People have always felt the need to find out what the future holds. And this opened the door to so many so-called fortune tellers. Wizards used tunes for their magical power to reveal what’s going to happen next. Astrologists have always held an important position in advising royalty if starting a war is beneficial or not, whilst nowadays the internet is flooding with religious preachers or people with paranormal abilities, ready to read you the future from their crystal ball, your palm, or just by looking at you.
We’re not any of the above, but we do believe the future needs to be attended to so we can adapt more easily to the influx of changes that are coming towards us. This is why we’ve wrapped up 5 business and tech trends that deserve to be watched, analyzed, adapted, adopted and developed in 2023.
1. Turn on the switch: from automation to efficiency and resilience
The promised land of automation where businesses just run smoothly, and results are thrilling. A very nice story, isn’t it? And for the past years automation has been an area where most businesses have invested fortunes. However, Forrester’s experts are leaning in, predicting that 2023 will see a slight dampening of automation velocity, as a more rational approach will emerge.
It’s not something unexpected, as the current economic instability has definitely changed the name of the game, or better yet: the direction of the game. Thus, many companies are focusing on the issues at hand and their risks. The ones they already know and need constant attention.
The same publication notes that some companies will decide to invest in physical automation to ensure business continuity in the face of ongoing labor shortages. While others will opt for redirecting funds from machine learning-based decision support for loan approvals towards risk and resilience efforts that shore up supply chain gaps. In the face of uncertainty, everything that is important becomes clearer.
2. Guard your tech talent
In 2023, companies will continue to struggle with finding, hiring and keeping their tech talent in house.
First of all because the new or upcoming tech talent that just hits the market is practically hunted down by a myriad of companies, so it becomes harder to compete.
Second of all, because although it might have loosened up a bit, the trends of “great/quiet resignation” are far from being over.
Third of all, because many companies feel uncomfortable with “anywhere work”. This leads us to the 2022 Forrester Workforce Survey that revealed the following statement: “to attract and retain talent, one-third of European organisations will have to offer anywhere work.”
So, what’s the solution? Suman Thareja, New Jersey Partner at McKinsey points out three major key findings that companies should integrate in their way of retaining their best tech talent:
- keeping the talent involved in decision-making (even if it’s small ones);
- investing in permanent tech talent upskilling;
- maintaining trust on all grounds – from honoring promises to offering solutions in an uncertain economic environment.
3. Green tech – from cool to school
The investing wave for green and sustainable technology in the business sector will continue to rise in 2023, from being a cool theory to putting it into practice.
Especially now, when consumers are switching their interest towards products and services which are obtained or developed in a sustainable manner. Forrester appreciates that the number of European “active green” consumers will increase by 50% this year.
At the opposite corner, considering the current energy crisis and the need for the development of decentralized power grids, companies should look into new and greener ways of obtaining energy. According to Forbes “Shell and RWE, two major European energy companies, are creating the first major green pipeline from wind plants in the North Sea.”’
More reasons to “go green”? Greenwashing is considered to become a high business risk for companies that lie or mislead people about the positive impact of their products or services. Forrester predicts that at least 10 companies will incur $5 million or more in greenwashing fines. While Gartner says “by 2025, 50% of CIOs will have performance metrics tied to the sustainability of the IT organization.”
4. Metaverse is getting both love and “hate”
Metaverse has been threatening to take over and become an important pawn at the table, for some time now. However, the predictions for 2023 are split.
Forrester believes that metaverse has still to reach its “Pokémon Go” moment and backs this with their Media & Marketing Benchmark Recontact Survey from 2022, which points out that the majority of online adults in the US (65%), the UK (73%), France (67%), and Germany (65%) prefer to have social experiences in person, and that very few consumers take interest in the metaverse matter and all it represents.
However, Forbes has a more positive view on how metaverse will be evolving in 2023 sustained by the fact that many companies have already implemented training programs and onboarding processes through the metaverse environment and will continue to explore more in 2023.
5. Combinatorial trends – everything should be truly interconnected
No matter how many trends are writing the future of business and tech, how many cool space technologies, cleantech, and AI to immersive-reality technologies are taking the spotlight, the key for a successful journey is to be able to combine them all to the benefit of your company and customers.
Lareina Yee Senior Partner, Bay Area at McKinsey says that “for executives in 2023, the challenge will be not just betting on individual trends or ramping up software engineering talent, but thinking about how all these technologies can create new possibilities when they’re used together—what we call combinatorial trends.”
Much like working on a team, all these tech and business trends are derived from the same need of evolution and thriving. Thus, they need to be treated as a whole and allowed to interconnect.
Seeing the future is hard. Putting what you see in practice is even harder. These are the dilemmas and the challenges we face each year when we look forward and prepare our ongoing strategy. We’re in for one hell of a ride. Welcome to 2023!