Transformation Blueprint: 2023 Digital Trends

Optimize, Scale, Pioneer

The volume, velocity, and complexity of change thrust upon us leave little room to avoid transformation. The only constant is change, and transforming ourselves and our organizations is the only way to withstand such change. In this article series titled “Transformation Blueprint,” we explore the various levers of transformation available for an organization and offer practical tips and tools on how to activate them. This article defines and discusses 6 key digital transformation trends that will be revolutionary in 2023 and beyond.

What Are Digital Trends, And Why Are They Important?

While not all digital trends will be relevant to your organization, as you transform, you must remain aware so that you know if and when to adopt and adapt them to your context. According to Gartner, the key digital technology trends for 2023 focus on three horizons: optimizing, scaling, and pioneering. [1] Understanding digital trends is critical for your organization to ensure that you disrupt your own business processes, technologies, and culture before they get disrupted by external forces. In other words, keeping abreast of digital trends keeps you slightly ahead of the curve. While there are several digital trends evolving, in this article, we examine 6 trends. For optimizing, we explore zero-trust cybersecurity and Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS); For scaling, we examine cloud computing and platform engineering; and for pioneering, we review adaptive Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the metaverse.

Zero-Trust Cybersecurity

Early in 2022, the United States government released the “zero-trust” cybersecurity strategy memorandum, which outlines the principles and guidelines of how organizations can protect themselves from cybersecurity risk. Zero-trust cybersecurity allows your organization to optimize performance by significantly minimizing cybersecurity risk. According to PwC, organizations will need to scrutinize every element of their infrastructure and adapt it to be able to implement zero-trust principles and guidelines. [2] Zero-trust strategy includes five pillars: identity, devices, networks, applications, and data. Each one of these pillars needs to be aligned with the zero-trust key principle of “trust no one” and verified at every step in multiple ways. Organizations can reap several benefits from zero-trust cybersecurity, including higher operational resilience, lower costs related to cybersecurity breaches, more robust compliance, better user experience, and increased reliability of controls that mitigate risks.

XaaS

Anything-as-a-Service is an evolving trend where any digital tool, service, and/or product can be delivered as a service to customers digitally through the cloud. XaaS increases efficiency by helping organizations cut costs, as they no longer need to buy and build software, hardware, network security, and infrastructure, as well as develop and house their digital tools and products on local servers. Organizations can purchase what and when they need such services from other providers and pay as they go. XaaS enables organizations to transform faster, as they are no longer tethered to costly and rapidly dated technologies but can quickly pivot and experiment with new applications to meet customer needs. According to Deloitte, organizations that leverage XaaS increase their competitive advantage because they increase and democratize their ability to innovate. [3]

Cloud Computing Platforms

When it comes to scaling capabilities, cloud computing is the ultimate enabler. According to Gartner, by 2027, more than 50% of enterprises will use industry cloud computing platforms. [1] Cloud computing platforms enable organizations to purchase pre-integrated and composable technology products and solutions which enable cost reduction and scaling of operations. Previously, organizations would buy separate, a la carte, cloud services and would have to optimize their in-house integration. Additionally, cloud computing platforms offer customizable solutions that organizations can further adapt to their specific project needs, which help accelerate scaling, foster innovation, and decrease costs.

Platform Engineering Teams

More and more organizations are developing platform engineering teams who take the complexity out of back-end systems by building and making available applications and capabilities ready to use for the front-end user teams. According to Gartner, by 2026, more than 80% will establish such platform engineering teams to facilitate digital capabilities and tools development and usage by the broader enterprise. [1] Such platform engineering teams can develop reusable parts, developer tools, and self-service developer portals, which, to a certain degree, enable the end users to leverage the technology themselves, thus eliminating wait and overreliance on back-end IT teams whose backlogs are typically overcrowded with competing priorities.

Adaptive Artificial Intelligence

Adaptive AI capabilities can be quite powerful because they allow the organization to harness the power of AI in the context of organizational needs. For a learning organization, adaptive AI can create truly personalized content for each learner and deploy it on the spot for each learner to support or accelerate their learning progress. The AI ​​observes and records the behaviors of its users and self-adapts them on the spot to address the specific user needs as they emerge. As a result, adaptable AI underscores the need for clean and usable data, helps cut costs, and decreases time to market.

The Metaverse

The metaverse is a set of technologies that enables people to interact, learn, connect, and transact in a digital universe. According to Gartner, by 2027, 40% of all organizations globally will be using some version of the metaverse in their engagement with employees and customers. [1] The metaverse can help you enhance your brand, accelerate and simplify learning, enhance innovation, cut costs, and grow revenue. Leveraging the metaverse can expand your transformation efforts by enabling you to test ideas into practice, iterate, and improve, all in the metaverse environment before implementing them in the actual world.

Conclusion

Staying abreast of change is difficult. As a leader focused on transforming your organization, you will need to also stay up-to-date on the key digital trends. Doing so will help you and your team evaluate your course and explore where to pivot next to optimize your organizational performance outcomes.

References:

[1] Top Strategic Technology Trends 2023

[2] What is meant by zero trust security?

[3] Accelerating agility with XaaS

Leave a Comment