The Tech Focus In 2023 Will Be Innovation Not Layoffs

February 20, 2023  |  Mark Hillary

The Harvard Business Review spends all year focused on the most recent academic research that is shaping how companies operate. It’s useful to look at some of their ideas on the key technologies we can expect to see making a difference to the enterprise in 2023.

I read their recent article on where tech is going in 2023 and for me it divides into two areas – which technologies are about to hit a consumer tipping point in 2023 and how the technology industry is changing more generally.

Let’s focus first on the specific technologies that the HBR suggests are about to move from being interesting to changing the lives of people who are not watching the tech sector on a daily basis:
  • 5G: 5G has now been rolled out in almost 100 countries. It is now time to stop talking about possibilities and to start focusing on the improved experiences that can be created using this technology. Many users are not proactively upgrading their phone contracts as they can’t see an advantage over 4G, but solutions that require a high level of connectivity without the dropouts typical in wifi and Internet-of-Things solutions all depend on the availability of 5G now.
  • Artificial Intelligence: over 50% of companies now report that they have adopted AI for some business processes. This is likely to increase as the wave of attention focused on chatbots such as ChatGPT in the past couple of months shows that consumers are becoming aware of the possibilities. With Microsoft and Google both launching AI technologies that blend chat with search this will only become more widely adopted and this will raise consumer expectations on companies that are not exploring the tools that individuals can easily access.
  • Cloud: about 60% of companies are now adopting cloud systems to access storage and processing power on tap. The research estimates that there is around $3 trillion worth of potential cloud systems – if more companies move from early adoption to a complete transfer of their infrastructure into the cloud.

The main focus of the more general technology industry changes is around the need to do more with less. This is partly focused on the wave of tech layoffs that we have seen recently, but I believe these layoffs have been undertaken for different reasons in each company. There was a general exuberance as the pandemic arrived – social media and tools such as Zoom experienced enormous growth that is now leveling off. Tech is still a great place to start a career.

The HBR advises some ideas for helping engineers to be more productive and focused, such as managers identifying and growing the top performers, reducing meetings and other distractions from coding time, and going all out on automation to help engineers with all the tools that can make their coding faster and easier.

The biggest story in tech recently has been around the layoffs. A casual observer might look at the industry and feel that it will struggle in 2023, but this is entirely wrong. The technologies that are just hitting the tipping point will further enhance the consumer experience of technology. Companies from retailers to utilities to apparel manufacturers are all going to need tech support in all these areas – 2023 actually looks like a highly innovative year for the industry, despite the layoffs.

Continue discovering what the future will be like. Gartner has provided a good summary for the tech industry. Their latest analysis looking ahead to 2023 lists ten important technologies worth watching next year – and AI is one of them.

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