As a new year approaches businesses are deep into the planning of their collective road maps to success for 2023, and wise businesses are making technology a center-point of those maps. To be successful businesses must be forward-thinking, seeking to embrace the trends in technology that can enhance their operations. The experts at Gartner have put together a list of ten strategic predictions for 2023 and beyond that can directly influence small to mid-sized businesses of all ilk.
1: Virtual Workspaces and “The Metaverse”
Projections indicate that by 2027 virtual workspaces will account for 30 percent of business investment in Metaverse technology. Virtual meetings have revolutionized many industries, with many employees preferring them to traditional, in-person meetings. Some businesses have already begun to move to a hybrid model, with others moving towards abandoning the office entirely. While there is no answer that is right for every business, this is a consideration that will only become more key as the years roll on.
2: “Material” Losses Will Increase – Flexibility is Key
Projections indicate that by 2025 up to 40 percent of businesses will suffer losses intense enough to be listed as “material” on year end reports. Many organizations will blame these losses on “labor volatility”, but a more direct explanation would be lack of flexibility. Businesses operating with legacy ERP platforms are particularly in danger as they lack the agility of a modern, cloud-based ERP platform like Acumatica.
3: Reduce Pressure from Talent Shortages by Closing the Pay Gap
Gartner projects that by 2025 businesses that have worked to reduce the gap between the wages of men and women will decrease the attrition they suffer from women by up to 30 percent, lowering the crunch to find qualified candidates for high profile jobs. Compensation is the top driver in retaining talent, and businesses that ensure that their employees are paid what they are worth, regardless of gender, will reap the benefits.
4: Employee Value Metrics are In, ROI on the Way Out
Another projection for 2025 is the shifting criteria for measuring success when it comes to employees. Businesses that score highly on employee satisfaction also score highly on customer satisfaction, which is key to securing return business. Conversely, “traditional” return on investment metrics tend to focus on short term considerations such as cost reduction. While these goals are obviously important, longer-term growth is tied to the above referenced employee value and satisfaction metrics.
5: AI is the Future, but it Has to Be Used Wisely
While AI’s benefits for businesses are well documented, research has shown that there are dangers associated with its use. Far from the science fiction tropes seen in movies, these concerns are grounded in measurable science, and all actionable. Foremost among the concerns is the increased energy use needed to power AI processes, cloud data centers, and future technological advancements threatens to offset any gains made in the drive to a carbon-neutral society. Businesses with a forward-thinking mindset are already focusing on platforms, such as Acumatica, which feature adaptive AI, which not only improves key business processes, but does so in a sustainable way.
6: Digital Identity is Evolving
Social media platforms currently see the customer as the end-product, but trends indicate that is changing. With current processes seen as inefficient and not secure, many platforms are moving towards the idea of a digital identity wallet, where users prove their identity once and are able to use it across multiple locales and platforms. This change will mean that platforms will have to support this new way of operating, requiring a flexible system that can handle changes as they come.
7: Denial of Service Attacks Will Continue to Rise
Citizen led denial-of-service attacks (cDOS) are projected to continue to increase, becoming one of the primary forms of protest in the digital age. Virtual assistants are one of the key targets, and as this trend continues it is expected that new legislation will be passed, potentially limiting what roles and access these VI’s have in order to protect platforms. This is yet another trend that underlines the importance of an agile, adaptable ERP platform – one capable of handling changes that are not necessarily voluntary.
8: New Mindsets Equal New Growth Opportunities
“Moonshots”, or high-risk investments, are becoming increasingly likely to be considered acceptable by investors and boards as the potential rewards continue to climb. Businesses that get ahead of the curve and are willing to take the chance on these speculative solutions to typical problems can position themselves as leaders and innovators. Radical solutions will become the norm, and companies unwilling to accept that reality run the risk of being made obsolete by their competitors.
9: The Landscape is Shrinking and Customers May Suffer
Projections indicate that a few “powerhouse” cloud ecosystems will continue the trend of consolidating their power, eating up more and more market share. This is problematic for consumers on a number of levels- fewer choices is bad enough, but many of those cloud ecosystems are incomplete, missing functionality and adoption. This leads to companies adding in other tools and systems to create their own “blended ecosystem”. As time progresses it is expected the primary providers will mature and add in the required functionality, but smart businesses choose a complete, fully functional cloud provider such as Acumatica from the start.
10: Reestablishing Trust
Consumer and user trust in global data housing is not, at present, at its highest. Governments and regulators are expected to enact measures designed to ensure protection of user data, and the hope is that this will lead to increased trust in the providers. Who owns the data in the cloud, and how it is used, will remain a potential sticking point moving forward, and businesses that harness the cloud must be mindful of their approach to this sensitive topic.
Businesses looking to plan for the future must keep these trends and projections in mind. In light of the expected trends of the next 2-5 years, embracing technology and innovation must remain a guiding principal if businesses are expected to succeed.