When it comes to planning and budgeting, Forrester advised that more realistic budget expectations will serve leaders well as they enter 2024 though now is not the time to hunker down, as stakeholder expectations for growth remain steadfast.
In addition, to accelerate growth and keep pace with the evolving expectations of empowered digital customers, leaders should consider investing in and experimenting with AI in terms of planning and budgeting, the firm noted.
A versatile AI approach can deliver a broad range of solutions across operations that create customer value, cut inefficient complexity, and drive innovation, the firm added.
Areas that deserve more investment
According to Forrester’s 2024 Planning Guides, organisations should consider increasing investment in the following areas in 2024.
AI strategies and tools that deliver customer value. To deliver greater customer value, leaders must leverage AI for efficiency and effectiveness.
This includes using synthetic data for training and refining AI models and AI-powered TuringBots to build and deliver higher-quality customer software faster and cheaper.
Digital B2B buyer interactions and self-serve routes to market. B2B buyer composition and practices have changed. As such, go-to-market strategies must change, as well.
In 2024, businesses should create seamless digital experiences that enable buyers to make product purchases independently through websites, marketplaces, and app stores.
Areas that you should shrink your investment
There are areas that organisations should decrease their investment next year, according to Forrester.
Redundant cloud environments and tools across functions. Leaders should gauge whether adding new cloud environments will shift workloads seamlessly and help their broader IT design.
Digital service providers. Digital leaders should evaluate each provider they work with to determine whether the partnership is helping them create customer-focused solutions that advance their organization’s business strategy.
Areas of experimentation
In terms of experimentation, Forrester advised organisations to look at the following areas when it comes to planning and budgeting.
Advanced AI capabilities — including autonomous workplace assistants (AWAs). Generative AI’s rapid business progression will prompt organizations to experiment with AWAs to accelerate workplace productivity and innovation.
AI and machine learning security. Security leaders should explore new frameworks and vendors in the AI and machine learning security space to both maximize generative AI’s potential and put guardrails in place to minimize its risks.
“While most leaders in every function expect at least some increase in overall spending in the next 12 months, budgets will be tight next year,” said Sharyn Leaver, chief research officer at Forrester. “Given the continued economic volatility, leaders need to be extra cautious and prioritise those investments that create customer value, improve efficiencies, and create differentiation.