Published on November 9, 2023, 5:24 am

Uncertainty in the business world can be both a challenge and an opportunity. According to Daryl Plummer, a VP analyst and Gartner fellow, it’s crucial for companies to reassess their assumptions about work, customer-provider relationships, and emerging trends in order to unlock new possibilities.

Virtual workspaces are expected to gain prominence in the coming years. By 2027, fully virtual workspaces are projected to account for 30% of enterprise investment growth in metaverse technologies. These computer-generated environments allow employees to collaborate using personal avatars or holograms. As a result, existing meeting solution vendors may need to incorporate metaverse and virtual workspace technologies or risk being replaced.

The growing prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI) brings its own set of challenges, particularly in terms of energy consumption. By 2025, if sustainable AI practices are not adopted, AI could consume more energy than the human workforce, offsetting any carbon-zero gains. However, there is hope as sustainable AI practices emerge. Specialized hardware, energy-efficient coding techniques, and small data approaches are among the strategies used to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.

Another emerging trend is citizen-led denial-of-service (cDOS) attacks. These attacks involve ordinary individuals using virtual assistants to disrupt operations as a form of protest. Gartner predicts that by 2026 cDOS attacks will become the fastest-growing type of protest. As customers increasingly use virtual assistants for interactions with businesses such as customer service inquiries, these legitimate interactions provide an avenue for disruptions.

Cloud service providers (CSPs) are also reshaping the vendor landscape as they create powerful cloud ecosystems that integrate various services offered by CSPs and independent software vendors (ISVs). This consolidation is expected to reduce customer choices and control over their software destiny but offers potential productivity gains through simplified sourcing and integration.

With increasing global connectivity comes a need for regulatory measures to protect citizens’ data and critical services. Governments and commercial regulators are tightening policies regarding the use of non-regional cloud providers for sensitive workloads. To address this, sanctioned sovereignty partnerships between cloud providers and local partners can strike a balance between meeting sovereignty requirements and enabling global technical collaboration.

Talent volatility poses challenges for organizations, particularly in light of the Great Resignation phenomenon. By 2025, “labour volatility” is expected to result in 40% of organizations reporting material business losses. This will lead to a shift in talent strategies from acquisition to resilience.

To foster innovation and accelerate growth, industry leaders are increasingly accepting speculative investments known as “moonshots.” These high-risk technology investments have uncertain returns but can provide significant advantages in an uncertain and volatile business landscape.

The current paradigm of proving identity repeatedly across online services is inefficient, scalable, and secure. However, with the advent of Web3 technologies, decentralized identity solutions are emerging. These solutions aim to give users more control over their data sharing and eliminate the need for repeated identity proofing across services.

Gender pay gaps remain a concern within organizations, impacting talent attraction and retention. Gartner data shows that only 34% of employees believe their pay is equitable. Organizations are grappling with how to address these gaps effectively. The market for software tools that assess pay equity is growing, offering ways to analyze and model data related to equitable compensation.

Return on investment (ROI) evaluations will take a backseat to employee value metrics in successful growth investment decisions by 2025. Factors such as employee well-being, burnout rates, and brand satisfaction will carry more weight when making investment decisions as they have long-term impacts on financial outcomes.

In conclusion, uncertainties present both risks and opportunities for businesses. By reimagining assumptions about work processes, embracing virtual workspaces, adopting sustainable AI practices, addressing emerging challenges like cDOS attacks, adapting to evolving vendor landscapes and regulatory requirements while prioritizing talent resilience and reevaluating investment decision metrics, organizations can navigate these uncertainties and thrive in the digital age.

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