So you think you can predict the course of technology in the year ahead?
Really? I have my doubts. In the many years I’ve covered enterprise tech, I’ve never looked ahead and seen such a rapidly shifting landscape. As the pace of innovation leaps ahead, the leading sub-sectors of IT have become increasingly complex:
- Artificial intelligence: The stunning debut of ChatCPT in November put us on notice: AI is growing exponentially, offering a toolset (for free!) that would’ve been sci-fi not that long ago.
- Cloud has become the foundation of tech, but never has a foundation continued to evolve so fundamentally. Cloud is now very much multi-cloud. So customers benefit from the vast potential of combining the top hyperscalers – which is equaled only by the frustrating management and cost concerns.
- Edge computing exploded in 2022; I can hardly count the executives I’ve spoken with recently who see it as a new leading focus. The Internet of Thing’s immersive computing environment is creating a data-rich infrastructure that supports commerce and collaboration and, eventually, the metaverse.
- Data analytics – the engine that drives decision making – has forked into an array of mushrooming sub-sectors, from predictive analytics to data visualization to real time data mining. No longer a separate discipline, analytics is being built into ever more applications as a core element. I hope you like the mining of metrics for insight, because it’s becoming omnipresent.
Given tech’s furious pace of change, I see only one “safe” prediction: the revenue for tech will continue to spiral skyward at vertiginous rates.
Cloud, for instance, is growing at a robust 14.4 percent CAGR. It’s forecast to expand from its 2022 total of $483 billion to a cool $1.5 trillion in 2030. And that growth rate is downright modest compared with AI, which is forecast to increase at a rip-roaring 38 percent CAGR, leaping from 2021’s $147 million to $1.6 trillion in 2030.
By the way, that’s the first time I’ve used the phrase “rip-roaring” in a sentence about IT. Fitting that it would be about AI. There’s gold in them hills – as there is throughout the enterprise IT sector.
Tech Predictions 2023 and Beyond
Fortunately, my reluctance to predict the course of tech is not shared by executives across the enterprise IT industry. The thought leaders below offer their forecast for the sectors that will shape the enterprise in 2023 and beyond.
Ayman Sayed, Chief Executive Officer, BMC Software
Six Trends to Watch
As companies continue to evolve their remote work workforce and decentralized IT operations, it will be important that the organizations supporting them have products that align to their needs and their new operating models. In 2023, there are six key macrotrends to watch.
- First, the Future of Work, the way we work has changed forever. If there is one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s where and how we work is constantly evolving. And technology will continue to be key to enabling this flexibility.
- Economic Growth Shifts: the turbulence of the financial markets feels normal now. The nations driving global growth are shifting, and geopolitical challenges have altered how business is conducted. Predicting market shifts and finding ways to succeed takes incredible amount of data analytics and insights, and this will only grow in the year ahead.
- Supply Chains, including procurement, manufacturing, distribution, inventory and last-mile delivery, have changed in ways where data and insights are critical. For many, there is incredible pressure to ensure that supply chain changes can be absorbed to shield customer and employee expectations.
- Cybersecurity: This is not only the job of a CSO any longer, cybersecurity is everybody’s job. Yet this needs to be done in a way that does not create friction or slow businesses down.
- The Value of Data: Statista reports that every person creates 97 zettabytes of data by the end of this calendar year. That is 21 zeros after 97 bytes of data. This creates immense opportunity if we can capture, analyze, and apply it for better business results.
- The socially responsible organization creates an opportunity and expectation for each of us to make the right decisions and collectively impact climate change, diversity, and inclusion, to make the world a better place. Because doing good in the world is good for businesses.
Shiva Nathan, Founder & CEO, Onymos
Metaverse technologies will remain just hype, while digital transformation technologies trends higher
While there might be flashes of jazzy product introductions around metaverse technologies, there will not be any mass adoption or game-changing impact in 2023 stemming from metaverse. These technologies will remain just hype for the foreseeable future until more and more enterprises gain a better understanding of this space and its impact.
