Thought leaders from the martech company Optimizely have offered their insights into key technological developments and trends expected in the upcoming year. Primary matters of speculation are the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the tech industry, the rise in IT spending, and a stronger focus on customer loyalty.
Rupali Jain, Chief Product Officer at Optimizely, predicts 2024 will see AI evolve from a "nice to have" to a "must have," affirming that "teams will no longer have to prove that AI will add value to their workflows."
Also forecasted by Jain are increased M&A activities, with a specific focus on the AI front. This expected consolidation amongst vendors is due to the anticipated decrease in value for startups posing as a simple extension of OpenAI. Jain also encourages product executives to prepare for unique acquisition opportunities, stating, "product leaders will have opportunities to explore acquisitions in 2024 unlike almost any time in the past."
Alex Atzberger, CEO of Optimizely, predicts a noticeable increase in IT spending in 2024 due to a previous year of weakened investments. While Atzberger acknowledges that AI will constitute a significant portion of this, he also suspects that solutions like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Digital Experience Platform (DXP) will account for much of the increased investment.
Optimizely's CEO also anticipates that a significant year for martech lies ahead in 2024, driven by boosting ad budgets, key advertising events, and the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
On the topic of content generation, Deane Barker, Global Director of Content Management at Optimizely, suggests that the surge in generative AI use will give rise to an increased interest in human-generated content in 2024. This is likened to the intrigue that arose with cultured diamonds as lab-made variants became common. Barker also forecasts a "reckoning or a shakeout of delivery technologies," alluding to a shift back to older delivery frameworks such as server-side rendering and static site generation.
Tina Nelson, Product Strategy Director at Optimizely, forecasts a significant shift in focus towards customer loyalty in the coming year. Nelson emphasises the need to "find ways to connect with customers that demonstrate that you know them." The value of leveraging first-party data to personalise the customer experience is also highlighted.
Nelson also expects the importance of generative AI to be recognised for streamlining work tasks and an increased interest in the total cost of operations (TCO) as organisations seek tools to integrate within their martech stack.
In sum, 2024 is anticipated to be a year of major technological advancements, with trends led by the rise of AI and marred by shifting dynamics in M&A activity and content generation. Moreover, the upcoming year is expected to be marked by increased IT spending and a stronger focus on customer loyalty.