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Tech trends all business leaders should be prepared for in 2023

Alistair Dent, Chief Strategy Officer at data science consultancy Profusion, explores some of the key tech trends that he believes business leaders should be prepared for during the next 12 months.

It is impossible to accurately predict how 2023 will pan out, given the tumultuous economic times we are experiencing, but one thing we can be sure of is that tech’s leading role is here to stay. What are some of the likely trends that we are going to see over the coming year?

The reality of the Metaverse

With the recent Meta layoff announcements, it might be easy to assume that the metaverse is off the cards. But this is not so. Firstly, it’s important to remember that the metaverse is much more than just Meta’s widely touted vision of it. It is much better defined as the ultimate goal of a whole suite of virtual and augmented reality propositions that will change how we interact online. What’s more, experts predict that the metaverse will add $5 trillion to the global economy by 2030, and 2023 will be its defining year.

With this, in the new year we’ll see more brands take advantage of metaverse-ready experimental and immersive technology such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) as a way to interact with consumers in more meaningful ways. This will likely include metaverse use cases to follow the examples set by video games, such as Roblox, about how to create a digital economy for in-universe items.

We might also see further development in businesses posting themselves at key virtual locations, even through developing their own platform or using an existing virtual arena. In the corporate world, this may include virtual representations of real-world offices, operations and systems where businesses can complete specific tasks without needing to be present in a physical office.

Automation becoming the norm

It is estimated that businesses and employees waste hundreds of hours a year completing repetitive, often mundane tasks which could easily be automated. 2023 will see more business leaders address this by deploying automation technologies – such as robotics, machine learning and language-learning models – at scale.

In keeping with this year, a large chunk of this will be seen in delivery and logistics as businesses ramp up the pace of autonomous vehicles, as well as delivery robots to build efficiencies. But we’ll also see it in other areas too – for example customer service. This will be revealed through self-service resources, proactive messaging, or simulated chat conversations either in-part or throughout the entirety of the customer journey.

The AutoML Train Will Gain Traction

In the last year, Automatic Machine Learning (autoML) tools and services have become more popular in part due its potential to bring the power of artificial intelligence to businesses that it might not have previously been accessible to due to resource, talent, and budget constraints.

2023 will see these types of autoML off-the-shelf models become increasingly sophisticated and more widespread as a way to increase the productivity of data science teams and make machine learning more cost-effective. This will enable better and much more accurate forecasting and predictions, even more important amid current economic uncertainty.

ESG Will Become a ‘Tech Issue’

ESG isn’t anything new. For years, businesses have been aware of the importance of making decisions that are better for the environment and society. It is only more recently though, that factors such as the pandemic, the climate emergency, and the D&I mandate have propelled ESG to new levels of significance.

But this shift is not so straightforward. While standardised governed measures, say financial reporting, can be conducted in a standard, formalised way, the complexities and wide variables associated with ESG make it a very different matter. Cue tech’s emerging role as a leading force in the ESG space. Over the next year we will see more and more tech experts flooding the ESG space to combine ESG and tech knowledge and build viable solutions to the problems companies face. Initially this determinable industry shift will take time and require new ways of working and thinking for all involved. However, the end result will be a positive transition from ambition to more concrete action.