Technologies accelerating digital transformation, with a focus on cost reduction, will gain steam in 2023. The digital transformation trend that started during the Covid pandemic will only continue to accelerate as enterprises look for new ways to extract efficiencies in systems and processes.
Ian van Reenen, CTO, 1E
IT sustainability and cost reduction
As remote work remains a constant heading into 2023, we’ll see more discussion around IT sustainability in terms of how to reduce IT costs as more employees opt to work from home, and how this can also have a more positive impact on the environment.
Around 70% of the carbon footprint of a laptop comes from the manufacturing process, so a tangible action organizations can take to become more cost-effective and sustainable is to evaluate how they can extend the life cycle of their laptops and other devices. A key question for leaders to ask is how their organizations can more efficiently reuse, repurpose, and refresh IT equipment.
AI and DATA
Srinivasan Venkatesan, Executive Vice President, U.S. Omni Tech, Walmart Global Tech
A significant expansion beyond robotics to intelligent automation
Over the last several decades, the value of automation has largely been derived from using robotics to replicate human actions and eliminate laborious, repetitive tasks. This coming year, I predict we’ll witness a significant expansion beyond robotics to intelligent automation, which uses artificial intelligence and analysis to carry out data-driven tasks with very little human interaction. This enablement shifts reliance off humans and onto technology, so workers can focus their attention on other areas of the business.
As more businesses adopt this newer structure, they’ll find greater efficiencies in everyday tasks across their organization. Imagine streamlining hundreds of processes and decisions—everything from prioritizing employee work tasks, to determining the products stocked on shelves, to automating customer contact—with the push of a button. The possibilities and opportunities are endless for optimizing workflows and reducing costs.
Charlie Boyle, Vice President, NVIDIA DGX Systems
Enterprises will seek out AI solutions that can deliver on objectives
In 2023, inefficient, x86-based legacy computing architectures that can’t support parallel processing will give way to accelerated computing solutions that deliver the computational performance, scale and efficiency needed to build language models, recommenders and more.
Amid economic headwinds, enterprises will seek out AI solutions that can deliver on objectives, while streamlining IT costs and boosting efficiency. New platforms that use software to integrate workflows across infrastructure will deliver computing performance breakthroughs — with lower total cost of ownership, reduced carbon footprint and faster return on investment on transformative AI projects — displacing more wasteful, older architectures.
Ashok Srivastava, Senior Vice President & Chief Data Officer, Intuit
AI will completely transform security, risk and fraud
We’re seeing AI and powerful data capabilities redefine the security models and capabilities for companies. Security practitioners and the industry as a whole will have much better tools and much faster information at their disposal, and they should be able to isolate security risks with much greater precision. They’ll also be using more marketing-like techniques to understand anomalous behavior and bad actions.
In due time, we may very well see parties using AI to infiltrate systems, attempt to take over software assets through ransomware and take advantage of the cryptocurrency markets.
Quentin Clark, Managing Director, venture capital firm General Catalyst
Personalization will shape the employee experience
Personalization has become a Holy Grail for both businesses and consumers looking to build loyalty. Next year, such personalization will become more widespread in the workplace (individualized benefits, rewards, on-boarding, training plans).
Employees essentially are consumers, and they will increasingly expect the same personalization they’re used to in everyday life entering the workplace. At a time when recruitment remains challenging and businesses are preparing for slower growth rates, personalization can help companies do more with less and ensure talent stability.
Leonid Belkind, Co-founder and CTO, Torq
Security automation’s proactive footprint continues expanding
Rather than focusing on retroactively building workflows and processes based on historic attacks, security automation deployments will shift to a proactive approach to help prevent attacks before they happen.
Part of this involves security teams harnessing early threat intelligence signals and building defenses against them into their workflows and processes. The result will be a comprehensive new offensive-capacity framework that combines the entirety of the security stack into the most powerful protection approach to date.
