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2023 witnessed a robust growth in global IT investment. The forecast for 2024-2026 indicates a continued steady rise in IT spending, underlining the pivotal role of IT in business operations.

1. Overview of 2023: Strong Growth in IT Investment

According to FPT's Report, global IT investment from 2020 to 2024 surged from $387 billion to $509 billion and is projected to reach $546 billion by 2026. In 2023, the finance, telecommunications, and healthcare sectors accounted for the largest share of IT investment budgets and revenue (15%, 14%, and 13% respectively).

The finance, telecommunications, and healthcare sectors lead in the ratio of IT budget to revenue, indicating a high level of IT maturity in these industries. Conversely, the materials and consumer products & services sectors have lower ratios, but the materials sector has shown significant growth, suggesting the potential for IT adoption in the manufacturing and supply chain.

The ratio between IT investment budget and revenue by industry in 2023-2024.

From 2022 to 2023, investments primarily focused on IT solutions for administration and human resources, reflecting a trend towards data-driven decision-making and operational process optimization. This trend is expected to continue in 2024-2026, further highlighting the emphasis on data-driven decisions and workflow optimization.

Businesses have expressed confidence in IT's ability to drive revenue and cost savings. A survey revealed that a majority of businesses believe IT investment can generate significant revenue growth and cost savings (36% or more). This serves as evidence of IT's proven role and importance in business operations.

2. What will be the way forward for businesses?

A 2023 Gartner report indicates that there are 4 key priorities for businesses in approaching information technology: Optimization, Industry-Specific Scale, Pioneering Innovation, and Sustainable Focus.

4 key priorities that align with business approaches to technology

3. Cybersecurity Risk Prediction and Prevention

Strengthening cybersecurity solutions is crucial in the face of rapidly evolving technology, as large-scale attacks increasingly target businesses with vulnerabilities in their cybersecurity defenses. Today, there are numerous forms of cyberattacks carried out through the internet and computer systems, with common methods including malware, phishing, ransomware, social engineering, insider threats, and advanced persistent threats.

Related: What is Cybersecurity? An Insight Overview

To protect your organization's applications from attack, it is essential to have a strong foundation in the three pillars of application security: Process, Technology, and People. Each pillar is a layer of protection that needs to be built throughout the system and complement each other to ensure the safety of devices, infrastructure, applications, data, and the network system of the entire enterprise.

3 pillars of application security

Process: Having defined security processes and a cybersecurity strategy ensures a consistent and effective response to cyber threats. Regular audits and well-rehearsed incident response plans are essential to identify weaknesses and quickly address potential security incidents, minimizing their impact on the organization.

Technology: Technology acts as a vital protective shield against cyber threats, with tools like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, encryption, and multi-factor authentication significantly mitigating risks. Organizations should prioritize staying updated with software patches, investing in advanced security tools, and ensuring secure configurations for optimal protection.

Human: Human error is the most common cause of cyber incidents. To address this, organizations need to prioritize cybersecurity training and awareness for all employees, emphasizing the importance of recognizing phishing scams, securing workstations, and using strong passwords. Clear communication about security roles and responsibilities, as well as hiring cybersecurity experts if possible, can further strengthen this critical "people" pillar of defense.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework

Core: The desired outcomes of cybersecurity efforts, organized in tiers, aligned with detailed guidelines and controls. The Core comprises 5 main functions, each of which AI can impact to help businesses proactively predict and prevent cybersecurity risks:

Actions: The alignment of business requirements and objectives, risk appetite, and resources based on the desired outcomes in the Core component.

Implementation Tiers: Quantitative assessment criteria for the effectiveness of the organization's risk management activities.

4. Industry Cloud Platforms 

A collection of software, platforms, and infrastructure deployed on the cloud, designed to serve specific industries, capable of complementing and enhancing the core capabilities of businesses within those industries.

SaaS - Software as a service

PaaS - Platform as a service

IaaS - Infrastructure as a service

Comprises applications for production and business services

  • PBCs/APIs
  • App Marketplace
  • Compliance

 

Comprises platforms for programming and developing applications

  • Reusability
  • Data Structure
  • Data Analysis
  • Unified Team

Comprises IT infrastructure and data centers

  • Sustainability
  • Infrastructure Assurance
  • Accessibility

Top 5 Cloud Provider

Salesforce, IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and AWS are leading in providing cloud service

Actions Businesses Need to Take When Applying Cloud in 2024-2026

Plan IT applications and infrastructure systems: Develop a concrete roadmap for upgrading, expanding, or changing existing applications and prepare the foundation and IT infrastructure for future developments.

