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Biz & Tech

14 Technology Developments Your Company Should Pay Attention to in 2023

While not every technology is appropriate for every company, businesses should be aware of the many options that have emerged and continue to improve.

Saurabh Rao

By Saurabh Rao

VP of Client Services Saurabh Rao manages and is responsible for BairesDev's client portfolio and account management through client relationships.

10 min read

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As we move into 2023, companies are facing many challenges. Rising inflation, economic uncertainty, logistics issues, cyber threats, and severe weather events are all potential obstacles to business success. However, companies also have many solutions at their disposal. In particular, technology continues to advance and bring the opportunity for convenience, efficiency, and smoother operations across industries.

While not every technology is appropriate for every company, businesses should be aware of the many options that have emerged and continue to improve. In the sections below, we present a number of technology developments that are worth looking at. We describe what each one is, why it’s important, and what company leaders should do to take the fullest advantage of it in 2023.

1. 5G

What It Is

5G is the 5th generation of wireless technology. Just as 3G and 4G enabled the ability to use the internet for increasingly intensive tasks, 5G is expected to take that ability several steps further. 5G enables devices to work more quickly and enables more devices to use networks at one time.

Why It’s Important

5G enables opportunities for companies across industries to put devices to better use. For example, workers can benefit from higher video quality and more virtual and augmented reality. This technology also enables faster transactions, more reliable automation, and higher productivity at remote locations. 

What to Do 

Companies should start thinking about what devices they want to upgrade to integrate with 5G and how much it will cost. Keep in mind that costs for 5G-enabled devices will likely decrease over time, so purchases that aren’t urgent can be put off. 

2. AI Everywhere

What It Is

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability for machines to learn and make decisions. It has already proliferated in industries such as retail and travel. This technology will continue to be used in more applications and processes, such as online shopping, entertainment, and communication. AI includes machine learning (ML), which is used for predictive analysis, including for customer relationship management, and deep learning (DL), which is used for predictive modeling and pattern recognition. Both recognize patterns and draw conclusions from data.  

Why It’s Important

AI can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including in automated call centers to handle customer inquiries, and to boost efficiency and accuracy in operational processes. 

What to Do 

Think about how AI might be used for tasks that humans perform now, such as analysis, repetitive tasks, and even the production of creative media such as written information, sounds, and images. Companies should be aware of risks associated with AI as well. Governance, fairness, reliability, and privacy are all issues that require attention and should be taken seriously. Job loss is also a concern, though the use of AI requires jobs to be added as well. 

3. Blockchain

What It Is

Blockchain provides a centralized way to store data and establish trust between parties that don’t know each other well. In the past, the trust role has been performed by banks and other financial or verification institutions to enable all participants to conduct business safely.

Why It’s Important

According to futurist Bernard Marr, writing in Forbes, “[The decentralization enabled by blockchain] will lead to new ways of transacting, communicating, and doing business – and not just for humans. Machines, too, will benefit from the ability to carry out secure transactions between themselves.”

What to Do 

One emerging use of blockchain is to authenticate non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which enable owners to prove that they own genuine versions of luxury products. If your company deals with such products, blockchain will be an essential technology to explore. Other companies should be looking at the use of blockchain for management services within the structure of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

4. Cloud

What It Is

Cloud platforms enable companies to store and analyze data off-site, typically enabling greater flexibility and lower costs. Cloud services are also highly secure, allowing businesses to meet the ongoing challenge of protecting their own and their customers’ private data.

Why It’s Important

The ability to use cloud services can transform a business with greater agility, leading to faster innovation and time to market, which can result in higher revenues and profits. 

What to Do 

Companies should carefully consider whether cloud services could be useful to them or to their customers. Advantages include greater flexibility with the ability to ramp up or down processing usage easily, without having to invest in new hardware, as well as always-up-to-date applications. Cons include less control over data and applications. 

5. Data Democratization

What It Is

While data collection and analysis have been around for some time, these tasks have been in the hands of the few data engineers with the training to perform them. Data democratization is the process of enabling professionals throughout organizations to perform their own analyses to quickly find the insights they need. 

