Top IT Challenges and Trends for Businesses in 2023

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This article was originally published by Spiceworks, view here.

Disruption is the only constant in today’s rapidly evolving tech landscape – not only does your business need to be prepared for the challenges it is facing today, but also for challenges approaching on the horizon. Ray Steen, CSO at MainSpring, shares top IT trends and challenges that your business needs to prepare for.

Armed with strategic knowledge of IT trends and their connection to business outcomes, it is possible for your organization to maintain resilience in the midst of change, stay ahead of trends and leverage the benefits of new technologies before your competitors.

Let’s look at the top challenges businesses will face at the start of 2023 and seven trends that will impact IT strategy across every industry.

So how can we say that cloud is more secure than on-premise or managed hosting? The short answer is this: the vast majority of cloud-based data breaches are really the fault of the customer - not the service provider. In this article, we'll explain why this is the case, and what organizations can do to keep their cloud deployments safer.

Challenges for IT Professionals

2023 will see the culmination of many global developments that have impacted businesses from 2020 onwards. They are shaping how companies spend on IT in the present and will continue to do so in the coming year – additionally, they will challenge businesses to explore new revenue models and ways of working.

  1. Global instability - The supply chain crisis that started with the COVID pandemic has combined with further supply chain disruption stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other global political conflicts. Uncertainty regarding the availability of global exports and the reliability of shipping will majorly impact global businesses for the foreseeable future.
  2. Economic turmoil - Partially as a consequence of global instability, experts predict that the world economy is in for recession and turmoil. This will likely cause companies to pull back from increased investment and hiring; there will be a push for “making due” with better efficiency, labor-saving automation and cost reductions to offset potential losses.
  3. Cyber-threats - Cyberattacks are increasing in both frequency and cost, as they have for many years. In 2023 that trend will continue, and organizations will need to keep cybersecurity in mind in their business practices, solutions and third-party partnerships.
  4. Talent gap - IT talent has been challenging to find and afford for some time. Thanks to trends like “the Great Resignation,” it is also difficult to retain. Organizations especially need cybersecurity talent, and employees who can translate between IT concerns and business outcomes.
  5. Remote employment - Companies are continuing to participate in hybrid work models – by the end of 2022, 25% of all professional jobs in America will be remote. This has created an expanded network perimeter outside organizational networks that generate new vulnerabilities and challenges for collaboration.

Top 7 IT Trends for 2023

The following are the trends to keep an eye out for and to prepare for in advance.

  1. AI-readiness - Thanks to key breakthroughs, progress in AI, machine learning (ML), and neural networks has accelerated over the past decade. Now, businesses are spending more on AI than ever before, with experts predicting a market size exceeding $422 billion by 2028. In 2023, AI-ready organizations will be poised for applications that enable better on-the-fly decision-making based on high volumes of data, superior customer experiences, better flexibility in cloud deployments and much more. Ultimately, AI-readiness will be a major differentiator with competitive advantages.
  2. High-bandwidth wireless strands - By 2025, Gartner predicts that 60% of enterprises will be using five or more wireless technologies – that includes 5G, which is not just a faster way to connect to the Internet from your mobile device: it is a more reliable channel to deliver content to your customers, collaborate with remote employees, and operate remote equipment. The value of 5G is particularly apparent when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. There are billions of active IoT devices today, and that number will continue to grow in 2023. With organizations depending on IoT to gather crucial data, they will need the higher bandwidth and lower latency of 5G, which enables it to support a larger number of devices.
  3. Culture of cybersecurity - Despite the perilous nature of today’s cyber landscape, only 50% of small businesses currently have a cybersecurity plan. In 2023, more businesses will begin to understand cybersecurity’s crucial role in protecting their revenue in both the long and short term. Due to the role social engineering plays in facilitating cyberattacks, cyber training for all personnel will become a pillar in the culture of many businesses. We will also see increased adoption of multi-factor authentication, particularly as tech giants embrace Fast Identity Online Alliance’s FIDO2 standard and the WebAuthn API.
  4. Cloud migration - According to Gartner, global cloud spending will have increased by more than 20% to almost $500 billion by the end of 2022. In 2023, we expect that more companies will transition IT infrastructure, data and applications to the cloud on account of the faster deployment, lower costs and superior security that it provides compared to alternatives. In today’s world, there are a few good reasons to adopt so-called “managed hosting” services: while this model of IT delivery made sense in the 90s and mid-2000s, the emergence of cloud computing has rendered it redundant. Cloud offers all the benefits of managed hosting with few downsides, such as high monthly costs, hidden fees, low flexibility and restrictive service contracts.
  5. Federal cybersecurity compliance - Given the risk that cyber threats pose to national security, the federal government isn’t leaving anything to chance. While government contractors have been required to follow cybersecurity standards like NIST 800-171 for some time, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) will require higher accountability from private sector organizations doing business with the federal government. The Department of Defense (DoD) is aiming to implement CMMC in its contracts by 2023. Meanwhile, government agencies are working to implement zero-trust architecture (ZTA) by 2024. Both of these initiatives can be expected to have an impact on the private sector, with Gartner predicting that 60% of businesses will be applying zero-trust security principles in 2023.
  6. Outsourced IT talent - Rising IT challenges require a skilled IT team. Unfortunately, IT talent is increasingly hard to find, with 75% of IT leaders stating it is difficult to fill open tech positions in 2022. Meanwhile, it is also difficult to afford, with scarcity accelerating wage and salary inflation beyond 20% for key tech roles. Ultimately, organizations will find themselves seeking outsourced professionals to supplement their internal IT teams. Many will turn to managed service providers (MSPs) and virtual chief information officers (vCIOs) both for their business experience and technical expertise.
  7. Performance optimization - With the economic problems businesses will be facing in 2023, organizations will be searching for ways to reduce costs and achieve better performance in any way they can. They will use continual monitoring for KPIs and other metrics to ensure the solutions they are using actually produce expected business value over the long and short term; if they do not, they will use those metrics to refine and improve their position continually.

Get Help From a Strategic Advisor

In 2023, make IT work for you by strategically leveraging technology trends to drive revenue and achieve your long-term goals. If you do not have the talent in-house to take advantage of the risks and trends facing you in 2023, seek help from a trusted MSP or business consultant. Look for a proactive partner who will take ownership of your results and work diligently to exceed your business needs.

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