The start of 2023 has been turbulent, especially in the tech industry. Trend forecasting is at best speculative, but here's an overview of four trends that will shape business and IT decision-making as we enter Q2 and continue through 2023.
Nostradamus predicted the success and spread of Louis Pasteur’s vaccines but he did not comment on digital transformations resulting from global pandemics. The use of mobile devices, software, cloud services, and managed services kept all stakeholders in touch. Digital-first investments proved worthwhile three years after the pandemic.
Digital transformation is expected to accelerate even as companies reduce costs in other areas. Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, cloud computing and virtual and augment reality are among the hot investment sectors this year. Gartner, a research and consulting company in the field of information technology, predicts that global IT spending will reach $4.6 trillion by 2023. This is an increase of over 5% from last year.
Integration and reliance on IoT increase the bandwidth of human beings who can concentrate on more strategic tasks. The increase in productivity and efficiency that follows offers a real ROI and influences how technology and budget resources are allocated. Automation and delivery as service (DaaS), when combined, impact every aspect of business from sales and marketing through to customer service. These advancements allow for a more efficient use and alignment with the needs and wants of employees and customers.
Trend 2: Economic uncertainty shifts spending
While it would be great to travel in a DeLorean to a stable economic future, supply chain and distribution problems persist due to global conflict, shortages of workers and inflation. Spiceworks Ziff-Davis' survey found that 83% of companies are concerned about a recession in 2023. IT budgets will still be a top priority. Only 6% of the companies surveyed plan to reduce them. 51 percent of companies plan to increase their IT budgets.
Trend 3: Future work will be flexible
The workforce can be compared to a hurricane if businesses are experiencing a sea-change. "The great resignation" and "quiet quitting" are the result of a reevaluation by workers of their work/life balance and work environment. The Bureau of Labor reported that there were 10.8 million jobs available in February. Of those, 6.4 million people were hired and 5.9 millions left.
Hybrid working is here to remain and employees need the right tools for their best work. This includes a fast, secure and reliable internet network.
Spiceworks Ziff-Davis research shows that outsourcing technology to managed service providers is continuing, particularly with the growth of hybrid workplaces which make managing decentralized technologies more difficult. Businesses must reimagine their workplaces, work and workforce in order to prepare for the Future of Work. Workers today question the purpose of the work they do every day and demand that the Future of Work be flexible, human-centered and equitable.
Trend 4: Customer and employee experience is evolving
Employees expect a new workplace experience while customers demand a customized, immersive brand experience. In order to meet these demands, AI and IoT adoption will increase in response. This will streamline daily processes and help manage tasks. In the next generation of digital commerce, virtual and augmented realities are expected to be even more important. This is especially true for retail. Even with these new technologies, soft skills cannot be duplicated...not by "WALLE."