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Our 2023 tech trends and predictions roundup

tech trends and roundups

IT leaders looking at the year ahead can review thousands of pages of analyst reports, expert blogs and research data. Alternatively, check out this condensed roundup of the tech trends and predictions making their impact in 2023.  

We’ve taken insights from leading tech vendors, independent analysts, global consulting firms and more – and distilled them into the following five IT megatrends: 

  1. Inflation threatens innovation and forces IT teams to do more with less 


  2. Sustainability and ESG must be at the heart of future tech investments 


  3. Prepare for the next level of AI maturity to remain competitive and secure 


  4. Tech talent will remain scarce, even as ‘work from anywhere’ becomes a basic right 


  5. Web3 and the metaverse come of age 

Inflation threatens innovation and forces IT teams to do more with less 

The global economic upheaval set for 2023 will impact IT teams directly as inflation creates upward pressure on the price of IT products, services, skills and resources. Analysts forecast that this could be significantly worse for Europe-based CIOs and IT leaders, as the weak Euro and pound – relative to the US dollar – will spike prices even higher.   

Tech execs should also brace themselves for a tough year for new tech projects, as the desire to cut costs comes into conflict with the imperative to innovate. According to Forrester, 80% of companies will pivot innovation efforts from creativity to resilience, taking a “pragmatic approach” which focuses initiatives on “modernizing business processes, automation, supply risk management, and employee experience.” 

KPMG reports that, based on its latest CEO survey, uncertainty is driving business leaders to continue prioritizing digital transformation. However, this is somewhat contradicted by the two-fifths (40%) of businesses that have paused their digital transformation strategies and a further 37% planning such a freeze in the next 6 months. 

Despite all this, Info-Tech found that most (55%) IT professionals expect an increase in IT budget for 2023, albeit a modest one.  

Sustainability and ESG must be at the heart of future tech investments 

Increased scrutiny on 2023 tech investments won’t just be driven by value, but also by their alignment with sustainability and ESG (environmental, social, governance) programs and goals.

A recent Gartner survey found that environmental sustainability was the third largest driver, after quality and performance, among the 80% of CEOs planning to invest in new tech products in the year ahead. A Gartner analyst noted that “every tech investment will need to be set off against its impact on the environment. ‘Sustainable by default’ as an objective requires sustainable technology.” 

Presenting accurate, timely ESG performance data both internally and externally has proven difficult of late, and IT leaders will need to address improvements in 2023 to satisfy stakeholders. 

An Info-Tech study found that 46% of IT leaders admit their organization cannot accurately report their carbon footprint. According to KPMG, 38% of CEOs say their organizations struggle to articulate a compelling ESG story, and almost three-quarters (72%) believe that stakeholders will only accelerate their scrutiny of ESG issues in the coming year. 

Prepare for the next level of AI maturity to remain competitive and secure 

The hype about artificial intelligence (AI) is over now that the technology is globally mainstream, with many implementations covering use cases from marketing to finance and even the IT function itself.

According to Gartner, the rapid evolution and maturity of AI will continue into 2023 and manifest itself in terms of adaptability (‘adaptive AI’) and governance (so-called AI TRiSM, or AI Trust, Risk and Security Management). Info-Tech research indicates that IT leaders will invest more in AI by the end of 2023 than any other technology. 

Boston Consulting Group researched the strategies of those organizations that have successfully accomplished AI at scale, as a blueprint for others to follow in 2023. ‘AI @ scale’ pioneers typically dedicate 10% of their AI budgets to algorithms, 20% to technologies and the remaining 70% to “embedding AI into business processes and agile ways of working.” 

Research by Deloitte indicates that AI could drive global GDP up to 14% higher (equivalent to an extra $15.7 trillion) in 2030. The US and China stand to gain the most which is why both are heavily intervening in AI markets to stimulate growth and innovation. 

Tech talent will remain scarce, even as ‘work from anywhere’ becomes a basic right 

There’s no meaningful let up in sight for overstretched IT departments struggling to fill gaps amid a prolonged tech skills shortage. 2023 will continue to see many positions unfilled, even as some businesses inevitably lay off staff in the wake of economic turmoil. This is happening at the same time as a workers’ revolution whereby virtually every modern organization is now compelled to offer ‘work from anywhere’ by default – leaving IT to find ways of facilitating hybrid working practices more efficiently. 

According to Forrester, it takes 69 days on average to fill a tech role – 70% longer than for the overall market – and there are 200,000 open tech jobs that cannot be filled with suitable candidates in Europe alone. In 2023, analysts predict one in three tech execs will break the mold and go beyond traditional recruitment routes to source talent more broadly.  

Elsewhere, IDC’s survey of employees in 10 countries found that 32% are actively looking for a new job. And while increased pay is a key driver for moving on, IDC proposes that organizations can be more creative with compensation practices without simply increasing salaries, as part of overall employee experience improvements to reduce staff churn. 

Hybrid work is another key driver which will drive more businesses to trial or rollout 4-day working weeks, hybrid workspaces and other initiatives. A recent Envoy study found 3 out of 5 employees would likely look for alternative employment if they weren’t offered hybrid work. 

Web3 and the metaverse come of age 

If recent history has taught anything, it’s that technology transformation can occur very rapidly with hitherto unknown technologies experiencing widespread adoption. So two of the most talked about currently – the metaverse and Web3 – should at least be on the radar for IT leaders in 2023, if only for proof of concept purposes. According to Info-Tech, this is what around 25% of firms are planning in the year ahead. 

Web3 – which Salesforce defines as “a decentralized online ecosystem based on blockchain” – has clear marketing applications, so it’s no surprise that marketers are already examining it. According to the vendor, 51% of marketing pros have a Web3 strategy today, while a further 46% plan to develop one in 2023 and beyond

The metaverse is one of Gartner 10 strategic technology trends for 2023, grouped alongside superapps and adaptive AI as ‘pioneering’ trends that enable business model change.  

Forrester’s metaverse outlook is decidedly chillier, at least for 2023. It predicts a noticeable cooling off of metaverse developments during the year, with the complete vision for the technology not fully realized until perhaps the end of the decade.   

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