From Kuldeep Jiwani, SVP of Data Science, HiLabs
AI and ML systems must work in real time
Healthcare AI will soon move from a reactive to a proactive state. For this to happen, AI and ML systems will have to work in real time. This can be achieved in a couple ways:
- One way to realize proactive, or predictive AI, is to have a closed loop MLOps-based system where ML model training happens in the background to generate models that are only applied on live, real time data. The quality of prediction is observed and if it degrades, then an automated closed loop is triggered that retrains the data to generate a new model and puts the newer version back into a streaming prediction pipeline.
- Another way to achieve proactive AI is to implement a continuous learning framework where the same model learns from its mistakes and auto-corrects itself over time.
Evangelos Hytopoulos, Sr. Director of Data Science at iRhythm
AI approaches will be based on the use of self-supervised and generative AI algorithms
The majority of AI models today are based on supervised learning, where labels are combined with measurements to teach an algorithm to predict unseen data. However, it takes a lot of effort to create a labeled data set and as a result, usually only a subset of the data can be labeled – thus limiting the learning capacity of the current models.
In upcoming years, we can expect to see AI approaches that are based on the use of self-supervised and generative AI algorithms in order to facilitate the incorporation of a larger volume of data in model training.
Supervised learning is capable of learning important features of the underlying measurements that are a richer representation of the data. The advantage of generative algorithms is the creation of synthetic data – labels coming from a different signal domain and the important features are learned from the domain of interest. In both cases, proper validation will be required to prove the validity of the algorithms and the lack of any bias in its predictions.
Mohan Kompella, VP of Product Marketing, BigPanda
Automation, AIOps and the recession
Very similar to what we saw at the start of the pandemic, the 2023 recession environment will force organizations to figure out how to scale through technology like automation and AIOps and not through headcount.
As companies implement hiring freezes and are forced to work with flat budgets, in addition to cutting staff, companies must identify ways to support existing employees and create a less stressful work environment for their IT, SRE and DevOps teams to avoid employee burnout. Effective, automated solutions that address these challenges will become a must-have.
Steven Mih, Co-founder and CEO, Ahana
Industry accepted open lakehouse stacks will emerge
As the market further chooses open options for table formats, compute engines and interfaces, the Lakehouse version of the LAMP stack will emerge. Linux Foundation and Apache Software Foundation projects will constitute those components.
Liz Centoni, Chief Strategy Officer and GM of Applications, Cisco
As deglobalization and issues around data sovereignty accelerate, in the year ahead we will see a discernible shift in how companies leverage multicloud architectures. While 89% of enterprises are adopting a multicloud strategy for a variety of reasons (geopolitical, technical, provider diversification), the benefits come from additional complexity in connecting, securing, and observing a multicloud environment.
We will see a big move toward new multicloud frameworks such as Sovereign Clouds, Local Zone Clouds, Zero-Carbon Clouds, and other novel cloud offerings. This will create a path toward more private and edge cloud applications and services ushering in a new multicloud operating model.
John Engates, Field CTO, Cloudflare
The cloud takes on compliance
Complying with the patchwork of recently passed global privacy and data regulation has become a nightmare for corporate IT teams. In 2023, cloud services will finally take the burden of compliance off of these teams and automatically determine where data can be legally stored and processed.
We believe the majority of cloud services will soon come with compliance features built in. The cloud itself should take the compliance burden off companies. Developers shouldn’t be required to know exactly how and where their data can be legally stored or processed. The burden of compliance should largely be handled by the cloud services and tools developers are building with.
Networking services should route traffic efficiently and securely while complying with all data sovereignty laws. Storage services should inherently comply with data residency regulations. And processing should adhere to relevant data localization standards.
Patrick Bossman, Product Manager, MariaDB
Availability will be the key to winning in 2023
One thing we have learned in recent years is outages can be crippling for business. In 2023, availability will be the secret sauce differentiating the winners from the losers. Companies need to avoid lock in and have the flexibility to scale. By diversifying cloud environments, companies will minimize the impact of outages on their ability to continue operations.
