The Tech Outlook: Bumpy Now, Bright Soon

It’s no secret that the last few years have been rough for tech – but the sector also has a unique ability to look beyond the clouds and see opportunity through innovation.

By John Stackhouse
Published May 27, 2024 | 25 min read

Key Points

Takeaways from RBC Capital Markets Technology Private Company Conference on the outlook for tech:

  • Private for longer: Despite the run up in some tech stocks, the mood continues to be that private tech companies will avoid the stock market a while longer.
  • The next tech boom: May come from low code and no code. A lot of startups are showing what drop and drag can do to replace old fashioned code writing and get ready for even more transformation in software with voice to code and image to code.
  • Data navigation: It’s all about the plumbing of digital networks in the hyperconnected age of AI. Many organizations are now realizing they can’t be wired to a single cloud. Regulators won’t let them anyway, so there’s a big opportunity for tech firms that are helping us all navigate multiple clouds and see where our data is going.
  • Cyber defense: Cyber threats are growing exponentially in an AI-powered world, and few of us can keep up with the cyber criminals and their AI weapons. But generative AI is also on our side, helping companies, governments, and everyone else stay safe. It’s big business and it’s growing.
  • AI’s next frontier: It’s all about strategy, because strategy is about solutions, not problems. To be blunt, too much gen AI has been looking for problems to solve rather than accelerating strategies and liberating solutions for all of us.

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While there are challenges ahead, there is a renewed optimism that we may be entering a recovery stage – where a period of fiscal discipline and strategic focus can set companies up nicely for long-term success.

That was the spirit from the RBC Capital Markets Technology Private Company Conference in LA, an annual gathering of tech founders and investors exploring ideas, risks and opportunities in tech land.

On this episode of Disruptors, John Stackhouse is live from LA and is joined by Sachin Dev Dugal, Chief Wizard at Builder AI — named one of the world’s top three Most innovative Companies in AI, alongside Open AI and DeepMind. Builder uses low code and customizable software to provide flexible, bespoke apps at the speed and cost of an off-shelf product — aiming to make building software as easy as ordering a pizza.

John Stackhouse and Sachin Dev Dugal on stage with an audience image

Silicon Valley and other tech centres are hopeful and as markets look toward rate cuts going into 2025, a new confidence can be felt. But until then, many executives and investors could remain focused on managing cash and costs, proving out business models, especially in AI, and maintaining secure relationships with patient investors.

And for those who remain strategically focused, operationally lean and results oriented, the outlook is pretty sunny.

To read ‘The Roaring ‘20s are back, thanks to seven stocks, two letters and one central bank’ by John Stackhouse, click here.

View audio transcript

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

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 John Stackhouse
John Stackhouse
Senior Vice President, Office of the CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

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