With 2023 just around the corner, leading tech experts share their thoughts about what to expect next year.
Andrew Filev, CEO and founder of Wrike
“Technology and human-created workflows will further intertwine. As digital transformation continues, technology will play a larger role in streamlining and accelerating workflows previously managed by humans. It will also open the door for industries that were not able to have this level of interconnection in the past. Traditionally, workflow automation tools enable system to system actions, whereas work management tools drive actions between knowledge workers – both existing in silos. Now, there are more processes where systems and humans interact and rely on each other to complete a workflow. This integration not only creates efficiencies but solves for the Dark Matter of Work by creating a complete record of actions performed.”
Vicky Bullivant, Senior Vice President, Sustainability at NTT
“With a rapidly increasing digital space comes increasing demands on technology and therefore higher levels of energy consumption. The question is, how do businesses manage the need for more energy with greater environmental sustainability demands coming from consumers, stakeholders and employees. I believe this will be top of mind for IT leaders across the world in 2023 and beyond.
An organisation’s carbon footprint is often measured once a year and manually, which is about as useful as only checking your investment balance annually. There is a better way: digitalising your carbon footprint and monitoring it as closely as your profit line. This is how to ensure your business is agile enough to rise to the climate challenge.
Businesses should start by implementing modern technologies and practices. This allows them to become proactive in dealing with climate-related challenges and respond at lightning speed while measuring the impact confidently. In this way, organisations can make informed decisions in real time without waiting for an annual report before they act to save our planet.”
Charles Southwood, Regional VP, N.Europe & MEA at Denodo
“The role of Chief Data Officer (CDO) has seen such a meteoric rise in recent years, where the number of companies hiring for this role has quadrupled since 2012. This is hardly surprising when you consider that, in our current landscape, data is the single, most valuable asset that any organisation owns, regardless of size or sector. By harnessing it effectively, companies can boost productivity and improve decision making, enabling them to stand out from the competition and offer real value to their customers.
But, in order to reap these rewards, companies must be able to understand the insights they are collecting. They must also be able to protect the data and ensure its quality so that any intelligence they glean from it can be used to inform wider strategies across the business. This is where the CDO comes in.
In 2023, CDOs will take their rightful place at the boardroom table as they become an increasingly important part of business decision making. Whereas this role has typically been considered as another ‘rule maker’, CDOs around the world, who haven’t already, will now step into new management streams. They will transition from data gatekeeper to data storekeeper, ensuring that data is made available in an agile and timely, yet secure, manner so that important new data insights are gained throughout an organisation. Next year, driving innovation and value through data will become a priority for all businesses and the CDO will be at the cutting edge of this movement”.
Richard Timperlake, Senior Vice President EMEA, Sales at Confluent
“Implementing the right technology that takes away the mundane tasks to up-skill the workforce is one focus we’re discussing often with businesses. A growing business needs to do exactly that – grow. But with efficiencies needed, for example with talent, one great way to still achieve success is to ensure that the workforce you have works on the most valuable work. The lower-level, repeatable tasks can be left to technology if done right.
“Technology can also help to find efficiencies within a business if it’s implemented in a way that works this way. Using modern data pipelines to tie relevant data together the platform can use the data available to make smart, cost-effective decisions quickly. Using data in this way, a retailer, for example, can see how well stock is moving, and perhaps the cost could be increased with very popular items, or more ordered quickly, and equally see where items are sitting taking up space in stock rooms when they could be reduced and cleared to be replaced by higher ticket items.”
Daniel Hutley, Architecture Forum Director at The Open Group
“While the forward economic view might be challenging going into 2023, it should be clear that one area which businesses will not deprioritise is innovation. Seeking improved customer experiences, inventing new business models, and architecting highly automated processes will be vital to deliver the efficiency savings and new growth that businesses will need to survive.
That should put Agile at the forefront of organisations’ system thinking: there has been a real swell in Agile adoption in recent years, and the methodology continues to prove itself as an unequalled engine for innovation. However, as enterprises adopt it even more widely, they will also encounter challenge points around ensuring that Agile teams achieve outputs which are mutually complementary – and which don’t imperil the enormous embedded value of legacy systems.
That’s why I see a shift happening in the near future in which Agile comes to be thought of on the scale of the whole business, not just on the scale of individual teams. It will become increasingly clear that attempts to coordinate Agile operations on an ad hoc basis lead to unmanageable, exploding complexity. The solution will be to formally coordinate from the ground up on the basis of Agile, with standards such as The Open Group Open Agile Architecture™ (O-AA) Standard providing the framework for a methodology which encompasses business decisions as much as it does technology decisions.
In a tough economic climate, businesses will not be able to afford the gamble of misaligned innovation. That means that the formalising power of Enterprise Architecture has never been more important.”
Sridhar Mullapudi, General Manager of Citrix, a business unit of Cloud Software Group
“Businesses are in a state of flux, and CIOs are right at the centre. They are expected to be agents of change, but are still caught up with legacy infrastructure and transformation projects. Additionally, they must play a key role in navigating the current talent crisis, both by providing tools to maximise employee productivity and by leading automation projects.
“As we move into 2023, we can expect to see a shift away from the ‘traditional’ CIO role and towards a more ‘transitional’ role – one in which CIOs are responsible for defining and refining workplace technology and driving business strategy. As part of this, CIOs will become increasingly dominate when it comes to organisational budgets and operations. In fact, according to recent research, in the majority of businesses (67%) the CIO is already second only to the CEO in terms of shaping and delivering strategy. This is because in the new world of work, the CIO is positioned better than anyone else to visualise, explain, and enact holistic change across a business.
“Next year, the most effective CIOs will adapt to their role as change agents, developing new skills whilst focusing on the needs of their organisation’s employees. This new breed of CIO will be people-centric but also a driver of automation. They will need to be integrated into the fabric of a business like never before in order to make lasting and meaningful change.”
Colin Bodell, CTO of Bazaarvoice
“The product description page (PDP) is great. There is a continued role for PDPs that are easily discoverable and have the high-context info necessary to drive interest to conversion. They must be fast, rich in content and anticipate and answer customer questions. However, PDPs universally achieve significantly higher value (e.g. drive greater customer engagement, conversion and repeat traffic) when they employ increasingly more user-generated content and social proof. For example, high quality photos from customers that show the product they have purchased in-use. Brands and retailers should, and will, even show them in the hero set of images above the fold.
“PDPs will also begin to prompt customers with timely “nudges” based on where they are on the PDP and how much time they have spent there, mentioning that “10 other customers have this product in their cart”, letting them know that “16 other customers bought this product in the last 5 hours” or “6 other people in your city bought this product this week”, and “15 five star reviews were written and posted this week”. This humanizes the product and encourages conversion.
“PDPs must move from a “dump of product information” to richer, more highly-contextual feedback and guidance from *real* customers. For example, using customer feedback to refine product descriptions increases authenticity. New shoppers trust the customer community that has come before them. However, the PDP is just one location for shopping. Rather than driving customers to a PDP, brands and retailers need to meet customers where they are, especially through non traditional channels. Where do prospects for your product spend their time? E-commerce websites, social media, in stores, returning products, watching TV or streaming networks, speaking with friends, and family. Your approach must be cohesive across all channels, must be subtle and not crass, and must be encouraging with *valuable* data and insights. Often, your customers know more about your product than you think you do. Let them do the talking!”