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Interaction, information and computation certainly aren’t new concepts to enterprise leaders, but they are the three major areas where tech trends are set to emerge in 2023, according to Deloitte.
In what marks the 14th year of international consulting giant’s research on technology trends, its latest report, released today, underscores how pressing it is for industry leaders to revisit these technological inflection points of the past to outline the progress of the future.
“The 10,000-year narrative is tech has always been part of our story, because tools have always been part of our story,” said Mike Bechtel, chief futurist and managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “When we talk about trust, per our research in this year’s trends, what we’re recognizing is we’re limited only by the degree to which we feel that, you know, we can trust technology.”
Within these areas, Deloitte honed in on what it predicts will continue to be the most enduring technologies heading into 2023 — including artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, and the metaverse (along with Web3). Bechtel explained that the technologies fit into three buckets, which the report details further:
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- Interaction moves toward simplicity
- Information evolves toward intelligence
- Computation toward abundance
“Per our research, those three buckets — interaction, information and computation — are enduring areas of technological growth,” he noted. “Many of the most successful billion-dollar stories have come from evolutions along those three enduring tracks. The metaverse, Web3, AI and cloud are just the newest stories along those tracks.”
Trust must be at the core of progress
The term “trust,” which is found 67 times in the company’s report, is at the heart of Deloitte’s tech trends research this year. It revealed that, across the board, trust is a core component that enterprise leaders need to pay attention to in order to further advance these technologies.
“Trust is emerging as the central element across all 2023 Trends, as enterprises increasingly recognize that business outcomes are limited less by technological capability, and more by the comfort and confidence in adoption and impact,” a press statement Deloitte shared with VentureBeat read.
Bechtel broke this down further, explaining, “Each trend offers opportunities to test new approaches and learn and transform both technology and business models. 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.”
In one example of the benefits to approaching new technology with trust, Bechtel said a Deloitte client — a major airline — was working on using AI to assist with its gate-scheduling system at airports. Rather than just developing a solution and implementing it immediately, the leaders reportedly worked alongside the employees who were currently tasked with this job to understand pain points and how to increase efficiency.
Bechtel said the airline found that because the tool was created in collaboration with the employees’ input, they became champions of it, rather than critics, as can often happen when implementing a new tool without collaboration. On top of that, the tool didn’t replace their jobs, but became an assistant and allowed them to focus on higher-level tasks instead.
The takeaway, he said, is that AI should be “transparent and explainable” as a business standard.
Bechtel noted a similar approach to Web3 and other technologies. When implementing or creating new solutions, rather than waiting for someone to ask, “Why should I trust that?” it’s better to show employees that the solution reflects a variety of beliefs, as opposed to just the organization’s belief.
Other report takeaways
In addition to trust’s core role in advancing progress across AI, cloud, the metaverse and Web3 — the report also looked at macro business trends that decision-makers will want to take note of heading into the coming year.
Deloitte cited flexible work capabilities, decentralized architectures and ecosystems, and mainframe modernization as a few key areas enterprises may aim to pursue in next year. As organizations move to reimagine enduring technologies and to innovate new paths, Bechtel said something to keep in mind is that legacy systems and practices are still worth paying attention to. What is old, he said, is not “villain,” and what is new is not “hero,” — rather technology changes are going to continue and how an organization chooses to embrace them is key.
“Novelty begets a visceral reaction because it feels unfamiliar,” Bechtel said. “So too with emerging tech — it’s not noise, it’s not trash, nor is it a savior …. It’s a hammer that’s useful if there’s a nail worth hitting. By all means be aware of the shiny, new hammers, but they’re valuable because they’re a better way of hitting a rusty nail, not because they’re a shiny hammer.”
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