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Summary – Each year Wovenware gets out its crystal ball to predict the tech trends that will shape the new year. While over the years we’ve had a few misses, most of the time, we’ve been pretty accurate. We can’t take all the credit, though. In developing our tech predictions, we diligently read what the industry pundits are saying, we listen closely to our customers and employees and constantly keep our finger on the pulse of tech innovations.

During the last few years, technology, and more particularly, software engineer and the cloud, achieved hero status. They became ingrained into the very fabric of every aspect of life – from business continuity, to healthcare breakthroughs – and business couldn’t get enough of technology as the saving grace of the pandemic.

Yet, fast forward to the second half of 2022, and that panic buying has given way to a more deliberate, discerning approach to tech investments, as the economy slows down and businesses come to grips with a changing reality.

Yet despite this changing reality, investment in tech as a core business driver will not be waning anytime soon – it just will be looked at under a different lens. Innovative new digital transformation projects only will be considered if they help companies become more productive, boost efficiency and reduce costs.

As we approach 2023, pragmatism will be the common thread throughout the tech industry. Yet pragmatic doesn’t have to be the antithesis to idealistic, it just has to be practical enough to meet the real needs of today.

“Technology and IT is not about where we cut – technology is where we invest to help the rest of the business navigate the recession.”

Rick Villars – Group Vice President at IDC

Consider the following eleven trends that I believe will shape the new year in technology.

A Prolonged Tech Talent Shortage

According to Gartner, “by 2025, labor volatility will cause 40% of organizations to report a material business loss, forcing a shift in talent strategy from acquisition to resilience.” While labor talent will continue to be an issue, there also will continue to be a shortage of tech talent across the globe in 2023.

A continued tech talent shortage may seem paradoxical to the hiring freezes and layoffs confronting major tech firms recently, yet according to Lily Mok of Gartner, “though big tech is cutting staff, the need to innovate remains. There is no slowing down in terms of transformation.” Throughout 2023, we can expect to see a continued need for software engineers, developers and data scientists who can ensure that pragmatic tech meets real-world needs today and paves the way for innovation tomorrow.

Pragmatic Tech Spend

According to Forrester, “economic uncertainty will tap the brakes on transformation and focus on core business drivers: resilience and efficiency. The economy will shift 10% of IT budgets from transformation to resilience.”

I believe that throughout 2023 not only will new tech investment be reviewed against its ability to reduce costs or headcount, improve efficiency and boost productivity, but companies will more closely manage the tech they have already invested in. According to IDC, the focus in 2023 will shift toward driving down operational expenditure, optimizing cloud spend, renegotiating contracts and concentrating on projects that deliver the highest business value. 

The rise of cloud computing will continue to replace on-premise solutions, of that there is no doubt. Yet companies will be taking a more integrated, holistic approach to cloud spend across the organization, closely scrutinizing and consolidating subscriptions and revisiting service-level agreements (SLAs). All software and cloud contracts will be measured against their essential role and ROI.

Data Privacy Regulations

The need for greater privacy of personal information played out on center stage in 2022. Yet, despite the government more closely scrutinizing big players, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, no real headway was made in terms of setting data privacy standards at the Federal level for all organizations.

While many states have recently passed data privacy regulations, we can expect to see federal mandates in 2023, following the success of international regulations, such as the UK’s GDPR and India’s Digital Personal Data Protection Bill. As part of these regulations, companies leveraging AI as a business driver will need to make their solutions more transparent in terms of how they make certain decisions and for this reason, in 2023 all AI will need to be explainable AI.

In addition, greater global restrictions on how organizations can collect and use data, could interfere with the effective development of AI algorithms that can require massive datasets, so we also can expect to see the rise of synthetic data as training data for AI solutions.

Rise of UX

Keeping in line with tighter and more discerning tech budgets, organizations embarking on digital transformation projects will more closely rely on user experience (UX) and service design as a first step. Many firms know too well the experience of spending lots of money and resources on projects that somehow miss the mark and fail to meet user expectations.

In 2023, we can expect to see greater emphasis and investments in human-centric design thinking, journey mapping, storytelling, prototyping and other design activities that remove some of the risk in software and AI development and help them retain and grow customers by more accurately meeting their needs.

3D Intelligence

A shift from 2D to 3D geospatial data will grow across markets as varied as Aerospace & Defense, consumer apps and healthcare, providing greater use of simulation in industries that have not yet taken advantage of it. 3D geospatial intelligence will provide them with deeper clarity and insights. For example, we can expect to see Google maps and other GPS systems moving to 3D images to provide better location context and visibility. New markets, such as Insurance, will be relying on computer vision solutions trained on 3D images to help assess flood regions after a storm or help governments with more accurate urban planning.

Increased adoption of edge computing

Edge computing is a technology that allows data processing and analysis to be done closer to the source of data, rather than in a centralized location. This technology is gaining popularity due to the increasing amount of data being generated by devices at the edge, such as IoT devices, and the need for real-time data analysis. In 2023, we can expect to see increased adoption of edge computing, as more companies seek to optimize their operations and gain insights from their data in real-time.

Continued growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

AI and ML have become integral parts of many industries, from healthcare to finance to retail. As companies seek to leverage the power of AI and ML to optimize their operations, improve customer experiences, and gain a competitive edge, we will see a continued growth of these technologies. With advancements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Computer Vision (CV), we can also expect to see more intelligent chatbots, virtual assistants, and smart devices in the coming years.

Rise of Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a technology that uses quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform calculations. While still in its early stages, quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize many industries, including finance, drug discovery, and cryptography. We can expect to see more progress in quantum computing, as researchers continue to develop new algorithms and hardware.

Increased focus on cybersecurity

As more devices and systems become connected, cybersecurity has become an increasingly important concern. As companies seek to protect their data and systems from cyber attacks, there will be an increased focus on cybersecurity. This will lead to increased investment in cybersecurity technologies, such as encryption, intrusion detection systems, and security analytics.

Increased adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology that uses software robots to automate repetitive and mundane tasks, such as data entry and processing. In 2023, we can expect to see increased adoption of RPA, as more companies seek to optimize their operations and reduce costs. This will lead to increased efficiency and productivity in industries such as finance, healthcare, and retail.

Growth of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is expected to experience significant growth in 2023. This can be attributed to the increasing demand for remote work and digital services, as well as the emergence of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Cloud computing offers a scalable and cost-effective solution for storing and processing large amounts of data, making it a popular choice for businesses and individuals alike.

Aldous Huxley once said, “dream in a pragmatic way.” The year 2023 will be marked by pragmatic technologies, that meet today’s needs for efficiency, productivity and resourcefulness, but that doesn’t mean that organizations are leaving their bold dreams of digital transformation on the table – they’re just changing what they look like.

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Pragmatic Technologies That Will be the Common Thread in 2023

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