Why It’s Important

Data democratization enables professionals with a variety of knowledge sets and skill levels to quickly gain access to information they need to make decisions, rather than waiting days or even longer for data experts to do so on their behalf. In a highly competitive environment, a few lost hours, days, or weeks can mean the difference between beating the competition and falling further behind. 

What to Do 

Companies that recognize the importance of data in their organizations should initiate a training program to advance the level of data literacy among all employees. Today’s knowledge workers should be able to collect, analyze, and present data in meaningful ways that benefit their teams and the entire organization. 

6. Digital Collaboration Tools

What It Is

Digital collaboration tools are solutions that help team members contribute together seamlessly no matter where or when they are working. They include platforms to support remote and hybrid work, enable asynchronous collaboration, streamline project management, and integrate collaboration tools. Well-known offerings include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Trello. 

Why It’s Important

In the past, collaboration was simple. Team members all appeared at the same place and time each workday to contribute their skills toward specific goals. Now a plethora of solutions enables teams to work together digitally, so companies must determine which ones make their teams most effective.  

What to Do 

Determine what collaboration problems you need to solve. For example, perhaps your team needs a place to store and manage documents. Then research the available options — in this example, Google Docs, Bit.ai, Office Online, and others — and choose the best option, making sure the solution you choose will integrate with your existing technology stack. 

7. Edge Computing

What It Is

Edge computing allows data processing to take place where the data originates. For example, your company may have security cameras on the premises. To reserve central computing power for larger tasks, the cameras may have their own processors to sort images into those that have movement and those that don’t and send only those that do for further review.

Why It’s Important

Edge computing enables faster processing when it is needed. Seconds or even milliseconds can matter in certain applications like automated vehicles and manufacturing applications. It can also help with security, as it keeps data away from centralized repositories where hackers are likely to attack. Reducing the amount of centralized processing can save on costs. And organizations can expand their computing reach with additional edge computing deployments.  

What to Do 

Companies should think about situations in which they or their customers might be able to benefit from edge computing technology. For example, healthcare organizations could use it to process important patient data more quickly and efficiently. 

8. Extended Reality

What It Is

Extended reality (ER) includes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). VR immerses the user in a virtual environment, and AR enhances the normal environment. VR is familiar in situations such as video games where the user wears a headset and feels as though they have walked into a different world. AR is useful for situations that require interaction with the real physical world. For example, a technician might wear a headset that superimposes schematics or instructions for the maintenance or repair they are performing. 

Why It’s Important

ER has nearly limitless applications, not just for games and maintenance, but also for things like education, entertainment, marketing, and medicine.

What to Do 

Organizations should consider where they or their customers could benefit from a more immersive experience. For example, educators might explore how to use VR applications in the classroom to give students the feel of being part of a historical event. Real estate agents can create VR representations of home walk-throughs. 

9. Health and Safety Technology

What It Is

The COVID-19 pandemic brought workplace health and safety to the forefront of the business world. Many solutions emerged, including infrared thermometers and other touchless medical devices, automated health screening and vaccine verification programs, and platforms that limit the number of people allowed in a space at any given time. Other tools include programs that suggest when it’s time to take a break from working at a computer and wearable technology that can detect when someone is sick and should stay home from the office.

Why It’s Important

At a time when companies must do all they can to attract the best employees, they should think about what they have to offer beyond the usual compensation and perks. Letting prospective team members know that a company is going above and beyond to protect their health is one way to bring them in.

What to Do 

A great first step might be to survey employees and ask them what health and safety measures they would find most useful and examine the solutions available for those mentioned most.

10. IoT

What It Is

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of internet-connected devices, including everything from household appliances to manufacturing machinery. This technology is already being used to increase convenience and efficiency for a wide variety of purposes, from smart homes to logistics to the power grid.

Why It’s Important

Companies that deal primarily with physical objects are the most likely to have use for IoT technology within their operations. For example, businesses can use sensors on goods received and send information to a central database that tracks and analyzes current inventory and future needs. 

