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Metaverse, generative AIs, recession… are CIOs ready for 2023?

In its “Tech Trends 2023” report, the Info-Tech firm identifies seven trends and offers advice to CIOs for the coming year.

Metaverse

It is known that work is being done to establish open standards for the metaverse, e.g. within the Metaverse Standards Forum. Efforts that Info-Tech describes as essential to one day see the vision of a defragmented metaverse materialize. Although pushed by the tech giants, the metaverse is still generating little business interest, according to the Info-Tech survey. Approximately two-thirds of the surveyed companies thus do not intend to set up forms of interaction in virtual reality, which suggests that the metaverse as a hybrid work solution is still in the conceptualization phase. Only one in four companies has already completed a proof of concept or plans to do so. Info-Tech particularly highlights the potential of the metaverse and digital twins for the design and maintenance of complex equipment or environments. Analysts, however, advise companies not to dive headlong into the metaverse and to take the time to acquire the necessary knowledge.

Generative AIs

Models trained using a massive amount of data to produce original works, generative artificial intelligence is not limited to visual arts, Info-Tech reminds. For example, companies could use it to improve their cyber security analytics or perform preventive maintenance or quality control analytics. according to. The research firm’s poll places BI, automating repetitive tasks and identifying cyber risks at the top of AI use cases overall. So-called generative models could precisely improve performance in these three areas. For example, by converting unstructured data into a more organized format. Among other things, the company advises IT departments to acquire knowledge about these AIs, because employees on the business side will probably start using them ad hoc. It will therefore be a question of finding a way to help them or to limit the risks associated with their use.

Business-driven data models

Info-Tech analysts point out that the utilization of data in sectors of activity that were well-established before the advent of digital technology has not necessarily produced results that live up to expectations. Tech vendors can be wrong about which metrics are most useful to those companies’ customers. To remedy this, vendors have begun working with companies to more effectively identify the information needed to increase the value of data. In this context, investments in Data Lakes or Data Fabrics are expected to increase by 5% by 2023, making it the second priority technology for new spending, behind artificial intelligence. Additionally, 41% of the companies surveyed by the firm are developing internal data analytics capabilities. For this last scenario, however, Info-Tech recommends partnering with an external service provider specialized in data analytics to benefit from a set of skills that can increase the chances of success for this type of project.

Sustainable digital processes

Many companies have invested heavily in digitizing their operations to improve productivity and efficiency, the report’s authors note. Who new resources and strategies will be needed to maintain momentum in this truly never-ending process. More than two-thirds of the companies surveyed by Info-Tech indicated that the desire to increase productivity without increasing the number of employees was a decisive factor for continued digitization. To achieve their goals, however, companies must go beyond the simple digitization of processes and seek to optimize them, analysts suggest, for example by highlighting their inner workings by analyzing log files. Using Process Mining techniques will also make it possible to detect and eliminate redundancies. Info-Tech advises companies to ask their ERP vendor if they plan to include process mining functionality in the near future before investing in a separate solution.

Reporting and analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors

2023 will be marked by the entry into force of obligations for European and American listed companies to publish their CO2 emissions, the report states. Which reveals that few companies are ready to provide accurate data on the CO2 impact of their business. Only a quarter of IT decision makers surveyed say their organization can adequately report on the impact of their ESG initiatives. And half believe that their company is unable to provide reliable reports on its carbon footprint. Among other things, Infotech recommends that they locate missing information that prevents adequate reporting. It would also be advisable to strengthen relations with suppliers to find out how to declare the emissions created by the products and services that the company uses and markets.

Zero Trust Security

The authors of the Info-Tech report point out that the frequency and severity of attacks against the software supply chain have increased in recent years. Critical infrastructure such as gas pipelines and utilities have been disrupted by such attacks. In contrast to these, companies are turning to the Zero Trust cybersecurity approach. You still need to be able to implement it… Half of the IT decision makers surveyed by the analyst firm are concerned that their superiors and the board do not take into account the problems associated with cybercrime. The difficulty of finding specialists in the field is also a major concern. As for budget funds, they do not necessarily follow the evolution of cyber threats. “While just over half of organizations (53.5%) say they will increase the amount they spend on security next year, many will spend the same amount as in 2022 (41.5%) or reduce their spending (5.1 %),” reads the report. . Info-Tech notes that if the implementation of the Zero Trust approach is not necessarily within the reach of all companies, the principles that underlie it are.

Preparing for the recession

The IT budget could see its resources shrink if the economy continues to decline, warn the report’s authors. However, despite the context, a small majority of CIOs surveyed still foresee an increase in spending in 2023. These investments will be made especially in the areas of cloud (58%) and AI/machine learning (44%). Info-Tech notes that it is understandable for CIOs to extrapolate from the last recession caused by the pandemic and assume that spending levels will remain stable or even increase. However, this pattern does not necessarily repeat itself if the recession is confirmed. As a cost-saving measure, Info-Tech recommends reducing spending with suppliers rather than reducing staff. Especially by getting rid of outdated software and renegotiating existing contracts.

The “Tech Trends 2023” report is based on a survey of 813 CIOs globally, conducted between August 9 and September 9, 2022.

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