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The 2024 Technology Trends Report UPSTACK

The 2024 Technology Trends Report Researched and prepared by UPSTACK

Table of contents 01 Table of contents 02 Introduction 03 The 2024 Technology Trends Report: Trending technology areas 05 Top trends in Security 06 Top trends in Customer Experience 07 Top trends on Data Centers/Colocation 08 Top trends in Cloud/Managed Hosting Services 09 Top trends in Connectivity 10 Top trends in IoT 11 Summary: Overarching trend identi昀椀cation 12 Additional advisory partner insights 13 Methodology UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 1

Introduction At UPSTACK, we see the landscape of technology changing rapidly, presenting challenges for IT decision leaders. It can be di昀케cult for them to step back to see the bigger picture with so many demands on their time and attention. But taking a wide-angle view can help uncover opportuni- ties to strategically leverage technology, manage their budget, and reduce risks to the operation of the business that would have remained obscured by the many distractions that they face. UPSTACK has been leading digital transformations for enterprises of all sizes for 6 years, with the goal of empowering leaders like you to create a connected future. With a group of technology experts that bring over 500 years of combined experience in helping enterprises to make better, faster, and more successful technology decisions, we wondered how we could scale our experience and expertise to help more organi- zations and deliver deeper value. Our goal for The 2024 Technology Trends Report is to provide tech- nology decision-makers like yourself with information gleaned from our expertise, market intelligence, and experience. Our report will help you find a clear view of what’s on the horizon and identify trends that have the greatest effect on your business. Every day, we guide clients of varying industries and business sizes toward solutions that deliver the most value to the enterprise while minimizing time, cost, and resources with superior outcomes. If you have any questions about the trends covered in this report, or would like more personalized information and support relating to your technology goals and challenges, please reach out. We’d welcome the opportunity to partner with you. We hope you enjoy the UPSTACK 2024 Technology Trends Report. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 2

The 2024 Technology Trends Report Trending technology areas A note on our data presentation: Throughout this report, you will see a data visualization method known as a Diverging Stacked Bar Chart. This visual will be used to report on Group Ranking, Grid Ranking, and Drag & Drop Ranking questions. Each item is aligned with one another, and compared to a neutral midpoint, with color coding delineating each rating. This chart provides a clear comparison between our top technology trends. For more details regarding our survey methodology, see page 13. Choose the solution sets that you think are trending or have the greatest impact on customers. Security and/or Network Security 80% Customer Experience (Conversational AI, CCaaS, Automation) 70% Data Centers/Colocation/Hybrid Colo+Cloud 60% Cloud/Managed Hosting Services 35% Connectivity 30% IoT 20% BPO Outsourcing 5% MSP Services 5% The top technology area: According to our advisory partners, Security and Network Security were the most critical areas of technology. This is Security and/or Network probably no surprise to the reader. The threat landscape is dynamic and expanding, giving bad actors an asymmetrical Security advantage in the battle over the enterprise IT network. The result of a bad outcome in a security contest is also an outsized risk. Security breaches can lead to stolen customer data, brand rep- utation damage, stolen intellectual property, data loss, and even sanctions by governing bodies for lack of regulatory compliance. As is indicated later in the report (UPSTACK Advisory Partners Insights Question section), Security is also an area where talent is in the most demand. This has led to a talent and skill gap due to the demand for security resources outpacing the supply of qualified resources. Finding the right mix of vendors to close gaps and optimize your defenses is the most cost-effective and robust way to solve this problem. The breadth of the security topics that IT leaders have to be aware of is extremely wide-ranging. Check out the Top Security Trend to see where to focus your efforts to secure your IT network in 2024. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 3

