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Thoughtworks unveils Looking Glass report, demystifying latest tech trends
Wed, 10th Jan 2024

Thoughtworks, a global technology consultancy advancing digital innovation, announced the release of the fourth edition of Looking Glass. This insightful report assists businesses in navigating industry shifts and identifying new opportunities. The report comprises five chapters, known as lenses, that analyse the latest technology trends and provide discernable opportunities along with actionable advice.

As stated in the report, Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) is becoming ubiquitous in business operations, making it more reachable and application-specific for many people. However, to leverage GenAI opportunities, businesses must establish a thorough data strategy and clear goals.

It's worth noting that AI doesn't discern between what it accelerates; thus, wrong decisions can be made even more rapidly than before its advent. To guard against potential risks, businesses need to ensure that their data is findable, accessible, trustworthy, interoperable, and reusable, all in a highly secure and privacy-aware manner. A data platform cultivated with a product-thinking mindset provides the most viable foundation for success.

Rachel Laycock, Chief Technology Officer at Thoughtworks, highlighted the crucial role of data platforms in empowering businesses. These platforms facilitate the collection of valuable data insights, developing robust AI systems, and effective risk management. Additionally, they play a pivotal role in establishing and enforcing data governance, addressing a significant challenge many organisations face.

Rachel Laycock asserted, "Data platforms enable businesses to gather data insights, build reliable AI systems, control risk. It is also a key component for creating, managing and enforcing data governance. The latter is one of the biggest challenges many organisations face."

Laycock went on to stress the importance of control over the direction and output of AI systems. "Yet it doesn't stop there. Having control over the direction and output of AI systems is part of responsible technology practice and is essential to mitigating against unintended consequences," she said. 

The report outlines five lenses. The 'AI everywhere' lens identifies the need for beneficial technology integration to enhance job performance. The 'Realising value from data and AI platforms' lens underlines the importance of updated, credible data for businesses, even those not planning to build GenAI applications in the short term.

Moreover, the 'Evolving interactions' lens highlights the need for organisations to reimagine how they interact with and delight stakeholders through more immersive and seamless technologies such as voice interfaces and extended reality. The 'Accelerating physical-digital convergence' lens expects any non-pure digital play organisation to bridge the gap between the real and virtual as software becomes integral to everything from vehicles to home appliances.

Lastly, the 'Responsible tech; a critical consideration' lens emphasises that an organisation's approach to technology must firmly focus on the boundaries around privacy, security, and sustainability.

The Looking Glass report by Thoughtworks is updated annually to stay in step with the ever-evolving landscape of technology possibilities and business priorities. These updates provide crucial insights for contemporary digital leaders looking to stay ahead of the curve in their respective industries.