Andy Glassley, Director of Innovation, Core BTS
A concerted effort to modernize the cloud
Over the last decade, we have seen a huge spike in businesses moving to the cloud. Gone are the days where on-premises infrastructure could fully accommodate the ever-changing technologies businesses needed to stay competitive. We are now in the age of the Cloud Revolution that better enables application modernization through rehosting, refactoring, re-platforming, and more.
In 2023, we’ll continue to see organizations migrate to the cloud, but we’ll also see a concerted effort to modernize the cloud. Organizations will look to do more with their existing cloud investments and innovate through cloud-native applications, hybrid applications, and modern data foundations.
Haoyuan Li, Founder and CEO, Alluxio
Cloud adoption becomes heavily influenced by cost optimization
Cloud adoption is being influenced by a greater focus on cost optimization in 2023. Even though the public cloud has catalyzed the growth of countless companies, the global economic uncertainties will drive large organizations with data-intensive workloads to recalibrate their cloud strategies with a higher emphasis on cost optimization, such as reducing egress costs.
The focus will be on the ROI and TCO of their infrastructure, either in the cloud, on-premises, or both.
Cassius Rhue, VP, Customer Experience, SIOS Technology
Cloud migration and repatriation will continue and bring new demand
Many companies fast tracked their cloud adoption journey due to world-changing events in the last few years and traded on-prem data centers for the cloud. This cloud migration will continue, and at the same time, many companies will realize that migration itself was not a one size fit all solution nor a panacea for issues of ‘application’ availability.
The need for high availability of stateful applications in the cloud will prompt companies to use clustering software. Repatriated systems will leverage solutions the minimize churn, and the need for multiple application availability vendors.
Amit Rathi, VP of Engineering, Virtana
Cloud cost management will give companies the upper hand
Cost and resource optimization is going to be key for 2023. Considering the potential economic uncertainty, most companies want to have detailed insights into cloud spend and the ability to control the spend and optimize its resource utilization. Driven by the digital transformation over the last few years, companies have adopted multiple clouds based on their individual business needs.
As a result, most companies have very little insight about spend, the correlation with business applications and potential cost savings possibilities. As organizations start to drive toward a cloud adoption maturity that is coupled with business pressure on reduced spend, the companies that have a proactive approach will have a significant upper hand in dealing with uncertainty.
Bjorn Andersson, Senior Director of Global Digital Innovation Marketing and Strategy, Hitachi Vantara
Private 5G will collect more data at the edge than ever before
The use of private 5G networks in industrial settings, such as manufacturing where sensors and robotics are heavily used, will begin delivering on the promises of device connectivity, machine reconfigurability and real-time data analysis.
Increased use of private 5G will enable troves of new connected devices, collecting more data at the edge than ever before, in addition to a broader adoption of IIoT-enabled solutions in 2023.
Rafael Umann, CEO of Azion
Edge developers will embrace open standards and frameworks
Developers who create apps through platforms that don’t offer easy portability will have little recourse if those platforms decide to increase prices or make other significant changes. Vendor lock-in is unacceptable for companies that must carefully plan their budgets.
As a result, in 2023, expect a strong focus on ensuring that edge web apps rely on open standards and frameworks. This focus will increase interest in WebAssembly, Jamstack, and other technologies not tied to a specific provider. Building apps using these technologies allows developers to shift from platform to platform as needed to optimize cost and performance.
Kris Beevers, Co-Founder and CEO, NS1
Hyperspecific ML and AI will catalyze edge adoption
In the near future, AI and machine learning (ML) models will become hyper-personalized. Each model will be optimized for a specific person, location, or application, accounting for their particular needs and idiosyncrasies.
