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Predictions for 2024

If 2023 was the year when AI finally made its breakthrough, 2024 could be the year when the technology becomes mainstream and a regular part of the daily life of business users worldwide. IT security is also likely to gain increased focus in 2024, as AI is increasing the complexity of cybersecurity threats. And then of course it will be interesting to see what new features come in the upcoming release of Business Central 24, where Microsoft has already revealed that they are expanding the AI-driven copilot capacity.

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AI is going mainstream

From November 2023, Microsoft Copilot became available to business users on well-known Microsoft 365 apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. In addition, Copilot has become available in Dynamics 365, including in Business Central. Also in Power BI, Microsoft has added the AI capability AI Builder.

This is going to mean that 2024 will be the year when the use of AI becomes mainstream, and users with access to AI are expected to improve productivity in their daily work and increase creativity. Copilot is also available on Windows 11 and in Bing at no extra cost.

Artificial intelligence is becoming part of everyday life

As a decision-maker in a company, you should prepare for the fact that the use of AI is rapidly becoming part of the daily workflows and business processes. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with the technology and find out how AI can benefit employees across departments. It is also important to implement safeguards in relation to AI to protect sensitive business data from being viewed by unauthorized persons or inadvertently shared on publicly available AI platforms. It is therefore important that policies are created in the company that dictate the responsible use of AI, so that the new technology can be used safely and effectively.

Understands benefits and risks of AI

It is important to be aware that Copilot and other AI services are still in an early technological phase and that it will take time before the full potential of the technology is realized. And since artificial intelligence is rapidly developing and becoming more complex all the time, it is important that the company already understands the technology's benefits and risks and plans how AI can be effectively integrated and introduced into the business processes.

IT security

In the future, AI technology will increase the complexity of cyber security threats and will lead to increasingly sophisticated attacks on companies' IT systems.

Great technological challenge

Surveys show that for many companies, the threat of cyber attacks and IT security is the biggest technological challenge in 2024, and a large proportion of these companies are unsure how to manage and mitigate security risks associated with IT.

Many companies find that their business activities are affected by cyber security breaches such as phishing, malware, data loss and other malicious attacks. When malicious actors gain access to employee credentials, it is often via phishing, which opens the door to wider system attacks. And many attackers fail to disable IT systems immediately and instead stay in the company's IT environment for a period of time to take a closer look at the system, data and users and plan the attack and ransomware demands.

Meet the threat with AI

With the rapid emergence of AI, one must unfortunately expect that these security threats will become even more advanced, which means that not least many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the future, will need help to meet these threats, perhaps even by accessing new security tools that integrate artificial intelligence.

It is expected that during 2024 we will see more AI-powered tools that identify new threats and vulnerabilities being released. With a more accurate identification of e-mails and phishing attempts, these new AI-based tools will enable a proactive strengthening of companies' defenses and thus reduce the risk of successful cyber attacks.

The human factor

However, many breaches of the company's systems are also due to human error, and there will undoubtedly also be an increased focus on educating employees about the importance of cyber security.

Cloud Computing

There are strong indications that SMEs will continue to increase their cloud migration in 2024.

During 2023, many small and many businesses planned to move from their own servers to the cloud. However, a large part of these companies felt that they lacked the necessary knowledge to make this crucial decision to move their IT infrastructure to the cloud. There are indications that a decisive factor is to a large extent concerns about increased operating costs and finances.

More and more are moving to the cloud

In 2024, it is expected that the cloud trend will continue and that even more companies will embrace cloud technology and move all or parts of their IT infrastructure to the cloud rather than choosing traditional on-premise solutions.

For smaller businesses, this can mean expanding their existing Microsoft 365 environment with additional business apps and productivity tools and the business benefits it brings, including increased agility and productivity. Also, important security functions such as encryption, authentication and data backup are important parameters in relation to migrating to the cloud, and in the Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 cloud applications, the AI capability Copilot adds a number of advantages to business users.

Larger companies are also likely to continue to embrace multi-cloud strategies and thus benefit from the latest and greatest apps and services.

Reduce the risk of cyber attacks in the cloud

It is therefore expected that in 2024 we will see increased growth in companies that move to the cloud, so that through the many apps, services and solutions, they can achieve a wide range of benefits. However, it is important for companies migrating their IT to the cloud to be aware that the flexibility that makes cloud services available from any location and on any device also requires adequate protection of user identity and passwords to reduce the risk of cyber attacks.

Business Central 24

In April, Microsoft starts the rollout of the upgrade wave Dynamics 365 2024 release wave 1, where they release new versions of the business apps that make up Dynamics 365 and where Business Central 24 is released.

Microsoft has already given us a little insight into what new features and improvements are planned for Business Central 24, and in the upcoming upgrade there will be a special focus on these four focus areas:

  • Core functionality
  • AI and collaboration
  • Easy and quick implementation
  • World class service

Read more about the four focus areas here, where we have taken a sneak peek at Business Central 24.

Power BI in 2024

Microsoft will likely continue to integrate advanced AI and ML (Machine Learning) into Power BI. This may involve improvements in natural language processing for data queries, more sophisticated predictive analytics and automated insight generation.
Also, NLG (Natural Language Generation) functionality, which generates human-readable descriptions and explanations of data insights, may become more prominent in Power BI in 2024. NLG will help Power BI users understand and interpret their business data.

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