Identify suitable cloud platform providers: Research and assess the maturity of cloud computing service providers to reference industry standards that align with strategic development orientations and the market.

Test some use cases and determine actions to take: Identify use cases based on international practices and plan for expansion on the chosen cloud computing platform.

Related: Cloud Migration Services

5. Generative AI & Super Apps

Super Apps

Super apps, which encompass multiple services within a single application where each service could potentially exist as a standalone app, enable businesses to expand their customer base through these diverse offerings. The rise of the super app model is attributed to the significance of smartphones, mobile applications, and customer data. According to We Are Social 2024, 97.6% of the global population owned a smartphone in 2023. This creates an ideal environment for the proliferation of apps, leading to intense competition among them to attract users.

Furthermore, data-driven decision-making is a crucial capability for businesses. The super app model allows companies to capture a wide range of data from a single application, enriching their databases. Consequently, the super app model emerges as a solution to enhance customer experience and attract a larger user base.

WeChat: Launched in China in 2011, WeChat started as an instant messaging platform that later evolved into a Super App, combining features for users to book a taxi, arrange a catch-up with a friend, pre-order food from a restaurant, and so much more, offering users an integrated communication and lifestyle platform developed by Tencent.

Key Miniapp Features: Messaging, social networking, financial transactions, and various lifestyle services, etc.

Map of WeChat mini app Ecosystem (Source: Internet)

Grab: Based in Southeast Asia, Grab began as a ride-hailing service and has evolved into a Super App, offering transportation, food delivery, and digital payment services.

Key Miniapp Features: Transportation, delivery services, financial services.

Display of Grab's integrated mini-apps

Typically, the super app ecosystem is classified into 3 categories of products/services:

  • Provision of existing products/services within the enterprise: This refers to the core products or services that the company already offers, which are now integrated into the super app.
  • Provision of complementary products/services or those that add value to existing products/services under the same management: These are additional offerings that enhance the core products/services or provide new functionalities to users within the super app ecosystem.
  • Provision of products/services from external partners: This involves integrating third-party products or services into the super app, and expanding the range of offerings available to users.

Generative AI

Generative AI, a technology that is increasingly prevalent online, is gradually becoming an indispensable tool due to its high automation capabilities in our lives. It has the ability to create highly realistic content, mimicking human creativity, making it a valuable tool for various fields.

Applications of Generative AI include:

  • Content creation: Generating creative and unique images, audio, text, videos, etc.
  • Automation: Automating repetitive tasks, saves time and costs.
  • Research and development: Creating new models and technologies.

Businesses also need to be prepared in terms of data, identifying business problems to bring short-term, medium-term, and long-term value.

Step 1: Identify business problems Step 2: Test solutions that address business problems Step 3: Quickly expand into real-world environments
  • Research the application of AI in business and operations
  • Identify the current state of the current process
  • Outline a business process to improve productivity based on AI application requirements
  • Evaluate solutions on the market
  • Apply in some stages of the process for testing
  • Adjust and update according to business requirements
  • Assess the level of response to the values brought in the experiment.
  • Practical application  


6. Sustainability Technology

Sustainable technology drives corporate ESG goals in 3 aspects

Internal IT Operations: Adopt more flexible and efficient methods to balance power distribution in data centers, such as using pre-deployed power distribution features or utilizing Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software to plan, measure, and record sustainable data center operations.

Business and Production Operations: Apply digital and green technologies to enable businesses to provide transparency in supply chain and trade management activities, improve energy and material efficiency, and reduce emissions in production processes.

Customer Operations: Reposition the sustainable brand and promote sustainable choices for customers by providing information on environmental indicators, giving feedback, and encouraging transparency.

What Businesses Need to Do to Implement Sustainable Technologies Effectively

  • Define goals, assess needs, and the ability to apply sustainable technologies within the business.
  • Select and invest appropriately in sustainable technology solutions.
  • Collaborate and learn from partners, suppliers, communities, and other stakeholders.
  • Promote and communicate the company's sustainable technologies.

7. Conclusion

2023 marked a strong development in IT, setting the stage for technological breakthroughs in the period 2024-2026. Businesses need to proactively grasp these trends, investing in appropriate technologies to optimize operations, increase revenue growth, and ensure information security.

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