Ram Ramachandran, Senior Vice President & Head of Middle East & Africa at Tech Mahindra shares some of the trends that will shape the technology industry in 2023
What are some of the key trends that will shape the technology industry in 2023?
The last two years have seen a dramatic increase in the Middle East’s focus on digital agendas, which has led to a world that is increasingly shaped and driven by technology. IDC research shows that 49% of Middle East CIOs have brought forward their digital agendas by at least one year – and 14% by almost two years—following the upheaval of 2020. Many of these CIOs are now actively reviewing and exploring new digital business models and ecosystem partnerships for the long term.
In 2023, CIOs will continue to transform their businesses to meet a new set of challenges and rethink their leadership strategies for a digital-first world, whether that’s through constructing resilient digital infrastructures or handling the specific needs of a remote workforce. They must expedite digital investments and build organizations that adapt to evolving business requirements and capitalize on change.
Some of the key technology trends that will shape the IT industry in 2023 are hyperconnectivity, including 5G-powered applications; cloud migration and resilience; artificial intelligence; and cybersecurity. Metaverse also would gain pace in business use cases across different industries.
Hyperconnectivity will continue to be the largest boost to digital transformation (DX) spending. Increased adoption of streaming, IoT and augmented/virtual reality could be accelerated with the launch of 5G networks in the coming year. Although tech, media, and telecom companies are leading the way, DX investment is accelerating across sectors and all regions, meaning DX could be a profitable growth opportunity that isn’t currently priced into IT services stocks. Blockchain was most sought after in 2019, followed by AI, which became prominent soon after. Currently, it is a cloud that is getting attention, and Metaverse will probably be next wave of growth and innovation.
With the advent of new technologies, how do you think cybersecurity is going to evolve?
Cybersecurity is rapidly evolving with the advent of newer technologies. It is not only a hindrance to core operational processes and business strategic goals; it is also a hindrance to the protection of private data. Organizations should not look for just a solution for securing their businesses but rather adopt a holistic cyber security strategy that is based on a robust security framework that provides predefined guidelines and tools for both internal and external stakeholders. The fact that most data breaches are due to human error makes employee access points a prime target for attackers.
While adopting digital transformation, leaders need to keep in mind that security is a central part of their transformation plans. Otherwise, they risk damaging relationships with their customers in the event of a breach.
The global survey report commissioned by Tech Mahindra found that many companies need to prioritize security more in their digital transformation strategy. 54% of respondents said their company is taking steps to improve security or will do so in the near future. Companies may currently be more concerned about the security of their partners and vendors than their own. When asked what factors influence their decision on which partners to work with in digital transformation, 53% of survey participants cited security—as the most commonly cited response.
The new technologies of AI, ML, Quantum Computing, Blockchain (BC), IoT devices, and software-defined networking (SDN) etc bring with them a plethora of risk factors. Organizations adopting these technologies, should understand that these are potential and highly concerning areas that require attention, as these technologies also carry some security risks. This means that the company might have to deal with new cybersecurity problems and needs to take the right steps to protect its most important business assets.
Which technologies would be the focus next year?
It is the convergence of technologies that organizations need to invest in. These technologies keep us ahead of the curve. The need is to educate our entire ecosystem, from our associates and partners to our supply chain and customers, on these technologies. Automation, which is AI-driven, and 5G definitely integrate the cloud, so we will see wider adoption because, as we store data digitally, it does bring in tremendous waste management benefits across industries. With everything being automated and smart, it is clearly a contribution towards building a more growth-oriented yet sustainable agenda that we are driving.
Metaverse is also at present one of the prime focal points and will evolve, as will all the technology in use today: SaaS, customer experience management, and employee experience management. These technologies will need to become more transformational because digital transformation will become business transformation. A study by Gartner Research and Studies predicts that 30% of organizations will share their products and services around the world in the “metaverse.” This is because the digital space makes it easier to communicate and work together on many different levels.