The 10 most important IT trends for 2023
Businesses have always evolved through change and innovation; the current changes caused by digitalization, which is still accelerating, as well as pandemics or war situations, are significantly increasing the pressure on the teams and their performance.
The following ten tips illuminate the digital and cultural revolution from different perspectives and contain background information as well as examples and recommendations on how companies can develop further in a targeted manner.
- digital regulation
- Artificial intelligence
- management culture
- Skills shortage
Number 1: collaboration
Virtual collaboration will play an important role in the post-corona year 2023, both culturally and professionally/technically.
The communication and collaboration platforms, e.g. Teams, Zoom, Miro and Co. - are now an integral part of all business communication, the integration with other services is growing from week to week.
Various new working models - from completely remote to hybrid forms to classic spatial collaboration - must be established, further developed and proven.
While the live conference videos have now reached a high level of distribution, information sharing, security, process management and automation, for example, will also be added in 2023. The location and equipment of workplaces will also change significantly.
Conclusion: Smart collaboration has become an integral part of everyday life in many companies. Now the degree of maturity must and will increase, which will also lead to a new competitive feature.
Number 2: sustainability
Electricity consumption, costs, supply chains, environmental protection, mobility, responsibility and other sustainability issues will be the focus of companies in 2023 like never before.
The efficient and environmentally friendly use of resources is both a choice and a duty: On the one hand, a new wave of EU environmental protection regulations is coming at companies, on the other hand, cost pressure and climate and cultural change require both technical and professional changes.
Sustainability is much more than saving CO2 or electricity: Sustainability is balanced and future-oriented action based on ecological, economic and social aspects. Everyone is in demand here. In addition, employees have clear expectations of their employers, and at the same time are part of the solution.
There is considerable optimization potential, especially in digitization, modernization and consolidation. At the same time, recent experience with global supply chains has shown that global processes and partnerships are sensitive. Important know-how must be available in-house.
Conclusion: Sustainability has been a must for years, but the effects of climate change and the Ukraine war have greatly accelerated further development. Technology and data can make valuable contributions to this.
Number 3: digital regulation
The European set of rules is no longer up to the modern digital world; The European Union presented its digital strategy as early as 2020 and announced several digital packages. These are now taking effect and are no longer only important for large companies.
Examples are the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act, handling and use of AI), the Digital Markets Act (DMA, competitive conditions in the digital markets), the Digital Services Act (DAS, protection of consumers) and some others.
In addition, there is a new data protection agreement for data transfers between the EU and the USA, the Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework.
The German legislator is also intervening more strongly in the digital world, e.g. with the law for fair consumer contracts, the new network and information security directive (NIS2), the online access law (digital administration) or the "digital rail" of Deutsche Bahn.
For industry and business this means: a) staying up to date and b) aligning projects and innovations with the new rules (both are easier said than done).
For competition, it is urgently necessary that politics and legislation not only regulate what has turned out to be a problem, but also promote what enables or accelerates progress.
Number 4: security
More data, more automation, more attacks, more regulation, more responsibility: The year 2023 will be shaped by this in the area of system and data security.
The German economy suffers annual damage of around EUR 203 billion from espionage, sabotage and theft; a doubling since 2019, according to BITKOM.
Almost every company in Germany is affected: 84% of companies were the target of attacks in the past year. Cyber attacks in particular are increasing sharply, especially in the war year 2022.
In times of increasing pressure, companies have to realize that with unfinished security fundamentals and mechanisms, the risk of damage increases sharply and is almost to be expected. Often - especially when an attack has taken place - companies then switch to extensive and expensive Zero Trust behavior and, in the worst case, take away any innovative power through experiments, new technologies or processes.
In 2023, automated AI-based security systems that can react more extensively and quickly to security incidents will be particularly important.
Furthermore, the transparency and visualization of infrastructures, data streams and processes are given high priority in order to be able to identify and protect sensitive points.
Last but not least, the simultaneously increasing requirements for analytics, data protection and regulation (safety, security, compliance) make security a necessary topic in the entire company.
Conclusion: Baked-in-Security as a cultural approach and the combination of a good security concept, automated tools and transparent processes will help companies in 2023 to a better situation and relief.
Number 5: scaling
Scalability in technical cloud applications is standard today: 2023 will be the year of scalability for software developers.
The high complexity of infrastructures, redundant, ill-thought-out and contradicting processes as well as the high cost of overhead tasks massively impede even experienced developers, even in agile environments.
As a result, this means up to 50% loss of time and quality; This is the result of current analyzes by the IT platform Stackoverflow, based on almost 2 million data sets.
In order to be able to efficiently scale or further develop systems, platforms or services in a multidimensional manner, the processes involved in distributed software development are changing again. Important keywords are AI code generation, open telemetry, low-code, visual development, cloud-native development, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), robotic process automation (RPA), API economy and a few more.
Essentially, these technologies automate mundane tasks and accelerate deployments, freeing professionals to focus more on projects and work with higher value.
But even the basics are still a challenge for many companies: Continuous Integration and Delivery, Microservices, DevSecOps, Mobile, Managed Cloud… Just to name a few.
In addition to technologies, tools and concepts, there is a lack of sufficient talent. Gartner also comes to this conclusion, looking back on the last few years.
Conclusion: Today's cloud providers are very powerful. Organizations and their teams must now continue to innovate and improve their processes, tools, standards, and collaboration to accelerate value creation, scale, and better leverage existing opportunities.
Number 6: Artificial Intelligence
Deepl, ChatGPT, DALL:E and many other AI systems impressively demonstrate what is possible today. 2023 is the year of finding and piloting new applications that make use of the new technologies.
