Technological advances mean real opportunities for forward-thinking businesses in 2023. But how can today's IT leaders maximise their effectiveness in the face of a recession and budget constraints?
The rate of change and evolution in IT increases annually. Sometimes it isn't easy to keep pace. So, what can IT leaders look forward to in 2023?
Advancements in machine learning and deep learning are expected to continue improving AI systems' capabilities. This could make them more useful in a broader range of applications such as predictive maintenance, fraud detection, and natural language processing.
Access to smoother automation and integration will provide immense opportunities to scale and increase productivity. Especially with the emergence of new widespread AI software, ChatGPT.
The interface between humans and machines will become increasingly transparent. Immersive internet experiences will transform how we work, collaborate, play and socialise. Augmented and Virtual reality will become a way of life. Microsoft is already developing VR collaborative platforms.
'Experts predict that the metaverse will add $5 trillion to the global economy by 2030, and 2023 will be the year that defines the direction of the metaverse for the next decade.' (Forbes)
Manufacturing and warehouses have been using robotics for decades. But as systems, IoT and data controllers become smaller and more intuitive, we will see an increasing trend towards pseudo-human robots.
We'll also experience increasing self-driving vehicles and completely autonomous warehousing. It's not too much of a stretch to expect a product to go from design to consumer without being touched by a human.
5G networks will likely become more widespread in 2023. It brings faster internet speeds, lower latency and capacity for more devices connecting simultaneously. This could enable new use cases such as autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and more efficient industrial automation.
The adoption of edge computing will increase in 2023. It brings computing closer to the data source, reducing the lag of sending data back and forth to a central location. Edge computing enables low-latency, real-time applications such as autonomous vehicles and industrial automation and improves the efficiency of big data analytics and IoT operations.
But there are headwinds…
We asked over 190 technical managers what their most considerable reservations were for 2023. Here's what we learned:
The largest concern was the threat of cyberattacks, with a third of tech leaders considering cybersecurity as their biggest challenge of 2023. Not surprising, since over 35% of UK businesses were affected by a cyberattack last year.*
With more companies moving their operations online and an increasing number of connected devices and systems, the risk of cyberattacks will likely continue to increase. CTOs must ensure that their companies have robust cybersecurity measures to protect against evolving threats.
Managing the evolution & complexity of systems
As technology continues to advance and more companies adopt technologies like AI and IoT, the complexity of IT systems is likely to increase. CTOs must ensure that their companies can manage this complexity and that their IT systems can integrate and work together seamlessly. This would explain why over 15% of the CTOs we surveyed saw changing technology not as a benefit but as a challenge.
There is a vast digital skill shortage in the UK, and vacancies in the information and communications sector have tripled since 2019 (Source ONS). This means increasing staff costs, churn, skills gaps, competition for talent and higher agency and advertising costs. If you can get talented staff, you'll have to ensure you have the salary, working environment and perks to keep them.
In our recent survey, over 25% of tech leaders considered limited tech talent their biggest challenge in 2023. Are there aspects of your IT department that you could outsource instead?
Balancing innovation and efficiency
CTOs must ensure that their companies are taking advantage of new technologies and trends to innovate and stay competitive while maintaining the efficiency and stability of existing IT systems. This can be a difficult balance to strike.
CTOs must be strategic in their approach to adopting new technologies and phasing out old ones. With 26.4% of tech leaders specifying their biggest fear is a supply chain shortage, there is a lot to consider when transitioning and upgrading systems.
How to realise the benefits and prepare for the downfalls of 2023
Keep up to date with the latest trends and developments in technology. Understand how they might impact your industry and your company. Attend conferences, read industry publications, work with a specialist partner and network with other CTOs and technology leaders to stay informed.
Ensure that your company has robust cybersecurity measures in place to protect against threats such as malware, phishing, and hacking. Conduct regular security assessments, train employees on cybersecurity best practices, and stay updated with the latest security technologies and regulations.
Invest in data management and governance
With increased amounts of data being collected and stored, CTOs will need to ensure that their companies have data management systems that allow them to collect, store, and analyse data securely and promptly.
Have access to a strong team
Make sure you have the right people to manage and support your company's technology needs. This may involve recruiting new talent, retraining existing employees, or outsourcing aspects of your IT to a reliable Managed Services Provider (MSP).
Be open to new ideas, technologies, and approaches. Continuously look for ways to improve and optimise your company's technology systems, processes, and capabilities.
These are just a few examples of the potential challenges that CTOs may face in 2023. Tech leaders will need to stay informed and adapt to changes in the technology landscape. Work closely with other leadership team members to ensure your company is well-positioned to meet future challenges.
If you need any advice on IT infrastructure, digital transformation or cybersecurity, feel free to contact make an appointment.
*Figures sourced from Gov.UK Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022