Canalys 2024 Technology Outlook: 5 key takeaways for high-tech b2b companies 

We hope 2024 is off to a great start for you! We can’t help but be excited about all the technology advances we saw in 2023 (yes, we’re talking about generative AI) and how they’re pulling focus for the year ahead. 

Canalys has provided an in-depth look at what areas of technology growth will be having the biggest impact on 2024. Here’s our five key takeaways from the report

Generative AI is changing the tech landscape. Already a multi-billion-dollar industry, it’s set for more growth with predictions to US$158 billion by 2028. Where’s it having the biggest impact? Primarily, it’s in AI services and AI software development, especially over the next 18 months with companies focused on embedding generative AI across all industries and products. Canalys expects embedded AI to be at no charge to users and that those companies (Microsoft, Salesforce) currently charging for AI services being the exception rather than the norm. 

The talent for on-device AI skills is lagging.Canalys predicts that 70% of on-device AI performance will be left untapped, as talent deficiencies mean capabilities will not be properly optimized to the hardware potential.” This could get in the way of growth across the technology sector. As companies scramble to find and train talent for AI development, missed opportunities will increase. 

Cybersecurity must take centre stage as AI use rises. As generative AI models become more complex and companies rely on them to speed up development schedules, the cybersecurity threat increases. Threat actors are a constant concern and now with AI this is even more so. Canalys sees the potential for nation states to hold multinational firms at ransom with the heightened possibility of spying and disinformation opening the door for security breaches and attacks. Already IT and MSP providers are pivoting to offer cybersecurity measures for AI services, and this will continue to be a need as generative AI becomes more pervasive in our technology stacks. 

Technology companies and channel partners will see a return to growth in 2024. 2023 was a challenging year for high-tech b2b companies. The year was filled with external factors that increased uncertainty about the economy. After strong years of growth 2021-2022, the technology sector saw a “7% drop in growth for the US Channel Titans in the first half of 2023 and a 10% fall in Q3.” High interest rates also played a role in slowing growth, and caused a ripple effect of layoffs across the industry. There is some hope for those companies that are channel-focused, Canalys sees growth returning by April 2024. 

New EU sustainability requirements are proving to be a challenge for many technology companies.  With over 100 sustainability regulations to adhere to, the regulatory landscape globally is growing more complex. And when it comes to the impact on the environment, AI isn’t helping. It creates considerable demand on infrastructure and results in a tremendous amount of e-waste. “As CSRD reporting requirements loom, customers will need support to meet these reporting requirements. This will act as a catalyst for IT spending, as part of the US$247 billion market opportunity that exists in sustainable IT. This is mostly going to be in the form of energy optimization, circular IT and consulting, and advisory services.” 

Generative AI will once again be a major focus in 2024 as companies and the world at large figure out how to embrace this technology. It has the potential to create efficiencies and drive greater productivity in many areas. But caution is still needed, cybersecurity measures need to be improved for AI and policies established to ensure intellectual property is protected. The sustainability regulatory requirements will also be a key driving force for B2B in 2024. 

As we dive into the year ahead, our team is ready to help you create a PR strategy to support your 2024 goals. Please contact TechComms, a b2b tech marketing and communications agency on + 44 (0) 203 322 8928.