Ask many of the world's top technology CEOs about the biggest market opportunity for 2024 and the resounding answer will be artificial intelligence.

"AI is the most important technology innovation of the past 50 years, and the biggest opportunity for AMD and our partners in 2024 will be around bringing new datacenter and PC solutions to market that can drive wide adoption of AIacross enterprise and consumer applications," said Lisa Su, AMD's chair and CEO, in written responses provided for CRN's annual CEO Outlook project, which surveys some of the industry's top executives.

For Google Cloud, investment in data analytics and AI is at the top of the list for 2024, according to CEO Thomas Kurian.

"Our vision for generative AI has been to create a platform that allows people to build and use agents that can understand, reason and act on information in a similar way that humans do," he said.

But with AI comes great security concerns.

"The events of the last five years will likely culminate in what I think will be the 'perfect storm for cybersecurity.' We have a nonlinear acceleration in using Generative AI, both by organizations and bad actors," said Nikesh Arora, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks.

Cisco Systems Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins, meanwhile, believes that AI and security are "inexorably linked." With the company's impending $28 billion acquisition of Splunk expected to close this year, Cisco is looking forward to working with partners to meet their customers' requirements.

"Not only will this create one of the largest software companies globally, but our complementary capabilities in AI, security and observability will unlock the true value of data for customers of all sizes," he said.

Keep reading to see where CEOs are placing their bets in 2024 and how they are relying on partners to help them tackle emerging technology opportunities this year. 

—Gina Narcisi, CRN

WWT CEO Jim Kavanaugh was amongst CEOs offering their 2024 predictions

CRN: What is the biggest market opportunity your company, and its partners, will tackle in 2024?

Jim Kavanaugh: As we look ahead to 2024, the most significant market opportunity we see lies in empowering our customers to unlock the full potential of AI. AI will be the most impactful and transformational technology of all time, but the complexities of today's rapidly evolving landscape give organizations more options and risk considerations than ever before. AI can be an intelligent solution and a preventative capability, but it is not standalone. With digital transformation and the more advanced an organization's IT infrastructure and strategy becomes, the greater the need for a seamless data and cloud strategy, and the greater the need for a proactive and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity. So in empowering our customers, our commitment extends beyond merely offering AI solutions -- we focus on a comprehensive approach made possible through our Advanced Technology Center (ATC), which for over a decade now has helped IT leaders by serving as a testbed for innovation in data management, machine learning and deep learning for traditional AI use cases, but more importantly creating a system that seamlessly integrates AI, digital, cloud, and cyber. AI has been a large focus of ours in the past several years but has gained steam in 2023 as the industry moves toward generative AI and will continue to be a large focus for us in 2024.

What are the key technology investments you plan to make in 2024?

We will be investing more than $500 million over the next three years in technology, infrastructure and talent to help power our customers' adoption of AI solutions at global scale. This investment includes expanding our ATC's formidable capabilities with new composable AI labs launching early 2024 -- which we are calling our AI Proving Ground -- a lab environment where organizations can try, test and validate AI applications that can accelerate the adoption of AI solutions across their organizations. Whether building a computer vision solution for a hospital, an AI-powered data analytics platform for a human resources department, or retail recommendations for an e-commerce site, IT leaders can leverage the AI lab environment to validate the AI experience, test large language models, discover and classify data, test the threat impact, and more. We've had a tremendous last several years and these investments we are making back into our business allows us to be on the leading edge of innovation and differentiation. This is just the starting point of what will be a longer play in regard to supporting our customers in this new era.


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