Top technology area: Security and/or Network Security Additional insights Interestingly, Customer Experience (CX) was ranked second. For example, manufacturing or agriculture uses IoT-enabled As with Security, CX is not a tactical infrastructure topic. It’s a sensors and devices. So do many public agencies like waste- business topic–one that can play a strategic role in both brand water treatment or electricity generation and transportation. As equity and the strategic advantages/market position of the such, the bulk of readers may dabble in IoT devices but are not enterprise. Security is also a business topic, where mitigating seeing many use cases that will have an impact on their business. risk translates in equal measure to protecting brand equity and strategic advantages/market position. There were two statistically significant additions to the tech- nology areas covered: BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) This commonality ranked highly in the results of the survey. and (Managed Service Provider) MSP Services. BPO is often Our assessment of this ranking is as follows: IT has evolved from related to CX, as outsourcing contact centers is a very common being “plumbing” for the business that allows it to run to having use case. Leveraging technology to seamlessly transfer calls to a strategic role in the business. It is now a topic of conversation an outsourced center, along with leveraging AI and omnichannel from boards of directors all the way down. contact center solutions, can give enterprises a better way to monitor, manage, and maintain the desired experience, KPIs, It’s notable that Data Centers/Colocation/Hybrid Colo + and metrics like CSAT. This allows the enterprise to leverage the Cloud ranked above cloud. Despite talk over the last decade cost benefits of outsourcing without compromising on a quality about the transition to the cloud, our advisory partners indicate customer experience. that IT departments continue to maintain a hybrid approach to building networks. Whether that’s because they haven’t fully MSP services are, of course, a way to outsource other functions transitioned or because they have found that different solutions of IT network management to trusted organizations that have are appropriate for different workloads is not spoken for in the more capabilities and/or scale so that basic IT functions can survey, and would be an interesting topic of future research. be moved off of the IT team’s plate, allowing them to refocus resources on more strategic projects. IoT’s lower position in the rankings was a surprise. With IoT capturing many industry-trade mags and even mainstream The clear common thread here is the concept of outsourcing. news headlines (including discussion related to IoT devices by Our advisory partners tell us that time is the most valuable and the current White House administration), there was speculation rare resource for IT teams. By outsourcing functions, they can its ranking would be higher. However, its place can be explained redeploy that time towards more productive initiatives. by UPSTACK’s culture. Our advisory partners balance between the utilitarian and the aspirational. The truth is, IoT is only rele- vant for a small segment of businesses that have specific use cases where IoT has made inroads. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 4

Top trends in Security The top trend: Additional insights Expanding Edge and Notably, the cost and availability of security insurance ranked at number two. This was one of the two times the write-in votes Increasing Surface Area changed the order of the rankings, moving it up a place. The rea- son this trend ranked so highly is that, previously, this insurance of Attacks was a safety net for enterprises. It gave them a roadmap for what security positions they must focus on and bolster, while protect- The point at which a private corporate network meets the ing their 昀椀nancial risk and liabilities should there be an event. public internet is a point of failure in your defenses. This edge has been expanding over decades as new technologies are However, the actuaries in the insurance industry have seen an adopted. For example, mobile workforces and the devices they alarming increase in events and consequently payouts, and so use– such as Personal Digital Assistants (like Palm Pilots and the cost of premiums is rising. Some insurance companies are Treos), then Blackberries, laptops then tablets, and now the reducing benefits or leaving the space altogether. With the fail- ubiquitous smartphone– have continually and rapidly evolved. safe being not so safe anymore, the onus is back on IT leaders to The pandemic of 2020 and the resulting lockdowns pushed the protect the enterprise. majority of the workforce to remote work, an unprecedented digital migration that expanded the edge exponentially. The number three and four positions, Cloud, Mobile, and/ or IoT Threats and Social and/or Behavioral Engineering respectively, could be aligned with the Expanding Edge trend, Edge Computing is a key trend. It which makes this an overwhelmingly important issue according brings data processing and analytics to our advisory partners. Social and Behavioral Engineering is problematic in the sense that it expands the surface area of your closer to the source or device. network by making humans, not just equipment, a point of failure in your defenses. The edge is pushed even further as smart devices (like Amazon Lastly, Geopolitical Instability and State Sponsored Cyber- Echoes, Google Home/Nest devices, and the smart devices crime Threats came in last place, but that doesn’t indicate a they control like smart lamps and speakers) and IoT devices lack of present risk. Overall, what’s happening in geopolitics can start to touch corporate networks for the first time. contribute to the overall volume of cybercrime. This will impact all enterprises, not just ones that may be intentionally targeted As the edge expands, so does the surface area of your network due to the nature of their business, like electrical grids or the and the risk of penetration. Our advisory partners believe that aerospace industry. IT leaders must prioritize the triage and future-proofing of this security risk. Paradigms like Zero Trust and technologies like SASE will be the standard in the future, and we believe 2024 is, in fact, the latest that enterprises should start adopting them. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 5

