Deloitte released its 14th annual Tech Trends report that details how enterprises will look towards the IT lessons of the past to help shape their future amid escalating economic disruption.
Tech Trends 2023 identifies advancements across six macro forces consequential to business transformation over the next 18 to 24 months. These include emerging opportunities in the innovation areas of interaction, information, and computation, as well as foundational areas of business of technology, cyber and trust, and core modernization. This year, trust has emerged as the central element in the trends identified by the report, the company said in a release, driven by enterprises increasingly recognizing that business outcomes are limited less by technological capability and more by the comfort and confidence in adoption and impact.
“Mark Twain reportedly observed that, ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.’ There are clear call-backs in this year’s Tech Trends to historical technology inflection points such as the GUI, the internet, and mobility. Each trend offers opportunities to test new approaches and learn and transform both technology and business models,” said Mike Bechtel, report author and chief futurist and managing director at Deloitte. “In navigating these new pathways, we should strive to achieve a balance between our pioneering spirit and our protective mandate. Done well, we can promote the primacy of business to IT, minimize risk, maximize the value of our investments and work to build trust within our business ecosystems.”
Immersive Internet for the Enterprise
The internet paradigm is shifting away from mobile internet towards immersive, interactive interfaces that take users through the looking glass into virtual experiences. This includes the metaverse and digital twins, and Deloitte predicts that over the next few years, tangible, conversational, and virtual interfaces will likely continue to graduate from tech toys to enterprise tools. The company says that organizations should be ready for reality to move online through expanded ways of interacting with mixed reality. Additionally, user experiences will continue to become simpler, even as the technology that drives human-computer interactions becomes more complex.
Learning to Trust AI Colleagues
Trusting the AI algorithms that power business decisions will be key as AI tools become increasingly standardized. Deloitte says that the differentiating competitive factor for truly AI-fueled enterprises will be how robustly AI is used throughout business processes, reflecting on how much confidence there is in the AI’s ability to deliver the right analytics and insights. The report states that to build trust, AI algorithms must be visible, auditable, and explainable, and workers must be involved in AI design and output.
Taming Multi-cloud Chaos
Cloud management has become a seriously complex endeavor, and some enterprises are turning to a layer of abstraction and automation sitting above their multi-cloud architecture that Deloitte calls a metacloud or supercloud. Offering a single pane of control, this family of tools and techniques can help cut through the complexity of multi-cloud environments by providing access to common services such as storage and computation, AI, data, security, operations, governance, and application development and deployment, the report says.
Reimagining the Tech Workforce
Flexibility of skills is another trend the report explores, and with the limited supply of technology talent, Deloitte says that hiring for current needs is not a winning long-term strategy due to how quickly technical skills become outdated. Companies can meet talent goals by building a skills-based organization where talent can be curated, created, and cultivated, the report states, along with tapping into creative sources for finding talent. Flexibility should be prized, Deloitte says, and trusting talent to flex their curiosity and versatility in becoming serial specialists over extant skills will result in improved talent experience and business outcomes.
Decentralized Architectures and Ecosystems
Deloitte says that even with the market volatility of cryptocurrencies, the enterprise potential of blockchain and other digital assets continues to grow. The report discusses how blockchain ecosystems could be key for building digital trust, particularly stakeholder trust, since these systems distribute trust across a community of users versus a single person or organization.” Organizations may be able to cement their credibility by helping reinvent a more decentralized internet—Web3—in which a single, immutable version of the truth is based on public blockchains,” the report states. “Digital ledger technologies and decentralized business models that achieve consensus through code, cryptography, and technology protocols are demonstrating that none of us is as trustworthy as all of us.”
Mainframe Modernization Hits its Stride
Mainframes are enjoying a quiet renaissance, Deloitte asserts, as enterprises are using middleware to link core systems to new technologies like GPU-based supercomputers and cloud-based analytics, AI, and ML. Mainframes are still commonly used in tasks such as payroll processing, transaction recording, and insurance underwriting. Mainframes do what they were intended to do, and they do it well, the report states. Despite the challenges in modernizing these legacy systems, companies are connecting and extending them with emerging technologies rather than completely replacing them.
The report concludes with a section devoted to an extended set of technologies and research areas that the analysts say are on the horizon: space and aeronautical engineering; cellular and biomolecular engineering; brain and nervous systems applications and interfaces; climate, sustainability, and the environment; autonomous and precision robotics; and power, energy, and battery technologies. These areas are rooted in science, Deloitte says, and are active with patent and startup activities, technology maturity and advancements, academic and grant investments, and venture capital funding.
“Tech Trends 2023 applies research, Deloitte’s unique history in working with global organizations across industries, and the combination of business and technology experience to predict how enterprises navigate to what’s next. Instead of betting on the future, Deloitte is helping clients build confidence in harnessing disruptive technologies to make their innovation ambitions real,” said Bill Briggs, global chief technology officer and principal, Deloitte. “Our insights for this year’s report have revealed a number of truths: transformation should be business and mission led, powered by AI, fueled by technology providers big and small, with a goal to make and shape new markets. Tech Trends 2023 can help organizations nurture what we have now as we navigate to what’s next, building something significant, sustainable and future-friendly for tomorrow.”
Access the full report at this link.