In its Tech Trends 2023 report, Info-Tech identifies seven trends and offers CIOs advice for the year ahead.
It is known that work is being done to establish open standards for the Metaverse, for example within the framework of the Metaverse Standards Forum. Efforts that Info-Tech describes as essential to one day realizing the vision of a defragmented metaverse. Although pushed by the tech giants, the metaverse still arouses little interest on the business side, according to the Info-Tech survey. Around two thirds of the companies surveyed do not intend to set up any forms of interaction in virtual reality, which indicates that the metaverse as a hybrid work solution is still in the concept phase. Only every fourth company has already carried out a proof of concept or is planning to do so. In particular, Info-Tech highlights the potential of the metaverse and digital twins for the design and maintenance of complex devices or environments. However, analysts advise companies not to plunge headfirst into the metaverse and to take the time to acquire the necessary knowledge.
Models trained on a vast amount of data to produce original works, generative artificial intelligence is not limited to the visual arts, Info-Tech reminds. Companies could use it, for example, to improve their cybersecurity analyzes or carry out preventive maintenance or quality control analyses. according to. The research firm’s survey places BI, automating repetitive tasks, and identifying cyber risks at the top of AI use cases in general. So-called generative models could improve precisely the performance of these three areas. For example, by transforming unstructured data into a more organized format. Among other things, the company advises IT departments to acquire knowledge of these AIs, since employees on the business side are likely to start using them on an ad hoc basis. It will therefore be a question of finding a way to help them or limit the risks associated with their use.
Industry-driven data models
Info-Tech analysts point out that the use of data in areas of activity that were well established before the advent of digital technology has not necessarily produced results that meet expectations. Technology vendors can be wrong about which metrics are most useful to their customers. To rectify this, vendors have begun working with companies to more effectively identify the information needed to increase data value. In this context, investments in data lakes or data fabrics are expected to increase by 5% in 2023, making them the second-highest priority technology for new spending behind artificial intelligence. Additionally, 41% of the companies surveyed by the firm are developing internal data analytics capabilities. For this last scenario, however, Info-Tech recommends working with an external service provider specializing in data analysis to benefit from a range of skills that can increase the chances of success of these types of projects.
Sustainable digital processes
Many companies have invested heavily in digitizing their operations to improve productivity and efficiency, the report’s authors observe. New resources and strategies are needed to keep the momentum going in this truly never-ending process. More than two-thirds of the companies surveyed by Info-Tech said that the desire to increase productivity without increasing headcount is a key factor in driving further digitization. But to achieve their goals, companies must go beyond simply digitizing processes and seek to streamline them, analysts suggest, for example by revealing their inner workings through the analysis of logs. Redundancies can also be identified and eliminated through the use of process mining techniques. Info-Tech advises companies to ask their ERP vendor if they plan to integrate process mining capabilities in the near future before investing in a separate solution.
Reporting and analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.
The year 2023 will be marked by the entry into force of obligations for listed European and American companies to publish their carbon emissions, the report states. Which shows that few companies are willing to provide accurate data on the carbon impact of their business. Only a quarter of the IT decision makers surveyed say their organization is able to adequately report on the impact of their ESG initiatives. And half believe their company is unable to provide reliable carbon footprint reports. Among other things, Infotech recommends locating missing information that prevents adequate reporting. It would also be wise to strengthen relationships with suppliers to find out how to declare the emissions caused by the products and services that the company uses and markets.
Zero Trust Security
The authors of the Info-Tech report note that the frequency and severity of attacks targeting the software supply chain have increased in recent years. Critical infrastructure such as gas pipelines and utility companies have been disrupted by such attacks. In contrast, organizations are turning to the zero-trust cybersecurity approach. You still have to be able to implement it… Half of the IT decision-makers surveyed by the analyst firm fear that their superiors and the board of directors are not taking the problem of cybercrime into account. The difficulty of finding specialists in this field is also a big problem. The budget does not necessarily follow the evolution of cyber threats. “While just over half of businesses (53.5%) say they will increase security spending over the next year, many will spend the same amount as in 2022 (41.5%) or cut spending (5.1%) ),” the report said. Info-Tech notes that while implementing the Zero Trust approach isn’t necessarily within the reach of all organizations, the underlying principles are.
preparing for the recession
The IT budget could see its resources shrink if the economy continues to slump, the report’s authors warn. But despite the context, a slim majority of the CIOs surveyed see spending increasing in 2023. These investments will be made in the areas of cloud (58%) and AI/machine learning (44%) in particular. Info-Tech notes that it is understandable for CIOs to extrapolate from the last recession caused by the pandemic and assume that spending levels will remain stable or even increase. However, this pattern will not necessarily repeat itself if the recession is confirmed. Info-Tech recommends reducing spending at suppliers rather than downsizing as a cost-saving measure. In particular by replacing outdated software and renegotiating existing contracts.
The Tech Trends 2023 report is based on a survey of 813 IT managers worldwide conducted between August 9th and September 9th, 2022.