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Digital Disruption To Continue In 2023 And Beyond
Some of the strategic technology trends that will shape the coming years are as follows
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Today, technology is all-pervasive. The development and adoption of advanced technologies, such as intelligent automation, artificial intelligence, the metaverse, blockchain, 5G, and quantum computing, are creating an impact on almost every aspect of operations. With faster processes, a more appealing customer experience, and lower operating costs on the table, I believe technology will continue to disrupt and empower businesses across industries in 2023 as well. Having said that, all of these technological investments will have to be balanced against their environmental impact, which we call "ESG (environmental, social, and governance)". Further, organisations will have to focus initiatives on modernising business processes and take a pragmatic approach with respect to innovation, automation, supply risk management, and customer and employee experience.
Some of the strategic technology trends that will shape the coming years are as follows:
- Digital Twin – In asset-intensive industries, a digital reinvention is taking place that is disrupting operating models and necessitating an integrated physical and digital view of assets, equipment, facilities, and processes. While digital twins are already in use in many industries, including urban planning, manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, and power generation, the demand for digital twins will continue to rise. Some industry analysts believe it will continue to rise sharply until 2026, reaching an estimated USD 48.2 billion from USD 3.1 billion in 2020.
- Metaverse – Metaverse is rapidly capturing the attention of the world. The idea of an immersive world in which people can interact with each other and businesses through avatars has been around for a long time. However, factors such as the rapid rise of new technologies, digital currencies, non-fungible tokens, and pandemic effects have recently accelerated metaverse adoption and attention. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour per day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social media, office collaboration, entertainment, and so on. So, whether it's the next evolution of online gaming, streaming classes, attending events, purchasing real estate, shopping, buying a car, or receiving healthcare, the ways in which the metaverse will shape customer and brand interactions cannot be overlooked.
- Digital Immune System and Security – The rise of digitization has resulted in an increase in data breaches. As a result, a Digital Immune System (DIS) is now at the top of the list of strategic technology trends to watch out for in the coming year. It combines several software engineering strategies, such as observability, automation, and extreme testing, to improve the customer experience while protecting against operational and security risks. With cybersecurity remaining a top priority, business leaders must address compliance and invest in enhancing their cybersecurity architecture by embedding tech avatars such as DIS.
- Cybersecurity – Creating a robust security strategy is peremptory and characterised by features such as detecting risks early and incorporating risk mitigation options immediately after that. Shaping out such a strategy begins with the quantification of risks and the prioritisation of vulnerabilities. Today, as organisations achieve enterprise-scale improvements by leveraging the power of a hybrid work culture with reduced security risks, cybersecurity should be understood and implemented than just spoken about!
- Low-code/no-code development platforms – These platforms are visual software development environments that enable both enterprise and citizen developers to easily create mobile or web apps. Since legacy systems require quick modernization without a large investment, low-code and no-code platforms can help businesses build applications and platforms at scale in a faster and more cost-effective manner. While low-code platforms requires the developer to know basic coding skills, no-code platforms do not require coding experience or programming language skills. Additionally, these platforms can be used to create automation apps, mission-critical systems, and mobile apps.
- Generative AI: Generative AI is fascinating, and I think it is a promising trend that will continue to grow. It is the latest powerful class of large language models that enables machines to write, code, draw, and create with realistic and sometimes superhuman effects. With its enormous potential, there is a huge possibility that Generative AI will become deeply embedded in how we work, entertain ourselves, 3D print anything we can think of, from text to feature film, create music, or play games. It has the potential to significantly benefit society, from assisting us in solving our most pressing problems to improving the human experience through the creation of new art forms or entertainment.
Generative AI can help us perform complicated tasks that are currently beyond the reach of traditional algorithms. In fact, the use of Generative AI, which helps remove bias from machine learning models, can deliver higher-quality outputs and make the jobs of data analysts easier by doing the heavy lifting.
We see many successes in a range of contexts already, such as how Generative AI can revolutionize the healthcare sector. It can help develop a perfect prosthetic limb with the help of 3D printers and other hardware that will bring virtual perfection into the real world. It can also help ophthalmologists detect diabetic retinopathy in patients at an early stage. In the financial industry, banks are using Generative AI to automate tasks such as checking account openings, loan approvals, etc. Hospitality players are using it to create virtual assistants who can respond appropriately to human requests with natural language processing and dialogue management capabilities.
- Quantum Computing: Quantum computing has the potential to drastically change the world around us by revolutionising industries over the next numerous years. Quantum computers are about 158 million times faster than today's supercomputers, and thus, we can imagine how much power a system of this magnitude might have and how it can transform the future.
Though it is still in its infancy and may sound like sci-fi, quantum computing is inching closer every year. According to IDC, the quantum market is expected to grow to $8.6 billion by 2027. It indicates that quantum computing technology will potentially reshape the futures of many industries, including healthcare, automotive, finance, education, advertising, etc. For example, the healthcare industry can derive tremendous benefits from quantum computing, especially in the drug development sector, for early diagnosis of diseases or anomalies, and accuracy and efficiency in processing patient data. Drug testing is a long process, from research and development to trials, testing, approvals, etc., and quantum computing will help come up with the right solution in no time by allowing the computer to look at all possible molecules and drug combinations. Similarly, in the banking and finance industry, quantum computing can help manage the trading complexity and also solve narrow problems, such as portfolio optimization and fraud detection, etc.
Quantum computing is changing the world of cybersecurity too. Quantum computers, which can run sophisticated simulations in parallel, are much faster than classical computers at finding solutions to complex problems and protecting organisations from cyber threats.
- Space Technology: There is a lot going on in this field. Space-based technologies are penetrating almost every facet of our lives. In recent times, commercial businesses have started to drive innovation in space technology, and this corporate-led movement is accelerating technology development. Innovation in this space can lower prices, and the lowered costs create opportunities for new applications, such as using space to support climate change detection, monitoring, and mitigation efforts, exploring planets, and colonising other worlds. Traditional satellite communications will be greatly enhanced by 5G networks in space. These will improve high-speed broadband connections anywhere on the planet and the way smartphones work on planes. 5G space-based services will also benefit autonomous vehicles.
Space technology is explicitly recognised as one of the keys to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 set out by the United Nations. And, with a growing awareness of the importance of decarbonization and limiting global warming among businesses, it is becoming an active focus for enterprises.
- Superapps – A superapp combines the features of an app, a platform, and an ecosystem into a single application, resulting in a mini-app ecosystem with a plethora of functionalities and features accessible through a single app, ranging from payments to online shopping to ride-sharing and social media. Gartner predicts that by 2027, more than 50% of the global population will be daily active users of multiple superapps. These superapps will come and conquer, primarily appealing to Generation Z, who were born in the digital age and demand powerful mobile-first experiences.
- Sustainable Technology – Climate change has dominated the news in recent years, with several governments passing legislation committing them to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. However, governments cannot achieve this alone; businesses have to play a significant role. This is where sustainable technology will gain even more traction in 2023. We must ensure that our technology is environmentally sustainable. The innovative use of next-gen technologies can be a game-changer for creating a sustainable future.
These trends are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of technological disruptions in 2023 and beyond. Digital assets, quantum computing, and enterprise blockchain, among other tech trends, will change the way we do business. I believe that organisations will need to prioritise technologies that enable them to be resilient, optimise their operations, build trust, scale vertical solutions and delivery, and innovate with new methods of customer and employee engagement.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.
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