By Bernard Marr
Businesses have faced huge challenges and have undergone an incredible amount of change over the past few years, and this won’t slow down in 2023. Businesses will have to deal with the aftereffects of the global pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, economic challenges, as well as an ever-faster development of technologies.
Here are the trends I believe will have the greatest day-to-day impact on the way we work and do business in 2023.
1. Accelerated digital transformation
In 2023, we see the continuation of innovations and developments in transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), cloud computing, blockchain, and super-fast network protocols like 5G. What’s more, these transformational digital technologies do not exist in isolation from each other, and we will see the boundaries between them blurring. New solutions for augmented working, hybrid and remote working, business decision-making, and automation of manual, routine, and creative workloads combine these technologies in ways that enable them to enhance each other. This brings us closer than ever to the point where we are able to create “intelligent enterprises” where systems and processes support each other to complete menial and mundane tasks in the most efficient way possible.
To prepare for this, businesses must ensure they embed the right technology throughout their processes and in every area of operations. At this point, there is really very little excuse for being in business and not having an understanding of how AI and the other technologies mentioned above will impact your business and industry. More effective sales and marketing, better customer service, more efficient supply chains, products and services that are more aligned with customer needs, and streamlined manufacturing processes are all on the table, and in 2023, the barriers to accessing them will be lower than ever. Many of these technologies, such as AI and blockchain, are now available in ‘as-a-service’ models via the cloud, and new interfaces and apps give businesses access to them via no-code environments.
2. Inflation and supply chain security
The economic outlook for most of the world doesn’t look great in 2023. We are told by experts to expect ongoing inflation and subdued economic growth. Many industries are still plagued by supply chain issues that emerged during the global shutdowns caused by Covid-19 and have only got worse due to the war in Ukraine. To combat this and stay afloat, companies need to improve their resilience in any way that they can. This means reducing exposure to volatile market pricing of commodities, as well as building protective measures into supply chains to deal with shortages and rising logistical costs.
It is important that companies map out their entire supply chains and identify any exposure to supply and inflation risks. That way, they can explore ways to mitigate that risk, such as alternative suppliers and becoming more self-reliant. I have recently worked with a number of companies that decided to in-source parts of their manufacturing after they identified a risk of relying on Chinese manufacturing that is still plagued by a zero-Covid policy and subsequent shutdowns.