the next decade. But our own research suggests companies are not yet fully ready to take advantage of this opportunity. The good news is that there is urgency to embrace AI and most companies have taken the first step. However, considerable gaps exist across other key business pillars like infrastructure, data, governance, talent, and culture — such as ensuring that their data is AI-ready; cultivating a strong talent pipeline; and having a change management plan, among others. In 2024 ASEAN companies will wrestle with how to address AI across their organizations, not just from a technology perspective, but also among the humans who are ready (or not) to use that technology.
    2. A movement for responsible, ethical AI will begin with governance
      While most ASEAN organizations recognize the importance of AI governance, there is still room for improvement. Data privacy is a key risk; AI bias is another. Regulatory frameworks will continue to evolve, making it imperative for companies to stay updated and then quickly deploy internal policies that address data privacy, security, and the responsible, ethical use of AI. Companies building AI applications will have to think about embedding security, privacy, and trust-by-design processes throughout the innovation lifecycle and its application in products, services, and enterprise operations.
    3. A new era of intuitive network infrastructure will emerge
      As the scalability and integration of networks with AI workloads or emerging technology could be the single differentiator in organizations’ success, building a modern and intelligent network will become an important part of their growth. In 2024 companies will realize the need for integrated security platforms that can provide end-to-end visibility for their organizations, especially when cybersecurity is becoming more complex in a multi-application and multi-cloud environment, and as employees work from different locations and access information across diverse platforms. An intuitive network will be the sole control point to detect and remediate security threats and enforce security policies to contain the lateral movements of threats and minimize the recovery time.
    4. A year of reckoning and accounting for climate action progress
      With 2023 on track to be the hottest year on record so far, it is increasingly clear that public-private partnerships are essential in creating a consistent and accurate way to measure progress, both within countries and industries and globally. The demand for mandatory reporting will be a growing conversation as regulatory bodies step in to turn plans into concrete outcomes. In 2024 organizations will face pressure to make progress on their sustainability journeys, with technology playing an important role in providing visibility and insights for drawing up plans to create smart buildings and intelligent workspaces. Service providers will also be held accountable for their sustainability goals, and they will increasingly look to increase capacity and scalability in their infrastructures to power increasing workloads while reducing energy consumption.
    5. People and their receptiveness to change will remain core
      As ASEAN continues in its digitization journeys, countries must ensure that their talents keep pace with growth albeit the current tech talent shortage and high demand. This presents a window of opportunity for organizations to develop future-ready tech professionals who are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skillsets to adapt to the evolving technology landscape. Apart from cultivating a strong pipeline of talent, organizations will in 2024 also need to ensure that they foster the right culture that is rooted in purpose to keep teams connected to the corporate mission and to each other as they navigate a complex macroeconomic environment.