Creating these models will require processing and deploying massive data sets, on a far greater scale than a central data lake could hope to handle. As a result, expect to see edge infrastructure become critical as a way to make the creation and storage of these models more sustainable at scale.
Nima Negahban, CEO and Cofounder, Kinetica
Enterprises treat their data spatial in 2023
The cost of sensors and devices capable of broadcasting their longitude and latitude as they move through time and space is falling rapidly with commensurate proliferation. By 2025, projections suggest 40% of all connected IoT devices will be capable of sharing their location, up from 10% in 2020.
Spatial thinking will help innovators optimize existing operations and drive long-promised digital transformation in smart cities, connected cars, transparent supply chains, proximity marketing, new energy management techniques, and more.
Tenry Fu, Co-Founder and CEO, Spectro Cloud
Edge burns white-hot
Kubernetes may have gained popularity as the operating system for the data center, but its real value may prove to be at the edge, where its portable and resilient application workloads can power an almost infinite variety of digital business processes and customer experiences.
Our research has found that 35% of production Kubernetes users are already running Kubernetes at the edge, and many many more plan to do so in the next 12 months. The use cases are incredibly varied, from fruit-picking drones to AI on MRI machines, and many of them have the potential to drive revenue and competitive differentiation for the companies that get them right.
But the challenges are equally immense, from manageability to security. The year 2023 is the tipping point, when the challenges get hit head-on, and edge truly goes mainstream.
Nick Landers, VP of Research, NetSPI
An emphasis on machine learning security, threats, and vulnerabilities
Machine learning is already deployed in numerous technologies, especially those concerned with security — for example email filters, security information and event management (SIEM) dashboards, and endpoint detection and response (EDR) products.
If you thought you could delay ML security conversations, think again. There is a growing group of security researchers focused on Adversarial ML, which includes both attacks on models themselves (inversion, extraction, cloning, etc) and the use of ML in network attacks and social engineering. In the upcoming year, we’ll see a growing list of vulnerabilities being published for ML-integrated systems.
Shash Anand, SVP of Product Strategy, SOTI
The growth of Zero Trust
Zero Trust is a mindset; don’t trust anyone or anything that wants to access data or join a network without verifying credentials. While to some it may perceive that this leads to loss of productivity because it may take longer, proving who you are is important for security purposes. Companies must have the right tools to offer single sign-on and validation based on multiple factors of authentication.
We can expect Zero Trust to improve mobile security because it ensures only authenticated users get access.
Jacob DePriest, VP, Deputy CSO, GitHub
Cybersecurity transparency will be hailed as a strength
While organizations are improving how they detect and defend against cyberattacks, they must also evolve the way they communicate about them. We’ve seen a fair number of breach disclosures this year, and next year will be no different.
However, we’ll see more organizations lean further into transparency as a means to strengthen trust around their business. More security leaders will focus on building an environment where the security team is an empowered, trusted partner to the business. It’s important to prioritize open, transparent communications around security incidents to build trust with both internal and external stakeholders.
As a natural result, the internal bar for privacy and data protection will rise and the threshold for external sharing of security incidents will lower.
Tal Dagan, Chief Product Officer, Atera
Security concerns = number one priority for IT leaders
Companies are focusing more on cybersecurity and looking for solutions to make their devices less vulnerable. We expect more IT departments to implement IT monitoring solutions as organizations become more demanding of the quality of service and much more fearful of increasing cyber-attacks.
Adam Koblentz, Field CTO, RevealSecurity
Behavior-based analytical detection will be required
Many incidents in 2022 have shown us that 2-factor authentication is not enough to prevent breaches, APTs (Advance Persistent Threats). Criminal organizations are seeing 2-Factor Authentication as a mere hurdle, not a blocker.
In 2023, companies will need to assume compromise and act to detect it with increased speed and ease (which can only be done via automation). Companies will not use detection tools that are too noisy or inaccurate as they are too much of a burden on the team. Behavior-based analytical detection will be required to handle the threats facing organizations.