Top trends in Customer Experience The top trend: Additional insights Automation Omnichannel CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) is our third trend and is, again, related to the 昀椀rst. The aforementioned Customer Experience Automation (CXA) refers to AI-driven AI-driven platforms are often delivered as a service. CCaaS, like Contact Center platforms that can be used to streamline interac- many “as a Service” platforms, o昀昀ers many inherent bene昀椀ts over tions between customers and your enterprise during customer on-premises equipment. Chief among these bene昀椀ts is the lower support interactions and other communications. Using AI, the total cost of ownership (TCO), OpEx model, scalability, and redun- platform can learn the best ways to handle, for example, repeti- dancy/availability. While this technology is being heavily adopted, tive tasks or data collection. Doing so can improve the Customer many enterprises still use legacy equipment. Many more, however, Experience by making these interactions faster, more accurate, purchased their 昀椀rst CCaaS platform in the preceding years before and less emotional, among other benefits. the market was as mature, and the platforms as sophisticated, as they are now. As the contracts during initial rounds of adoption come to term, now is a good time to evaluate new possibilities and Automation to reduce human capital o昀昀erings that have emerged in the past few years. costs and focus on monetizing Virtual Customer Assistants and Broadcast functionality are fea- data will be an increasing trend for tures that many companies could bene昀椀t from. VCAs, also AI-driv- the foreseeable future. en, are similar to some CXA functionalities in that they can power chat and handle transactional customer interactions. Broadcast can allow you to e昀케ciently handle mass communications, useful This process is often initiated using Conversational AI, our in emergencies or for relaying account updates, sales, or other second highest-ranked trend in this technology area. It can be scenarios where one-to-many mass communication is needed. delivered in an omnichannel fashion, supporting voice interac- Finally, Immersive Experience and the Metaverse ranked in last tions, chat, SMS, and more. All contact modalities are driven by place, and can probably fall off your radar for a little while– unless the same AI engine, so it’s easy to meet your customers where you are in a very unique situation. Enterprises that are known to they are, and even change modalities without interruption. be inventive, push the limits of bleeding-edge technology, and Automation and AI technologies in CX settings create a more whose brands are tied to this kind of early adoption may start consistent experience for customers, one that feels natural but experimenting with creating a virtual Customer Experience. But lacks the margin for human error. When done elegantly, CXA can it’s a rare use case– for most, Emerging Technology will be of little improve customer satisfaction and even be a messaging pillar of relevance in 2024. a brand used to differentiate from the competition. At the same time, it reduces the need for headcount, scales easier, and is easier to manage. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 6

Top trends in Data Centers/Colocation The top trend: Additional insights Growth of Infrastructure As mentioned before, intensi昀椀ed storms and weather conditions heighten and expand the risks to on-prem Data Centers that are Needs as AI, VR, aaS not protected su昀케ciently. Additionally, recent years have seen an increase in domestic terrorist incidents targeting elements of Use Grows the grid. You may be vulnerable to getting knocked o昀툀ine due to grid failure or brownouts. Generators can only last so long– in an As companies’ use of resource-intensive applications and extended period of outage, or if conditions compromise fuel avail- technologies expands, the infrastructure needs of the enterprise ability or delivery, your backup power may not last until a resolution will obviously grow. This is the second biggest gap between the is reached. This is why 2024 should also be a time to consider first and second trends in terms of response score in the survey, Redundancy and Disaster Recovery/ Power Grid Vulnerabilities. behind the Security Risks of IoT in the IoT technology Area. It’s probably the most obvious of the results. Proper planning, cost Colocation and private Data Centers are often built to be geo- containment, usage optimization, and adopting a Hybrid cloud graphically redundant, but learning how redundant they are and architecture all come together as IT leaders plan for future infra- planning your own business continuity is still critical. Finding your structure needs. own sustainable or alternative energy sources, or Data Centers that incorporate these, can be another way to mitigate these risks. As a bonus, this could also help your enterprise deliver on Cloud applications and development sustainability promises which will only be more relevant and in are driving IT departments. demand in 2024. Infrastructure needs to stay ahead. Automation of processes is about optimizing the time and effort of management resources, most easily done in a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) environment. Simplified manage- An additional insight from our advisory partners is that the ment and reduced strain on administration resources inherently conversation about Data Centers/Colocation shouldn’t happen create value and soft-dollar savings for your IT team, but they can in a vacuum. They should be part of the broader conversation both create actual cost savings. about Hybrid and Multicloud architecture. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 7