What to Do 

Companies that do work with physical objects should explore how IoT devices can help manage them more efficiently. Other types of businesses should look at how IoT technology can help them build smart businesses that support things like health, climate control, scheduling, energy consumption, asset monitoring, security, and safety. 

11. Metaverse 

What It Is

The metaverse can be conceptualized as a more immersive version of the internet. Whereas now people communicate using text and video, the metaverse enables participation through presence in a virtual environment. For example, instead of participating in a video call, workers might use headsets and other equipment and, represented by an avatar, enter a virtual conference room. 

Why It’s Important

Like many of the other technologies mentioned here, the metaverse is important on two levels. The first is in how it can be used in company operations such as remote work, training, and communications. The second is in how it can be deployed in products and services for customers. 

What to Do 

While the metaverse is still in its initial stages, companies that want to be ahead of the curve in the coming years should start to build their metaverse strategies, including new product features and marketing campaigns. Organizations should also think about how metaverse elements can become part of their offerings. Platforms like Decentraland, Roblox, or The Sandbox can be used to explore the metaverse in various ways.

12. RPA

What It Is

Despite the word “robotic” in the term robotic process automation (RPA), this technology does not necessarily refer to physical robots. Rather, it describes automated processes that can perform functions like completing transactions, processing data, or responding to communications from customers. RPA tasks remove this burden from human operators, enabling those workers to focus on higher-level matters.

Why It’s Important

RPA allows businesses to reduce human error, reduce staffing costs, and provide better service to customers

What to Do 

The use of RPA may seem straightforward, but there are many factors to consider. Companies should have clear and realistic goals for what they want this technology to accomplish. They should also bring representatives from various departments, including and especially IT, to the table when deciding how to use it. Once a system is in place, strong governance is needed to keep performance at an acceptable level and ensure that applications run smoothly. 

13. Superapps

What It Is

According to Gartner, “A superapp combines the features of an app, a platform and an ecosystem in one application. It not only has its own set of functionalities, but it also provides a platform for third parties to develop and publish their own mini apps on.” For example, Chinese platform WeChat Pay includes functions that manage real money, digital currency, group payments (such as for a lunch with several coworkers), wealth management, ride sharing, flight purchases, coupons, utility payments, and personalized shopping. 

Why It’s Important

Superapps haven’t yet become popular in the U.S., but they could. Consumers would benefit from the convenience of having many of the digital services they use now bundled into a single environment. 

What to Do 

Use of superapps is expected to grow substantially over the next few years, so it’s important for companies that want to build them — or build apps to be placed on them — to start strategizing now.

14. Sustainability and Energy Solutions

What It Is

Sustainable technology is the effort to ensure that all of the above items can be deployed in an environmentally friendly way. The following video includes sustainability as a bonus item in a list of top tech trends for 2023. 

Why It’s Important

In the Forbes article, Marr states, “Customers and investors are increasingly looking for green credentials, and we will see more of this in 2023.”

What to Do 

Marr writes, “Data centers and blockchain technology need to become greener, and companies need to ensure they don’t waste valuable resources storing data they don’t need and running algorithms that don’t add value.” 

A Winning Combination

With so much technological advancement, companies can get overwhelmed in determining whether or not specific tools are useful. To combat this confusion, businesses should consider one or both of two approaches. The first is to identify areas for improvement — such as decision-making, efficiency, cybersecurity, training, or making the most of team member talents — and investigate technologies that could potentially help. The other is to review the above list and brainstorm about where in your company each technology could potentially be used. 

With either approach, it’s important to resist the temptation to adopt a solution simply because it’s cool or the next big thing. The key to using technology successfully within a business environment is to ensure it will further company goals. For companies across industries, a solid strategy plus supportive technology is a winning combination. 

Saurabh Rao

By Saurabh Rao

Saurabh Rao is responsible for the entire BairesDev client portfolio and account management. As Vice President of Client Services, Saurabh leads strategy for teams to keep bringing in sustainable growth while ensuring solid client relationships and sustainable expansion.

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