It’s January, so you’ll have already heard and read a few takes from tech experts on the trends that will shake up business in 2023. And while we’ve been wowed by the possibilities of the metaverse and dazzled by devices, there are some concepts which have flown somewhat under the radar.
However, for businesses, these developments might be the missing ingredient for a successful year. Raising efficiency and lowering costs are double-underlined on every tech leader’s to-do list – and the tech is already out there to help them achieve them.
Fox Agency spent some of 2022 hearing from the tech world’s leading lights at global events as they outlined their vision of the working future. So, let’s see what will make the headlines in 2023.
The Edge of Glory
With the positive early signs that 5G can support the weight of new IoT applications, another innovation can make life even easier for data-hungry businesses.
Reducing latency can be critical in some potential use cases, where real-time processing may be the difference between life and death. Edge computing and 5G together could be just the combination needed to perform telesurgery or monitor safety conditions for workers in emergency situations.
The next obstacle is re-establishing the supply chain and making some tweaks to the tech so that the process can be more cost-efficient.
Looking further ahead, companies could look to broaden their scope worldwide and address the technology access gap which separates the ICT haves and have-nots. There are untapped opportunities in many countries across the world, whose contribution to the supply chain could be invaluable.
A level playing field
The EU’s Digital Markets Act was signed into law in September, with another date of May 2023 for the regulations to take full effect. It aims to increase competition in the digital marketplace by holding ‘gatekeepers’ – marketplace leaders – to standards that are less likely to squeeze the competition.
These new obligations require companies to be more mindful and safety-conscious of the customers they’re serving. For example, Meta isn’t allowed to use the data you provide to WhatsApp in any of its other products. They also want to limit self-preferencing services – so if you search for a new e-book reader on Amazon you won’t necessarily get hammered with results for the Kindle.
Provided the DMA is successful in reining in Big Tech’s behaviour, we could see positive results as smaller companies begin to soak up some exposure. For B2B companies, that means more opportunities to cut through the noise of Big Tech and reach new prospects.
We’ve already been out on a limb to say that the metaverse isn’t worth dropping your entire 2023 marketing budget on. But certain elements of the hardware and software set to power the virtual reality revolution have piqued our interest.
Digital twin technology is turning real-life places, objects, and processes into simulated constructs. It’s setting companies up to test and tweak everything from workplace management processes to production line components, saving time and money in testing.
We’ve already seen how it can revitalise the hospitality industry by offering try-before-you-travel tours of virtual venues, but the possibilities in other sectors are seemingly endless. Businesses can organise full training sessions and seminars for attendees both inside and outside the business, while architects complete a design before wowing clients with a walkthrough.
The metaverse might not be maturing any time soon, but digital twinning could yet give companies cause to don the headset.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a SuperApp!
Southeast Asia’s first decacorn, Grab, is the company responsible for the GrabApp, which handles many everyday tasks for customers on the one platform. With food and grocery deliveries and ridesharing among its services, it recently added banking and digital payments.
Businesses in search of their own SuperApp might feel relatively restricted by the stringent regulations around banking and data sharing, which are relatively tamer in southeast Asia. But the SuperApp represents a great opportunity for businesses to do everything in one place.
From employee governance and people management, to supply line security and workflow processes, the notion of ‘everything under one roof’ is making steady progress. To succeed at SuperApp creation, developers will need to bear in mind that the steady streams of data must be controlled and stored safely – not to mention the potentially tricky combination of mini- and mobile apps that will need to work together in a frictionless, non-buggy way.
Artificial intelligence: business tool or thief of creativity?
In many people’s minds, the idea of artificial intelligence in our daily lives falls somewhere roughly between ‘handy help’ and ‘Terminators’. But for those of us excited about the potential outcomes, 2023 promises to be an interesting year in and out of the office for AI.
Automating business processes has helped companies find where efficiencies can be made, in every department, from payroll to packing. AI-assisted platforms can pinpoint data trends and make recommendations on performance. They can help marketers by performing tasks like video transcription – you’ll have seen it on Teams – and resolving customer queries as a chatbot. AI is even writing blog posts and creating images based on written prompts, as recent developments like Chat GPT and Midjourney have shown us.
So, are we mere mortals set for a showdown with Skynet any time soon? Doubtful. Even the most breath-taking image or informative article produced by AI clearly lacks that human touch. Employers will be happy, though – as AI can perform the most repetitive tasks, companies can save time on everyday tasks and train or recruit workers to develop genuine strategic skills. This paves the way for a major shake-up of industry and highlights the potential of AI to become a vital part of everyday work.
As ever when we’re talking tech trends, we’re not telling anyone to set their calendars to our lofty predictions. But these advances are already making an impact in the B2B tech sector, and we think they’re well worth shouting about to your colleagues, directors, and marketers.