Thanks to generative AI (genAI), the era of AI computing is upon us. Backed by decades of development and fueled by billions of dollars in language models, AI infrastructure, and AI-powered applications, technology is taking a massive leap forward. The technology and language models you need to bring real advances in productivity, experience, and revenue are ready and real enough to get started today. Technology executives must act now and elevate their commitment to deliver genAI success.

Forrester predicts that in 2024 businesses will harness genAI-powered applications to serve employees (60% adoption) and customers (with 50% of firms deploying apps, with an employee running point on the response). The business demand for genAI-powered applications will cascade to IT, which must take primary responsibility for making sure the technology works effectively and safely at scale. Take three steps to harvest the disruptive benefits of genAI computing:

  1. Advance your operating model with the right skills, practices, and partnerships. Software development will be one of the first skills to change, supported by TuringBots that will improve productivity by 15–20%. Coding is a classroom to see how genAI will enable and require changes in other work processes. As a technology leader, beef up your AI skills by hiring your own talent if HR can’t support you and working with partners with the right experience and technology foundations to help.
  2. Lay the foundations of technology, trust, governance, and data. AI platform budgets will triple, driving a 36% compound annual growth rate from 2023 to 2030. We predict that hyperscalers in 2024 will invest massively to serve applications and genAI workloads in 30 new regions. Regulatory enforcement of AI rules and standards will take time to kick in, but now is the time to invest in AI governance so that you don’t have to retrofit for later. It will also pay off now, as we predict that the number of fines for AI-generated GDPR violations will double by the end of 2024.
  3. Take a high-performance approach to AI. Your success as a technology organization under the genAI onslaught is determined by the impact that you have on your business. When you deploy AI in your IT, you have control (making it a great place to learn), but when you’re building an AI-powered application for employees or customers, start by understanding what your business really needs (strategy!) from the application and how you will collaborate to deliver the benefits.

The marriage of IT and business has never been more important. Your responsibility and opportunity as a technology leader has never been greater. To succeed in the shift to genAI computing, build on core principles of high-performance IT — strong alignment, deep trust, and high adaptivity — to establish what your business needs from IT to successfully deploy and operate game-changing applications. Anchored by this enhanced ability to execute, you will build capabilities that enable business success, optimize your business assets, co-create new value for the firm, or possibly transform your entire business.

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I would like to thank my many Forrester colleagues who predicted the impact of AI in 2024, thus contributing to this blog and report.