With technology continuing to advance amid - and to surmount the challenges of - the pandemic, there are multiple megatrends that futurists cite which will influence and impact businesses, processes, and workplaces across the board in 2023 and ahead. People Matters gathers some top tech trends across various sectors.
As we enter 2023 under the shadow of global economic uncertainty, the common theme across enterprises globally is the stress on cost reduction and increased productivity. Experts say this will come on the back of artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud adoption.
Trends that will shape cloud computing in 2023
There’s no doubt that cloud computing has revolutionised the way businesses operate. From making it possible for employees to work remotely, allowing flexible hours, to making business communication and collaboration a lot easier, while also amplifying the company’s growth by modernising operations and expanding IT capabilities – cloud computing has given us all.
Faiz Shakir, Managing Director - Sales, Nutanix India & SAARC Nutanix says as the dynamic macroeconomic scenario continues to strongly influence cloud economics, the year 2023 is expected to be an eventful year for the technology sector - and primarily for the cloud business.
“New decision-making around applications and their infrastructure will take precedence as companies begin to reconsider their exposure to the cost economics of a single cloud provider or a public cloud only strategy owing to the limited ability to move applications and data between clouds or to on-prem locations. Thus, portability will emerge as an important multi-cloud value as enterprises look to characterise their apps and data for optimal location in terms of performance, sovereignty, and of course, cost,” he says.
Shakir adds that enterprises will also prioritise consolidation of developer environments due to their potential to run development environments where they make the most sense for the business while having the flexibility to pivot and move without fear of lock-in to a single infrastructure provider.
“In addition to this, untethered edge operating models will become more prevalent as applications will be expected to run all the time. Furthermore, sustainably will also emerge as a deciding factor in IT investments, globally, as companies start placing greater emphasis on how technology can lower energy costs and enable the achievement of sustainability mandates.”
Rahul Joshi, CTO at Movate (formerly CSS Corp) shares his list of trends for cloud computing in 2023 and ahead.
Investment in cloud security and resilience: The industry will keep spending on cyber security and building resilience against everything from data loss to the impact of a pandemic on global business in the coming years. At Movate, we have made investments in our Contelli platform which offers great cloud security and resilience.
Multi-cloud to become popular strategy: In 2023, most businesses will start leveraging the advantages of diversifying their services to different cloud providers taking a multi-cloud approach. This approach offers several benefits, including improved flexibility and security with no vendor lock-in.
Low-code and no-code cloud services: We can expect continued innovation in the field of hyper-scale cloud services. Low-code and no-code solutions are becoming available for building AI-powered applications for companies wanting to leverage AI/ML without getting into the complex coding job. Many of these services are provided via the cloud, i.e., people can access them “as-a-service”. This trend will pick up in the upcoming years.
Leveraging the efficiency of the cloud to meet sustainability goals: Today, sustainability is the most critical criterion in IT buying decisions. Organisations will continue to shift towards sustainable efficiencies by leveraging software and cloud-based infrastructures.
Innovation and consolidation in cloud gaming: We all enjoy binge-watching and listening to music. Thanks to the cloud that has brought us streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, etc., revolutionising the way we consume content today. Although, streaming video gaming is taking a little longer to gain a foothold as it requires higher bandwidth than music or videos. With the ongoing rollout of 5G and other ultra-fast networking technologies, 2023 could be the year cloud gaming will impact.
AI/ ML developments to follow in 2023
Out of all the technologies that have been introduced over the last few years, AI has proven to be one of the biggest buzzwords in the IT industry. Every year, new use cases are being discovered and are becoming feasible with advances in AI and efficient hardware.
Joshi shares a few examples that can help companies to be more efficient in leveraging AI.
Advanced cybersecurity: AI and ML can be used to enforce best cybersecurity practices, reduce attack surfaces, and track malicious activity proactively. More and more companies will start to invest in building AI systems that can analyse large volumes of data, including malicious code, malware, and code anomalies, to help cybersecurity teams identify potential threats.
Efficiency in IT operations: As machine data explodes, businesses are in a race to find value in their data and stay competitive. However, metadata initiatives are failing, and data discovery and retrieval are becoming challenging. This paves the way for the Growth of AI-as-a-Service. The emergence of the industrial internet and the integration of complex physical machines with networked sensors and software have forced these two areas to work together to improve resiliency, availability, and cybersecurity. Observability and controllability are areas of focus as organisations leverage AIOPs and data initiatives for enhanced correlation with increased adoption of SRE, DevOps, APM and other technologies.
Customer service excellence: Manikandan Thangarathnam, Senior Director - Platform Engineering, Uber feels 2023 will witness an increased reliance on machine learning and artificial intelligence in every aspect of providing a personalised customer experience and building intuitive systems designed to work in real-time. Applications of artificial intelligence will transcend the realm of core technology companies, and trickle into practically every business process across industries.
