Mark Hillary And Peter Ryan Discuss Technology Trends For 2023

January 3, 2023  |  Irina Kiptikova

Mark Hillary:

One of the points that Peter was talking about the different locations around the world that are developing expertise in services like IT-enabled services that that’s going to be interesting. It’s obviously very hard to compete with places like India and the Philippines because of the size of their population and their experience. But I think that, if you look at many of these business processes that are being driven by technology, they’re actually requiring many more technology skills than ever before. You need cloud expertise, you need data analytics expertise, you need people there to crunch numbers. I think that that’s where we might get different locations around the world, creating expertise in this. I mean a place like Cape Town in South Africa could easily be promoting itself as a high-tech hub, as well as a service hub, rather than people just saying ‘Come down here and do your kind of customer service operations’. You can come here and not only do that, but we can also do your data analytics as well. So I think that we will see people starting to consider that the technology function in these companies is going to become much more important.

Peter Ryan:

Very much so. I would say Mark raises some excellent points there in terms of talent availability and the new locations where you can find some of this talent pool. I’ve seen some amazing stories and heard some just incredible things from people in what would be considered emerging destinations. I mentioned Georgia and Rwanda earlier. Another example would be Barbados in the Caribbean. Is it the largest population? No. But does it have a good pool of talent, of university graduates that are technology-based that could easily manage a lot of these different functions and elements that we’re talking about? Absolutely. The same goes for Cape Town, the same goes for destinations such as second or third tier cities in India. It’s not just going to be the big metropolises. I think this comes back to this whole idea about business continuity and how to manage BCP from the perspective of not just business services but from the technology itself.

There is an abundance of talent in different parts of the world that can easily be leveraged and I think from a tech standpoint, going into 2023, what’s going to favor an organization is going to be trying to figure out how they can establish an idea about where these pockets of talents lie and making sure that they’ve got a network of this pool of talent, this pool of IT-based labor that they can guarantee a strong level of redundancy to make certain that they’re going to be as watertight as possible.


I would like to just throw in a couple of comments on the metaverse because we talked about it in a couple of different points during the discussion. I think that one thing that may be worth saying is that metaverse itself, the first use case may in fact be the distributed office. We’re seeing teams of people now working in Starbucks, working from their home, working from an office, and working from places like we work, temporary offices that they don’t normally use. How do you connect all of these people together and actually get them into a single place as a single team? I think that that is a problem that an idea like the metaverse could solve quite elegantly.

It’s just a question of companies being able to deliver the platforms that allow us to do that because it doesn’t need to be sitting in a Starbucks wearing a VR headset and walking around like a robot. This idea that you have to kind of physically immerse yourself in that world is not true. We’ve all used things like chat tools and stuff online, we’re all in different WhatsApp groups. We know what it means to be connected virtually to people, but if you can just take that one step further to visualize a sort of Virtual Office where all of your team are there and you can chat to them, and you can interact with them, and you can even socialize with them, I think that that may well be where a lot of people actually get their first kind of exposure to the metaverse, rather than this idea that we’re all going to go off and visit the Nike shop in the metaverse.


No argument for me. I think that makes total sense.


I think that a lot of the things are connected. I mean like Peter was talking about the war for talent. It will drive a lot of people to explore more flexible ways of working that comes back to the stuff that we were talking about with Gig CX. The thing about the Gig employment model traditionally is that it’s very simple tasks that are easy to repeat, something like going to a restaurant, picking up some food, and then delivering it to someone’s home or an Uber taxi ride or something like that. What we’re now looking at is using technology platforms to deliver highly skilled services, but within a temporary time frame. Some skilled people have been doing this for years anyway. If you go look at writers, look at artists graphic designers, you don’t pay a graphic designer by the hour. You pay them for the piece of work that they’re doing. It might take them 30 minutes or 30 hours. It doesn’t matter. They accept the project and they get paid a certain amount to do that project.

You’re just starting to see this being applied to many more areas of professional life where people can say actually that I only want to work three hours a day because I’ve got other stuff going on, that I need to organize in my life. And I think that that is going to become a lot more common, people actually having very flexible kind of work lives, rather than Monday to Friday eight hours a day sitting in the same place. It will be driven by these platforms to actually become much more common to just say ‘Well, I never work on Fridays, and Monday and Tuesday are my big days, and Wednesday I normally do a half day’. So this will become a lot more accepted.

And we’re seeing that in the kind of customer service environment where companies are now able to go out and find fans of their products by using these platforms. If you are a fashion company, you can go out and find people who are interested in fashion and get them to be on your customer service engagement with customers. These platforms are really creating an opportunity for companies to interact with people in a completely different way. Nissan is a really great example there, the car company. Because many people have doubts about electric cars, the EVs, because we’re in this kind of transition from traditional combustion engine cars into EVs, Nissan is just connecting existing customers of Nissan electric vehicles to potential customers. People who go on the website and ask Nissan questions about what is it like – an EV, are getting directed to existing customers. I don’t think that you could have imagined this in a traditional kind of customer service environment in the past.


It’s true and I think what we’re talking about here, especially from the technology and the workforce angle, is the technology is really becoming a facilitator now. It’s facilitating the ease of somebody being able to work the way they want to. And I think Mark’s example was fantastic about writers and graphic designers that literally have been using some of these tools and some of these methods for decades. Decades – it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but for many years. To my mind, now it’s creeping in a good way into the mainstream labor force, whether it’s CX, whether it happens to be more professional, higher skill type roles, whether it’s technology management. There’s a lot that the applications are able to do in terms of managing time, in terms of managing productivity, in terms of communication, and it would be silly to think that we as people who are employed in professional roles are not going to take full advantage of that.

There’s a lot of application that applies across different sectors and as we become more of a distributed workforce, as we become more of almost like a digitally nomadic workforce, these elements around technology that perhaps would have been science fiction a few years ago and that have become mainstream are just going to be table stakes, as we move forward.


But the big thing in the short term is going to be how to manage the downturn. What can we do to create more certainty in our business, to get closer to our customers, to know exactly what they want, using insight into the data that we’ve already got on that kind of customer behavior. How can we use services like Cloud to make our ongoing operational costs month by month, rather than requiring huge amounts of infrastructure spending upfront? How can we use the tools that are already out there just more effectively? I think that we’ll see a lot of the business press talking about tech for the downturn, this kind of thing. How do we use technology to get closer to customers and just make our businesses more efficient?


Continue discovering what the future will be like. Mark Hillary, a British technology writer and analyst, gave a really great summary in terms of 2022 and predictions for 2023. Peter Ryan is one of the foremost experts in CRM and in this vlog, he shares the results of 2022 and ideas for the next 2023 in business and technology.

Stay tuned for more information on digital transformation.

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