Let'sl take a look at the outlook on key technological trends of 2023 announced by major technology research firms. First, we will closely examine the forecast presented by Gartner, and then briefly touch upon the trend analyses offered by other research firms.
In its report “2023 Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends,” Gartner presented key technological trends under the three themes of Optimize, Scale and Pioneer.
1) Digital Immune System is a structure enabling data-driven optimization and automation of technology system operation and automatic remediation of extreme events such as system failure. In order to secure a digital immune system, it is necessary to enhance software engineering strategies for the technology operation process and strengthen security to raise the quality, stability and resilience of key systems. Companies that can minimize the duration of system failures and quickly restore the systems will be the ones to gain prominence in the market.
2) Applied Observability allows companies to make faster and more accurate decisions by analyzing the context of data such as log, API call, duration time, download, and file transfer. Through such data-driven decision making, companies will be able to gain a competitive edge over their competitors.
3) AI TRiSM (AI Trust, Risk, Security Management) is about ensuring the trustworthiness and risk/security management of AI, which Gartner highlighted given that only a small number of companies are capable of effectively responding to AI risks. As security threats are continuously on the rise, companies will need to secure the credibility of systems mainly based on AI.
4) Industry Cloud Platform providing tailored, industry-specific functionality to companies is expected to eliminate disruptions between existing cloud services (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, etc.). This suggests that cloud services will shift their focus from virtualizing the servers to deploying module-type functions that can be used upon one’s needs.
5) Platform Engineering provides a set of tools, capabilities and processes that are packaged for easy consumption by developers and end users. RPA will further advance from what it was in 2022, and users will be able to take more initiative in designing the applications.
6) Wireless Value Realization is about using wireless solution as a tool for expanding business value by consolidating the network energy of various wireless devices such as Wi-Fi or mobile devices within workplace, while companies set aside the previously-high expectations for the exponential growth of the IoT market.
7) Superapps, combining the features of app and platform, are expected to allow all companies to develop their own mini-apps and integrate the entire ecosystem. This is especially applicable to companies that have succeeded in achieving digital transformation. Superapp is a tool that enables users, developers, and even third parties to take part in creating apps needed for various existing systems, and integrate the apps in a platform for management. It is a concept encompassing PaaS-based app development tools as well as low-code that allows even users with minimal coding experience to develop apps. The most notable advantage offered by superapps is that they can allow members of the corporate web, app, mobile, and business ecosystem to share, integrate, and replace data in a variety of ways. This is well seen in the so-called MyData services of financial companies in which securities, bond, and savings account services are gathered together in a single platform.
8) Adaptive AI continuously trains models through real-time feedback and quickly adjusts the development environment in line with the changing real-world circumstances. While existing AIs are used for general or experimental purposes, adaptive AI can enable fast decision making optimized for businesses.
9) Metaverse, going beyond the boundaries of VR and AR, is expected to allow all physical activities of humans to be implemented in the virtual world. However, considering the plummeting stock prices of Meta and relevant products I invested in which incurred huge losses last year, the future of metaverse may not be bright. But the reason why I elaborated much on the third theme “Pioneer” is because the trends in the previous two themes “Optimize” and “Scale” are somewhat abstract and vague, and are just slightly different from the ones presented in the trend outlook of recent years. Therefore, technological trends under the third theme Pioneer are the ones that will most likely impact our lives and thus are worth paying attention to.
10) Sustainable Technology is the broad theme under which Gartner summed up the key technological trends of 2023. This keyword is quite the same as the habitual concluding remarks of consulting firms saying that technology service will continuously raise corporate value and deliver more value to customers. In fact, the overall debate on whether companies, despite inflation, will expand technological investments in 2023 is split 50 to 50.
IDC(https://www.idc.com/events/futurescape/proceedings) presented its outlook on the technology industry for 2023 through “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide 2023 Predictions Webinar Series.” According to IDC, nearly 72% of technology leaders predicted that a recession will come in 2023, and 40% responded that depression has already begun in the North America market. But even so, IDC announced that companies will continue to invest in key technologies to differentiate their business in spite of the possible economic downturn. It also projected that digital product, service and experience will make up more than 40% of the revenues of G2000 companies by 2026.
In particular, IDC predicted that companies failing to achieve DX will not be able to take the lead in the market, and stressed the need to integrate business platforms and gain competitiveness in cloud native technology in order to build digital capacity.
Also, it predicted that companies will manage their digital assets and data in a more measurable and flexible way through robust collaboration with cloud service vendors. Such predictions of IDC are more of an overall market forecast for the management rather than a detailed analysis of each technological trend. The predictions indicate that companies should pay keen attention to DX which will further accelerate in the years to come.
Meanwhile, Forrester (https://www.forrester.com/predictions/) shed light on whether the technology industry will have resilience in 2023 amid the economic downturn brought by the pandemic. The fervid attention towards metaverse and NFT in 2022 has now subsided, and economic uncertainties may undermine technology investments to be made by companies. But that is also why it is expected that companies will increasingly pursue business automation and robotics, and that robotics will further advance in wide-ranging areas including logistics and medical service.
Forrester’s prediction on the growth of AI governance also hints at positive prospects for sustained investment amid the downturn. TuringBot AI will be able to neatly create codes in accordance with the requests made by developers in natural language, and AI-based tools for creating digital contents may also receive much attention in the market. In fact, it’s almost frightening to think about what AI can do when looking at the recent contents created by AI such as Midjourney and DALL E2.
Investment will continue in line with the acceleration of cloud transition, but there will be a point in time when the advantages of cloud migration should be proven in actual numbers in the financial statement. Cloud MSP sector is especially growing rapidly in Korea, and such a trend is likely to lead companies to turn their eyes to the reduction and rationalization of cloud-related costs.
Today’s article went over the forecasts presented by Gartner, IDC, and Forrester with regard to the technological outlook for 2023 and onward. Gartner, as always, offered its view based on the keywords of top 10 technological trends, while IDC and Forrester presented their predictions mainly through market prospects and trends. These trends may seem too grandiose, a distant story to us. But still, it will be worthwhile to think about how the evolving trends–such as the shift in technology industry landscape driven by the increase of remote work since the pandemic, or the changes in corporate investment resulting from the global supply chain disruption caused by the Russia-Ukraine war–have influenced our lives. It will surely be helpful to keep a close eye on these major technology trends and outlook.
And of course, it may be even more fun and interesting to ponder upon ‘what technology services that were expected to become successful in 2022 turned out to be a failure?’ or ‘what technologies that had received little attention eventually became a huge success?’ in exploring the outlook for 2023.