Top trends in Cloud/Managed Hosting Services The top trend: increase in your cloud usage, you may want to pause and get the right Hybrid/Multicloud tools and processes in place to have visibility into your spend and usage. Digital Transformation comes in third, but our advisory partners Management still highly recommend creating or re昀椀ning your plan for this journey as a 2024 initiative. The bene昀椀ts of Digital Transformation are many, and the cost of inaction may soon outweigh the cost, risk, or pain of As applications grow within the IT portfolio, it starts to make sense change. If you’re already on your journey, 2024 brings an opportunity to adopt a Hybrid or Multicloud architecture so you can optimize to advance your transformation. The sunk cost of your analog invest- workloads across diverse environments. This could be deployed to ment is increasing with every day that passes. The faster you make give better insight into performance metrics, manage compliance, progress, the faster the ROI of your transformation materializes. enforce and manage internal data security policies, and/or maximize budget through cost optimization and monitoring. When it comes to cloud, the theme from our advisory partners is clearly optimization. Cloud Workload Optimization is another way to ensure the best and most cost-effective performance of your cloud The shift to cloud-based systems will technology. Done correctly, it ensures optimal resource utilization continue, and professionals with expertise and cost containment while also ensuring workloads are given the in cloud computing, including cloud resources they need. Edge Computing is another way to optimize, as it moves the compute resources needed off the cloud and brings architecture, deployment, and them closer to where the workload is needed. management, will be sought after. Automation and Orchestration are also about optimization. In this case, you’re managing complex processes and repetitive tasks, reducing the But managing multiple environments, from on-premises data centers need for human intervention and streamlining management. to public or private cloud environments (potentially with multiple Containerization allows IT to simplify the deployment of applications cloud providers involved), greatly increases the complexity of across devices, regardless of operating system or environment. By managing all of the moving parts. Having clarity of usage and costs is bundling the application code with the additional 昀椀les and libraries need- critical to proactively managing your environments. There are tools ed to run the application into a “container,” network administrators can on the market that can provide this clarity and give you the flexibility quickly deploy applications and reduce the overhead of management of to rearchitect or scale quickly. that process. If you manage many applications, for many users, across many devices and OSs, look into Containerization. Additional insights Serverless Computing gives devs the ability to do what they do As your cloud footprint grows and increases in complexity, which it best, write code, while a cloud service provider handles the process will inevitably do, Cloud Cost Management will become more crucial. of provisioning and deploying the server instances, optimizing their Leveraging di昀昀erent cloud cost models can help optimize your time and resources. expenditure. If 2024 is going to see your migration to the cloud or an UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 8

Top trends in Connectivity The top trend: Additional insights Work From Home SD-WAN Adoption, Migration, and Implementations came in second. Our advisory partners have found that many customers Connectivity are still on MPLS networks, which are more costly, less versatile, and present more chances of failure than the optimized network The aforementioned workforce, driven out of the office and into that can be built using SD-WAN. One of SD-WAN’s biggest the home by COVID-19, has yet to make a full return. Many work- benefits is the ability to use existing or less costly broadband ers are still commuting to their couch from their kitchen table connectivity, which makes it a viable option for work-from-home full-time, while many that have returned are on a flexible, hybrid setups as well. Some of the problems with home connectivity, schedule, only coming into the office for a portion of the week. the top trend, could be mitigated with SD-WAN. This seems to be the norm now, and our advisory partners don’t see that changing appreciably in 2024. Our sense is that the market, like with cloud, is simply slow to adopt this technology because they don’t have the time for this kind of transformation project. However, working with UPSTACK Vendor management becomes a can simplify the process and improve the odds of success. bigger and more labor-intensive Redundancy and 5G followed on the Connectivity Trends list. initiative and IT network and These two are related to one another, as 5G can be a cost-e昀昀ective infrastructure complexity increases. secondary connectivity option in case of failure of the primary. But 5G can also be deployed as a primary connectivity option in some scenarios. 5G should certainly be on your radar in 2024, as options are multiplying and prices are coming down. If you need it but have Residential connectivity is the lifeblood of the at-home worker. yet to adopt it, this is a good time to take the plunge. But, a shared bandwidth solution is often the foundation of this connectivity, and sometimes bandwidth availability can cause There’s another reason to act fast: as climate change increases latency and other connection issues that reduce performance. the frequency and intensity of storms and other weather events, This is a particular challenge in real-time application usage like causing a lot more risk year-over-year of losing primary connec- Zoom or Teams, which for many are still the primary modality of tivity, 5G can help mitigate associated risks. Inherently, 5G can communication and collaboration with their internal teams as make enterprises more flexible and nimble. Rapidly deploying well as clients and external collaborators. 5G connectivity can bring new or remote locations online instantly and enable mobile use of devices and applications, Having good, reliable, cost-effective connectivity for at-home creating a combined benefit of agility and resilience. workers will grow in importance the longer work from home is a standard and enterprise use of cloud applications grows. Finally, POTS Conversion registers as a priority, albeit lower, Further, aggregating these circuits can help enterprises reduce because of the increasing costs and ongoing decommissioning costs by gaining buying power– creating a position with lever- efforts of LECs. The technology continues to get older and the age for the enterprise instead of forcing users to secure their cost of ownership continues to rise. Taking steps in 2024 will own solutions and expense the cost. Additionally, this solution help you put a stop to the slow bleed of your POTS network can reduce the time spent managing and supporting these while giving your network more flexibility. circuits while giving IT more control over security standards. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 9

