One research consultancy is advising leaders planning for 2024 to aim for a balanced portfolio of tech and non-tech budget changes.

According to Forrester’s analysts planning guides for 2024, more-realistic budget expectations will serve leaders well as they enter the next year, but now is not the time to hunker down as stakeholder expectations for growth remain steadfast.

Additionally, the firm advises leaders to accelerate growth and keep pace with the evolving expectations of empowered digital customers, and consider investing in and experimenting with AI.

Leaders who subscribe to Forrester’s strategies to prepare for 2024 are grouped as follows:

    1. Areas in which to increase investments:
      • AI strategies and tools that deliver customer value. Leaders can leverage AI for efficiency and effectiveness, including 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.
    2. Areas in which to decrease investments:
      • Redundant cloud environments and tools across functions. While a majority of enterprise technology decision-makers polled anticipated their organization’s cloud investment would increase over the next 12 months, leaders should gauge whether adding new cloud environments will shift workloads seamlessly and help in 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.
    3. Areas in which to experiment:
      • Advanced AI capabilities, including autonomous workplace assistants. Generative AI’s rapid business progression will prompt organizations to experiment with such workplace assistants to accelerate workplace productivity and innovation.
      • AI and ML security. Security leaders should explore new frameworks and vendors in the AI and ML security space to both maximize generative AI’s potential and put guardrails in place to minimize its risks.

“Looking ahead to 2024, while the macroeconomic conditions look more promising than the year before, budgets are likely to remain tight. Given the continued economic volatility, leaders need to prioritize investments that create customer value, improve efficiencies, and create differentiation.”

Dane Anderson, Senior Vice President, International Research and Product