Info-Tech Research Group has released its 2023 Tech Trends report, containing what it described as seven data-driven trends and findings based on a survey of 813 industry professionals, the bulk of whom worked in IT departments.
The bottom line, the report states, is that next year it will be the duty of the chief information officer (CIO) to enhance existing capabilities and create new ones, while protecting their organization from continued and expected volatility.
“Last year’s Tech Trends report focused on the capabilities organizations would need to compete in a digital economy,” said Brian Jackson, research director and one of the principal research leads for the latest report. “(This) report considers how technology leaders can explore new technologies while protecting the organization from the risks posed.”
He noted, that just “like a chess grandmaster, CIOs will need to play both sides of the board in 2023. Emerging technologies present opportunities to attack, while protecting from a volatile board state is a requirement.
“It’s the role of the CIO to push the organization harder. While maintaining existing technology, they must set goals for technology to support the business to move faster and perform better. To enhance existing capabilities and create new ones.”
Based on the findings, the report highlights the following seven technology trends for the coming year:
The Metaverse: Info-Tech says it views the metaverse as “best understood from a technological perspective. A convergence of mixed reality, artificial intelligence, immersive digital space, and real-time communications stacks together to create metaverse experiences.” The report notes that when survey-takers were asked individually about their interest in collaborating in VR, about one in four said they are interested. That is equal to the number of organizations that are at least planning a proof of concept, showing that on average, organizations are demonstrating the right amount of enthusiasm for the metaverse, the firm says.
Generative AI: The research firm defines the technology as a type of semi-supervised machine learning that uses neural networks to create new content or interpret complex signal information. The uses for generative AI, it contends, go beyond creating imagery. It could help businesses with predictive maintenance or improving cybersecurity analytics, or it could help generate new ideas for drugs or assist in quality analysis and medical diagnoses. Survey results indicate that by the end of next year, AI will receive the most net-new investment by organizations.
Industry-Led Data Models: The report notes that after AI, the two technologies gaining the most momentum in new investment are data lake (lakehouse) and data fabric (mesh), with both seeing a five per cent increase in the number of organizations planning to invest in 2023. According to the survey, “most organizations will look to develop their own data analysis, with upwards of 41 per cent building their own with in-house staff.”
Sustained Digital Processes: Based on survey data, it appears that more companies may now be through the initial rush of digitalization and into the next phase of sustaining their efforts. For example, last year, more organizations (eight in 10) indicated they had digitalized over 20 per cent of their processes. In this year’s survey, the number is down, with seven in 10 respondents saying they have digitalized between zero per cent and 20 per cent of their processes.
ESG Analytics and Reporting: According to the report, in 2023, it is expected that public companies will be required to report on their carbon emissions by financial regulators in places like Canada, the U.K., EU, and the U.S. However, many organizations are still behind on this issue, even though various regulators around the world are either implementing those reporting requirements or moving closer to doing so. Less than one-quarter of IT professionals say their organization can accurately report on the impact of its ESG (environmental, social and governance) initiatives, and 43 per cent say their reporting on impacts is inaccurate. Reporting accuracy was even worse for reporting on carbon footprint, with 46 per cent saying their organization could not accurately report its carbon footprint. IT leaders will need to improve on this front to be compliant.
Zero Trust Security: Slightly more than half of the respondents said it was likely or very likely that a cybersecurity incident would disrupt their business in 2023. Disruption from new government-enacted security regulations was the next most common concern, with 40 per cent saying they were likely or very likely to disrupt business. As attacks increase in frequency and impact, organizations are turning to the concept of a Zero Trust network to defend against threat vectors.
Recession Preparation: The report states that in addition to the new technologies that could yield innovation, and all the subsequent risks that IT must work to mitigate, a financial risk to the IT budget looms for 2023. “This risk reduces the degree to which IT can pursue growth opportunities and offer protection from regulatory burdens and bad actors.”
However, Info-Tech notes that despite what it calls the negative signals, most IT professionals expect their budget will increase next year.