Top 10 IT Observations for Business Leaders in 2023

There’s no two ways about it – 2022 will go down as one of the most tumultuous years in recent times.

Technology has not remained immune from that disruption, with significant challenges faced ranging from privacy and accountability concerns to growing sustainability and regulatory mandates. But the opportunity technology presents remains positive despite a lack of certainty and reliability. Cloud and digital communications continue to show unfaltering growth, and pressure to innovate using finite financial resources is  increasing the drive for more effective governance.

With that in mind, I’ve pulled together a list of the top ten areas I think IT leaders are likely to be drawn to – and that businesses need to prioritise – in 2023:

Even by accident, people will be more sustainable: As energy prices rise, consumers and businesses alike are looking to reduce costs. However, the impending Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) in the EU means decision makers are starting to prioritise reduced overall energy consumption, making use of tools that instil accuracy and accountability when achieving sustainability goals. IT leaders will turn to partners who can help to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions and measure progress.

Businesses will be defined by the way they work: The battle between those who advocate ‘everyone in the office all of the time’ versus flexible working rages on in our digital world, with employees holding much of the power. Trying to force people to go one way or the other will define an organisation’s IT strategy, so business leaders must agree what’s next as there’s is no going backwards on the progress made in hybrid working and reputation building.

It will become unfashionable to be cloud-first: But it will become fashionable to be cloud smart. According to our Multi-Cloud Maturity Index, cloud has become chaotic and complex, which is slowing many down. Successful leaders won’t build their strategy around the cloud, but on powerful distributed apps (including to the edge) as these drive market differentiation. IT infrastructure teams can then establish which multi-cloud approach will produce the capabilities they need to build and sustain those apps, the customer and employee experience.

AI will be used for better decision making: The use of exciting tools like ChatGPT to support better informed decision making will undoubtedly continue to increase. But with growing regulation and governance, and a deeper understanding of AI-bias, its use will be tempered with caution around when and for what decisions it is being used and, importantly on what data sets.

Ensuring robots and humans can interact, safely: Robots have started to move out of the factory and are now interacting with humans, with mixed reviews. Food delivery robots are being rolled out across the UK and Tesla is 12 months into their Full Self-Driving beta programs in the US. Instead of turning robots into heroes or villains, 2023 will be the year we evaluate the huge amounts of data we are collating and apply lessons based on their machine-to-human interactions to ensure they’re safe.

Transferable tech skills to move at pace: While there are constantly ‘new’ technologies and tools entering the market, it’s almost impossible to adapt skillsets to how fast the world is changing. Universities just aren’t pumping out multi-cloud architects and security experts don’t automatically understand new threats. Rather than focusing on platform- or technology-specific capabilities, there should be more focus on skills that are transferable between existing and new technologies to help to support the digital economy.

Still searching for that killer ‘metaverse’ app: Big brands have been promising to deliver a world changing virtual reality experience for a while. Unfortunately, it’s still not materialised and as such, people are losing confidence. From where I sit, the potential to revolutionize is certainly there but we’re still yet to find that killer use case that will really engage people and hook them into repeated experiences.

Death of the super-app dream: Rather than moving towards a super app, more fragmentation is happening in the market. Look at what’s happening in social media with Twitter and the rise of Instagram and now TikTok. Many have been fixated on the rise of the super-app, shown in consumer demand for smooth and seamless experiences. But there’s pretty clear evidence that people want apps that do specific jobs and do them well. So, we’re likely to see even more fragmentation in 2023.

Using commodity hardware to overcome supply chain issues: In a world where things are changing hour to hour, waiting months for specialist equipment just isn’t an option. Some have already started finding their way around this issue by purchasing commodity hardware that‘s readily available, and then investing in specialist software to deliver what they need quickly and efficiently. This focus on software-defined and enabled will continue.

Even blurrier lines between telco and cloud providers: Telco companies have already been building clouds for years, but as the drive towards distributed applications, choice and a highly flexible environment increases, we’ll start to see more cloud companies get into networking, infrastructure and customer-site management. The already blurry lines between the two are only going to get even blurrier.

About the Author

Joe Baguley is Vice President and Chief Technology Officer EMEA at VMware. VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. At the heart of everything we do lies the responsibility and the opportunity to build a sustainable, equitable and more secure future for all.​ Since our founding in 1998, our employees and partners have been behind the tech innovations transforming entire industries. Today, we continue to cultivate a culture of innovation where curiosity meets execution. We work to harness the next wave of innovation and solve our customers’ toughest challenges through disruptive technologies, like edge computing, AI, blockchain, machine learning, Kubernetes, and more.

Featured image: ©DenisMagilov