Wanstor: Top 3 tech priorities for 2023
Every year, the first week of January is full of articles predicting big trends in technology for the coming year.
This year has been no different, but it sometimes feels quite removed from the realities of what businesses should really be focusing on. Unsurprisingly, the need to manage costs and optimise performance will drive the focus for 2023. Whilst previous years have been about digital transformation and procuring solutions to allow flexible working, in the coming year, businesses will be focussing on streamlining those solutions and ensuring the efficiency of their IT estate.
This is led, not just by the economic climate, but as a consequence of the pace at which some solutions were deployed to enable flexible working during lockdown. It is now clear for many businesses which did not have the necessary time to really think through their deployments that some integrations were a short-term relief which are causing a longer-term problem. The year ahead is the time for businesses which have not already, to reassess their estates and ensure that everything is in place to operate efficiently and economically.
The three overarching themes we recommend focussing on will be cost optimisation, security cultures and AI. Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail.
This can be applied in all areas, but we expect to see it most frequently regarding Cloud spend and for solutions like the Microsoft suite particularly in light of their planned price changes in April.
Sensible businesses will ensure that they decommission unused resources in cloud platforms like Azure, AWS or GCP. They can also move onto pre-paid plans which often work out cheaper than pay as you go. They will be making certain that resources are fit for purpose and not causing unnecessary costs. With the UK cloud computing market valued at £41 billion in 2022 and predicted to be worth £59 billion in 2024, this is a big deal.
Building a Security Culture
Security will always be in the top three. We view it as a journey rather than a destination and it will need to continually evolve. According to a Verizon data breach report, 82% of breaches still involve human involvement. Based on this and our conversations with customers, we anticipate an increased push on user-training in 2023. Building a robust security culture in which employees have a thorough understanding of threats and how to mitigate them will still have a huge impact on keeping most businesses secure.
There are good platforms with excellent content and advice out there which can be supplemented with targeted training, but the challenge is how to get people to engage. Companies are starting to understand that they can gain huge value from defining ways to make effective training resonate with staff. We believe to this end that providers will be exploring gamification, rewards, and bonuses in recognition of effort or conscious acts to ensure that the business remains secure. In the race to a robust security culture, we will likely see psychologists being just as involved as security specialists in this crucial area.
Bots, AI and Automation
There has been an explosion of conversational AIs recently. They are not a new thing, but their capabilities are increasing at such speed that we are seeing some brilliant options for real-world cases. We think businesses will start investing in them for scripting conversations, marketing, service descriptions and employee engagement. They may even be used to significant effect to support security training.
Language models like GPT are far more advanced than earlier versions and they also now thankfully have ethics rules embedded. They require only a small amount of input text or prompts to deliver large volumes of relevant text. In an environment where content is king, it is easy to see what could be achieved and it makes sense that businesses will delve deeper in order to see how these platforms will help them.
In addition, we see a continued interest in and reliance on the Microsoft Power Platform due to its formidable ability to collect, arrange and report on data. The platform has more than 20 million users and 7.5 million developers using it to create bespoke and innovative, low-code apps delivering business value. Organisations are moving away from spreadsheets, and this is where we believe they will land. For those we know who have adopted it, the product has been a game changer. To remain competitive, the 'late majority' will now look to get onboard.
Language models like GPT are becoming far more advanced than earlier versions were, and now also thankfully have ethics rules embedded
For each of the above, businesses have a wealth of options to support them: from SaaS solutions to inhouse specialists, to pulling in IT architects specific to the required disciplines for consultancy or development days. The crucial thing to consider is that whilst cost optimisation will drive the year, this is not just about doing things more cheaply. It is about more creating efficient and effective processes which lead to cost savings without impacting performance.