Top trends in IoT The top trend: Additional insights Security Risks of IoT 5G makes our list yet again, but this time it shows up as a viable connectivity option for IoT devices. Having IoT devices on a As mentioned earlier in this report, IoT adoption is still in its infancy, separate network is an excellent practice – to decrease security confined to a handful of vertical industries that have strong use risks, an enterprise would ideally segment these devices and cases and an ecosystem of equipment. But, it is growing. As keep them from using the same broadband as applications. But in adoption increases, it will expand the edge and pose security some IoT use cases, it would be impractical or impossible to con- risks. Adding to these risks is the tendency toward shadow IT, nect to a circuit. For mission-critical IoT devices as mentioned with departments and users plugging into corporate IT networks above, 5G could also be deployed for redundancy. without giving much thought to the risks. Increased adoption will also lead to increased reliance on IoT networks and devices, Another implication of the increase in IoT adoption is the need to creating a need for heightened security. manage traffic. Many of the IoT use cases will require real-time connectivity, and traffic will continue to increase as more and IoT devices and applications are more devices come online. This is where the need to manage and prioritize traffic will begin to arise. But, don’t wait until this becoming more widespread, and becomes a necessity– as with any technology snag visible on the professionals with skills in IoT horizon, it’s better to have a plan upon deployment than to wait until it becomes a challenge to be solved. development are in demand. AI-powered IoT networks leverage the learning and predictive capabilities of AI to create models that anticipate the needs of In the future, an enterprise relying on an IoT device that could be users or elements of IoT-powered networks. This can streamline taken offline or otherwise compromised could experience hefty and improve the operations of such networks while creating damage to operations and brand reputation. If IoT is on your better outcomes for users and reducing the need for manage- roadmap, or already here for you, don’t let 2024 go by without at ment. Enterprises that adopt this technology can better allocate least considering what the security implications may be. resources, whether human or, for example, compute power. Blockchain used in an IoT network can allow multiple entities to share data more securely and without the need for centralized management. It enables an unchangeable log of transactions to be recorded for transparency while maintaining anonymity. Any- time a group of disparate organizations have to collaborate on a single project or participate in a complex, multi-step process, Blockchain IoT could be a solution. Freight shipping, logistics, and certain manufacturing operations are potential use cases. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 10

Summary: Overarching trend identi昀椀cation Our data revealed a few overarching themes, speci昀椀cally three areas for IT leaders to focus on in the months ahead: Security It touches almost everything and carries with it risks that demand it be prioritized above almost all else. Optimization A priority whether it’s simplifying or reducing manual management or processes, fine-tuning performance, or reducing costs. Edge More things are happening at the edge, which is expanding and presenting additional risk. But decentralizing work- loads saves compute resources and bandwidth, and can create additional value. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 11

Additional Advisory Partner Insights Read their write-in responses. “Making the best use of outside services to maximize your internal staff is a shortcut to scale. Search for ways to leverage managed services partners.” “TEM Solution adoption will continue to grow and pay an increasing ROI.” “C-level focus on reducing risks in cyber and human capital while keeping budgets flat or down will be a delicate balance for IT leaders.” “Transformation isn’t about technology. It’s about people systems buying into new ways of doing things. Vision, courage, and emotional intelligence along with experienced advisory and execution are key for today’s technology teams.” “Strategic Thinking-Data and Digital Literacy will grow in importance.” “IT Security knowledge. Hire for it. Develop it in-house. Find partners with it.” “With an increase in cyberattacks and data breaches, companies will continue to prioritize the security of their systems, networks, and data. Professionals with skills in cybersecurity, including ethical hacking, risk assessment, and incident response, will be in demand.” “AI and machine learning are becoming more prevalent in various industries, and professionals with skills in these areas, including data analytics, natural language processing, and computer vision will be in demand.” UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 12

