Tech Horizons 2024: Actionable Trends for Tomorrow, Today!

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, our recent Tech Horizons 2024 event, led by IT Practice Director Heidi Rozmiarek, provided a glimpse into the future, highlighting actionable trends that are shaping the digital world.

Participants first heard from Andy Warzecha, Principal and Chief Market Intelligence Officer with The Hackett Group, who shed light on the transformative power of digital adoption and generative AI. Warzecha presented a compelling digital transformation success story where a client faced the challenges of rapid growth through 120 acquisitions over a decade, compounded by managing a legacy infrastructure with 109 ERPs in a 177-year-old company. Recognizing this as an opportunity for innovation, the leadership embraced “creating sustainable value through automation and AI.” The transformative journey focused on six key levers: adoption of online budgeting applications, more analytical time focused on proactive decision-making, complexity reduction, operating model evolution, end-to-end process ownership, and more talent management.

In exploring AI’s delicate balance between innovation and privacy, Kate Campbell from Godfrey & Kahn dissected two main use cases: publicly available generative AI and business-focused AI solutions, highlighting the efficiency gains and benefits such as reduced human error and voice command capabilities. However, she underscored the critical examination needed in the legal landscape to navigate a vast array of privacy regulations, including state laws, GDPR, and the EU AI Act, with potential consequences outlined in the FTC Act’s Section 5. Campbell’s session extended to best practices in internal AI use, emphasizing issues like bias, discrimination, and the safeguarding of proprietary information. Transparency, explainability, and provability emerged as vital components of AI governance, concluding with a spotlight on resources, including the NIST AI Risk Management Framework and Playbook, essential for navigating the evolving ethical and regulatory landscape of AI.

In essence, this event provided a comprehensive exploration of the transformative potential of digital adoption and AI, coupled with insightful discussions on the legal, ethical, and governance considerations that accompany these technological advancements. The event left attendees equipped with actionable insights to navigate the tech landscape of tomorrow, today. Thank you to all those who presented at and attended this event! If you missed it, members can view the event on UWEBC+!

Published January 3, 2024
Jenny Zhang, Marketing Student Assistant