Hari Vasudev, SVP – Retail Tech Platforms and Country Head, Walmart Global Tech says it is an exciting time for the retail tech industry.
Recent years have blurred the lines between digital and physical, and technology will play a pivotal role in serving customers when, where, and how they want.
“Agility will be key. Adopting a ‘Four-in-a-box’ model that brings together technology, product, design, and operations will be crucial to innovate with speed and constantly evolve products and services to better serve customers. The coming times will also witness shopping experiences that are more personalised, inclusive, and accessible.
Predictive technology, leveraging AI and ML, will be vital to understand customer preferences more deeply and cater to their unique needs. AR/VR will be a game changer in bringing personalised experiences, such as virtual try-ons for apparel, eyewear, or even scanning shelves to find items that match one’s lifestyle and diet. Over a period of time, voice technology will emerge as a natural part of one’s shopping experience and an important tool for retailers to reduce customer friction,” Vasudev adds.
Saurabh Saxena, Intuit India Site Leader & VP, Product Development says although AI has been the driving force behind accelerated business transformation, it will continue to be foundational and indispensable in 2023.
"We’re already witnessing how AI and powerful data capabilities are redefining the security models and capabilities for companies,” he says.
This is borne out by a Forrester report which states that 46% of data and analytics business and technology decision-makers seek out partners to implement AI that is critical to the business.
Saxena says security practitioners and the industry as a whole will have much better tools and much faster information at their disposal, and they should be able to isolate security risks with much greater precision.
Meanwhile, the Fintech market will experience a massive and fundamental change due to various factors, including the advent of Web3 and huge technology acquisitions that most believe will open up the Internet.Web3 will provide more control for users - digital ownership and a distributed internet based on standards that will fundamentally affect Fintech by speeding decentralisation.
“In 2023, we can anticipate the pioneers to keep laying the foundation that might one day make decentralised virtual environments a reality. We’re going to experience fewer building blocks in Fintech, and these building blocks will be critical for companies and for those using embedded finance. We’ll see superhighways that become the consumer-trusted data and information connection between companies,” he adds.
New trends in enterprise B2B space
PVN PavanKumar, Chief Expert & Head of APJ | SAP’s Platform Adoption & Advisory, SAP Labs India shares the top tech trends that he foresees in 2023 in enterprise B2B space, especially "embedded intelligence".
Embedded intelligence refers to the integration/embedding of intelligent technologies into enterprise business processes, thus making them intelligent and interconnected. These intelligent technologies include AI/ML, IoT, RPA, etc. Examples of intelligent business processes include the intelligent replenishment process, where-in replenishment request triggers in the supplier system not just based on out-of-stock situations but also on supplier lead time, consumption rate, and climate conditions.
PavanKumar says the availability of hyper-connectivity and these cutting-edge technologies sets the stage for building utility and enterprise services around them, which would otherwise stay unharnessed.
“Embedded intelligence enables organisations to exploit these latest technologies for competitive advantage. For every business, whether emerging or mature, these technical ingredients will improve efficiency, improved productivity, and superior customer satisfaction. Since the circular economy is the crucial pillar of sustainability, in addition to embedding intelligence in business processes, we will also see trends where companies embed circular economy concepts into business processes,” he adds.
Finally, the new-generation applications and business processes that power enterprises will be built based on this embedded intelligence to form smart and sustainable applications.
Integrated enterprise applications (with common data fabric)
Enterprises will have an IT landscape with many applications to cater to multiple business processes across lines of business, be it finance, HR, ERP, supply chain, CRM, and so on.
“For larger organisations with additional acquired companies, these enterprise landscapes turn out to be much more complex and are often referred to as “enterprise of enterprise” landscapes. For example, one of the organisations they have 180-plus discrete software coming from a couple of dozen of vendors, “ he says.
The trend in an integrated enterprise is bringing these applications onto a single platform to establish connected applications and a common data domain model, enabling data exchange and sharing across the connected applications.
"For example, an employee object from the HR system is the same object that can be exchanged and shared across connected applications across different LoBs in the company additionally, The Data Fabric is the pathway for information to travel between the digital core and connected applications. With this Integrated enterprise applications, companies can streamline processes, reduce costs, and more importantly maintains a single source of truth of data," PavanKumar explains.
Industry cloud (verticalised applications) - Most analysts agree that the next wave of cloud innovations and business transformation will happen at the vertical (industry) cloud, library of verticalised applications (“apps”), out-of-the-box cloud-native applications supporting industry-specifics (e.g., automotive, retail, etc.), enabling companies to act more quickly in an ever-changing environment”
Embracing newer technologies is never easy. Industry experts say companies need to start investing and start setting up a business case, systematic roadmap, a change management plan, expected value realisations, and other measures to integrate the next- tech into their business.