Methodology Format Scoring UPSTACK developed a survey to be sent to its advisory Ratings partners—a dynamic group of 40+ technology professionals Responses were rated on a scale of 1-5. A score of 5 was consid- that collectively bring a wealth of real-world experience and ered to be “Most significant” and resulted in a positive point tally. specialized solutions expertise with a laser focus on positive A score of 1 was deemed “Not significant” and was a negative outcomes for all clients. Our Advisory Partners were given two score in the tally of points. A score of 3 was considered neutral weeks to complete the survey. The survey consisted of a series and was not tallied. of questions meant to elicit their opinion on which trends they anticipate will have the greatest impact on customers in 2024, Write-ins and thus deserve the most attention and resources from IT If a write-in was provided, it was assessed as being “Most signifi- decision makers, in the following technology areas: cant” and given a default score and tally as if it were rated a 5. The write-in responses were reviewed and sorted. If they were relat- 1. Security and/or Network Security ed to an existing trend, they were added to its tally. If they were 2. Customer Experience net-new, they were scored accordingly. In some cases, there was 3. Data Centers/Colocation/Hybrid Colo+Cloud overlap in write-in responses and their score became statistically 4. Cloud/Managed Hosting Services significant, in which case they were weighed in the scoring. If a 5. Connectivity write-in had no other correlations, they were discarded as statis- 6. IoT tically insignificant. Calculation Questions The points were awarded as below and added together. They The questions were asked in the following ways: were then divided by the number of votes. If a write-in was given, the points were added to the tally, and the denominator was Rating on a scale increased by 1. Respondents were asked to rate a series of trends related to each respective technology area on a scale from 1-5* according Reporting to how impactful they believe each trend will be in 2024. While all data is reported, the top technology areas by rank and the top five technology trends were identified as a result of their *See scoring below for more details. statistical role as key findings of the report. This report is simply presenting and interpreting the data collected. Write-in responses Respondents were then asked to list any additional trends for the respective technology area that they believe will be impactful Trend identi昀椀cation to customers in 2024. Write-in responses consist of important Once scored, trends were compared against each other accord- trends absent from the scoring question. ing to technology area, as well as stack ranked. This was done through a data visualization technique called a Diverging Stacked Advisory partners insights questions Bar Chart. This is a type of chart used to report on Group Rank- The final three questions of the survey were the most open-end- ing, Grid Ranking, and Drag & Drop Ranking questions. The chart ed. Respondents were given an opportunity to add additional table includes a row for each item (trend) in the Group Ranking context or list trends that would impact customers in 2024 with questions. The Distribution is a diverging stacked bar where a fewer confines around their responses, meaning the only prompt shade or a color is assigned to each possible rating. Because was a broad, generalized question. items align with each other around a midpoint (Neutral), this method provides the most effective visualization of the spread of negative and positive values across the rating scale. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 13

Methodology Diverged stacked bar chart example Example: Rate from 1-5, 1 being no signi昀椀cant and 5 being the most signi昀椀cant. 1 2 3 4 5 NOT SIGNIFICANT LEAST SIGNIFICANT NEUTRAL SIGNIFICANT MOST SIGNIFICANT Trend #001 Trend #002 Trend #003 Trend #004 As shown above, this method is an easy and clear way to view the signi昀椀cance of the response, see the spread between signi昀椀cant and not signi昀椀cant, and visualize the order of signi昀椀cance from most to least. Results Once we compared Stack Ranking to Stack by Category cohort, it was evident that the distribution of the top 5 trends was virtually identical regardless of how it was evaluated. We chose to report the results stack ranked by category for clarity in understanding the full context of the responses. How UPSTACK can empower your technology in 2024 UPSTACK has built trust by helping businesses of all sizes 昀椀nd the tech solutions they need, whether they are considering the technology trends in this report, looking to optimize their existing technology stack, or searching for solutions to new and emerging challenges. We provide end-to-end expertise and support every step of the way, from evaluation to procurement, implementation to management, and beyond. Learn why we’re a top choice for businesses seeking IT expertise– visit to learn more. UPSTACK © The 2024 Technology Trends Report | 14

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