Companies have recognized that AI opens up new opportunities for them. Nevertheless, the projects are only slowly gaining momentum. In addition to good ideas and good practices, there is a lack of specialists and basic data. Therefore only about 10% of all companies use intelligent systems, the willingness to invest is currently low at only about 25%. This is also confirmed by figures from a BITKOM study.
Trends in the field of AI include “Explainable AI” (traceability), Adaptive AI (use cases), Information Processing (gaining and distributing data), Sentiment Analysis (relevance assessment), Sustainability Frameworks (increasing sustainability with IT/AI) and Further.
In the medium term, AI systems will also assert themselves in business administration areas and provide a basis for decision-making for management.
The rapidly growing degree of maturity and democratization will make it easier and cheaper to access services and thus enable more people to use them.
Conclusion: Above all, companies need professionals, use cases and investments in order to use AI sensibly and efficiently for themselves. The technology base is already sufficiently in place. AI is also an area of risk where companies and countries can quickly lose international competitiveness.
Number 7: ecosystems
In 2023, the digital ecosystems will continue to evolve towards cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). It is important that the technical foundations are already so mature today that companies can focus on value-adding use cases.
Connected ecosystems will allow teams to automate and streamline their business processes while accessing real-time data and analytics. In addition, different existing systems are growing together more and more.
There will also be greater demand for data security and privacy as businesses and individuals store and share more and more data online.
There will also be greater adoption of edge computing and multicloud environments, where data processing and storage will be performed closer to the sources rather than moving everything to a single cloud landscape.
Conclusion: Companies have to adapt their IT infrastructure and systems to changing requirements in order to remain competitive. In addition, it is important to improve the skills and knowledge of employees in relation to cloud computing, integration/migration, AI and IoT in order to take full advantage of these technologies. Most of the knowledge required for this has to be brought into the teams from outside.
Number 8: modernization
In 2023, companies will have to adapt their IT infrastructure and application landscape better and faster to the changes and innovations associated with digitization and cultural change. According to Lündenonk, a good 75% of companies are planning investments here or have to make them. Significantly more than in 2021 or 2022.
The topics of modernization include standardization of systems, data, processes and interfaces, cloud shift or containerization, reengineering, but also the consolidation of redundant or overlapping systems. It is important that the revision of existing systems is given priority, as opposed to the development of new ones.
The complexity of cloud applications will remain in 2023, especially in multi-cloud environments. The large number of concepts, architectures and systems require more transparency, simplification and planning: Although application landscapes have become significantly more diverse, flexible and powerful in recent years, they are often unmanageable.
Conclusion: The life cycles of IT systems are becoming ever shorter; the modernization that is required more and more quickly must already be planned for during development. While many business processes have now reached a high level of maturity and are digitized, there is a lack of dynamic infrastructures and applications. Above all, the large traditional sectors such as banks, insurance companies, automotive or energy feel how much the outdated systems stand in their way.
Number 9: leadership culture
Studies assume that more than 90% of German companies are already dealing with the topics of agility and cultural transformation. In concrete terms, this means that people change.
In 2023, teams will increasingly work in a self-organized manner and take ownership of processes and content that stem from their own (further) development. Leadership is evolving from mandates to empowerment. Managers consistently align their leadership and support with the needs and interests of their employees; called Servant Leadership.
The way leaders treat and communicate with their teams can greatly affect satisfaction and performance levels.
Leaders who behave in an authoritarian, patriarchal, dismissive, or critical manner run the risk of creating a culture of fear, distrust, and stagnation. Managers who are supportive and open and behave in a cooperative, participatory, democratic and supportive manner promote the self-confidence, creativity, identification and commitment of their employees.
This usually means the operational team level; but for long-term success, agile leadership and scaling are just as important.
Conclusion: In 2023, the appreciative and agile leadership culture is a key factor in the success or failure of a company. Therefore, it is above all the managers who have to learn and experience how this works.
Number 10: skills shortage
Despite war, crises and the aftermath of the pandemic on the labor market, the number of unfilled positions for IT specialists continued to rise in 2022: while there were already 2021 vacancies in 96.000, the number rose by a further 2022% to more than 40 in 137.000. Trend: still rising according to Bitkom.
Even in 2023 there will be far too few specialists and talents who implement and help shape the digital transformation in companies. Above all, there is a lack of security experts, software developers, software and infrastructure architects as well as AI and data specialists.
The situation can no longer be described as tense; it's much more dramatic now. A lack of experts not only slows down ongoing projects, but also delays new ones that strengthen or maintain competitiveness.
In addition to solution concepts such as accelerated training, lateral entry programs or support for immigration, the topics of nearshore and offshore as well as automation are becoming increasingly important.
For the year 2023, key factors for companies that want to be or become competitive will be a rethink of recruitment processes and new ways of hiring, training and developing new and/or existing employees.
In addition, companies are forming more and more partner and service networks as well as their integration and control in order to be able to react more flexibly to personnel and know-how requirements.
Conclusion: The skilled labor situation will not improve in favor of companies in the foreseeable future; Creativity and attractiveness in recruiting, retaining and nurturing talent will make a crucial difference in competitiveness.
Bernd Guenter is Head of Sales & Marketing at it-economics, with international experience in consulting, business development, sales and management of multinational customers.
He is an expert with proven track record in modern software development, delivery leadership, digital and cultural transformation, agile project development and IT.
For many years, the experienced manager has ensured that companies in digital change are successful with the right multifunctional teams, technologies and innovations and that they convert their ideas into solutions.
Contact Bernd Günter LinkedIn