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#BizTrends2023: 4 real tech trends coming your way in 2023

2022 hit us with a flurry of buzzwords. Metaverse, NFTs, Web3, XR, 6G, and plenty more. Problem is, they don't mean much to most South African companies, who are simply trying to run their businesses more effectively, more securely and with minimal downtime. They want to cut costs and automate processes, not open a new virtual mall.
Esti Kilian, Itec SA head of product | image supplied
Esti Kilian, Itec SA head of product | image supplied

We see four tech trends impacting local businesses in the coming year, and none of them demand a virtual headset, yet.

1. New energy solutions and sustainability

Most South African businesses battle to ensure energy security for their operations in the face of ongoing load shedding. Often, they simply invest in backup power or alternative energy solutions without first knowing exactly how much energy they use and optimising that energy usage.

In 2023, we’re going to see a steady move towards sustainable power management. In this approach, businesses get total transparency into their operations, and integrate a range of energy-saving measures into their buildings, hardware, and processes, as part of a journey towards ensuring energy security and becoming sustainable green businesses. It’s not just about working towards a net-zero target by 2050: it’s about making smarter business decisions.

2. Datafication and AI

We live in a world where we’re steadily transforming everything in our lives into data, using smart devices and software. We’re increasingly able to automate human chores and tasks through data-driven technology. Whether that’s our coffee machines at home, our smartphones, industrial machines, office applications or AI-powered appliances, data is core to how we live and work.

This brings with it untold new opportunities for South African businesses. Increasingly, companies are using AI to analyse customer behaviour and interactions to help predict demand for products and services. They’re making better decisions about resource utilisation and supply chain dynamics. They’re driving revenues and creating personalised experiences. They’re even using low or no-code AI, with easy drag-and-drop interfaces, to create more intelligent processes, products and services.

3. Cybersecurity and digital trust

This is one trend that’s top of mind for practically every business of every size – and it’s not going to go away any time soon. Like the rest of the world, South African businesses are under siege.

According to Kaspersky, ransomware attacks doubled in the first quarter of 2022 compared to 2021. Mimecast’s State of Email Security 2022 report found that more than three out of every four SA organisations are receiving an increased number of email-based threats, with two-thirds saying they’re bracing for the fallout from an email-borne attack. Ransomware continues to plague public and private institutions.

While Cloud, IoT and hybrid working have created a real transformation opportunity for businesses, they’re increasingly having to grapple with the challenges detecting risks in real-time while providing the flexibility and the security needed to connect users to business applications and building digital trust. And you don’t just have a network and laptop to protect anymore: every device you link to a network is hackable.

4. The rise of industry cloud platforms

In recent years, we’ve become accustomed to ‘anything as a service’ (xaas) in the technology industry: software (saas), platforms (paas), and infrastructure (iaas). For many verticals, though, these ‘as a service’ offering have often been frustratingly generic, and unable to solve their most pressing business challenges.

That’s changing. In 2023, we’re going to see a boom in industry cloud platforms, which will create real value for companies by offering specific industry solutions that talk to direct business needs and help businesses adapt in a world of volatility and disruption. The world of digital business is here. Now it’s up to us to seize it.

About Esti Kilian

Esti Kilian is head of business development and marketing at Itec South Africa. She is a seasoned senior marketing executive, leader and strategist, with expertise in B2B, Channel and B2C marketing.
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