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A Meta-Analysis of 2023 Tech Trends & Predictions

Tech trends are always changing. New innovations and technologies are being launched on an almost daily basis. These changes make it hard to keep up, but they also provide opportunities for businesses and individuals alike to improve their services and products in order to stay ahead of the curve.

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 that will have a big 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 tech trends:

  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

Tech trends - inflation

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 this could be significantly worse for Europe-based CIOs and IT leaders, as the weak Euro and British pound – relative to the US dollar – will spike prices even higher.

The tech trends warn that IT leaders must also brace themselves for a challenging year for new tech projects, as the desire to cut costs conflicts with the imperative to innovate. According to Forrester, 80% of companies will pivot innovation efforts from creativity to resilience, taking a “pragmatic approach” that 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 budgets for 2023, albeit a modest one.

"IT professionals in the U.S. are more optimistic than their international counterparts, as 70% expect a budget increase in 2023 compared to 55% for the global average." – Info-Tech

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

Tech trends - sustainability

Increased scrutiny on 2023 tech investments won't be driven by value but also by their alignment with sustainability and ESG (environmental, social, governance) programs and goals. This tech trend won't just affect IT professionals; it will impact all business personas.

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 internally and externally has proven difficult, 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 organizations 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 stakeholders will only accelerate their scrutiny of ESG issues in the coming year.

"In 2023, it is expected that public companies will be required to report on their carbon emissions by financial regulators in places like the UK, EU, U.S., and Canada." – KPMG

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

Tech trends - AI

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 U.S. and China stand to gain the most from this tech trend, which is why both are heavily intervening in AI markets to stimulate growth and innovation.

"The use of AI can also improve the accuracy and precision of service delivery by government agencies, saving up to 1.3 billion employee hours annually." – Deloitte

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

Tech trends - tech talent shortages

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, and the IT tech trends point to some businesses inevitably having to 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 available 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 crucial 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 tech trend that will drive more businesses to trial or roll out 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.

"Of the 32% looking for alterntive employment, 7% are employees who have been forced to look for new employment due to a change of residence or because they are on time-limited contracts. This leaves 25% of European employees who are looking for new opportunities simply because they are unsatisfied with their current employment." – IDC

Web3 and the metaverse come of age

Tech trends - metaverse

If recent history has taught anything, technology transformation can occur very rapidly, with hitherto unknown technologies experiencing widespread adoption. So two of the most talked about tech trends – 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 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's ten strategic technology trends for 2023, grouped alongside super apps and adaptive AI as 'pioneering' trends that enable business model change.

Forrester's metaverse tech trend 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.

"Metaverse technology will become popularized over time via a “reverse consumerization of IT” effect, in which people use the tools for work, become familiar with them, and then adopt them for personal use." – Forrester

Be aware of these major tech trends in 2023

These tech predictions are exciting and troubling for anyone who works in IT or manages an IT department. This article has provided you with the main IT trends that industry leaders believe will have a significant impact throughout 2023. While you may be skeptical about these tech predictions, you must know what they might mean for your organization.

One thing is certain: 2023 will be interesting for IT professionals. It's always tricky to predict with 100% certainty what will happen, but some tech trends are clear. We expect AI to move to the next level, where it becomes more integral to IT systems. This shift to AI means businesses may start looking into ever more dynamic ways to use technology to improve operations, increase automation levels, and save money on costs. And the metaverse and Web3 will be spoken about a lot more in 2023, but may not necessarily lead to dramatic changes to how we all work. 

Even though the state of the global economy and job market will play a significant role in the world of tech, it's important to note that these issues will be temporary and could lead to exciting tech trends as we head toward 2024.

Tech trends - infographic

To stay on top of the latest on new and emerging tech trends, check out the Exclaimer blog and see how our email signature solutions help IT professionals with their automation, sustainability, and hybrid workplace goals. And all at a fraction of the cost it takes to update email signatures manually. 

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