Sustainability and super apps top Gartner’s Top 10 2023 Trends List

Other trends including the metaverse, adaptive AI, and wireless value realization will be coming into vogue in 2023.

Because financial concerns are once again top of mind for most companies today, Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2023 are focused on the technologies that help them increase resilience, optimize operations, scale, and engineer new forms of customer engagement.

Sustainability is a top trend for the coming year

Sustainability has also risen to the top of the organizational concerns list, said David Groombridge, a distinguished vice president, and analyst at Gartner. Gartner’s top trends highlight the technologies that will drive significant disruption and opportunity over the next five to 10 years.

“Sustainability covers social, economic, and environmental impacts, and involves making decisions about the use of technology and business practices that support long-term ecological balance and human rights,” Groombridge said from Gartner’s IT Symposium in Orlando.

The reason for sustainability’s inclusion in this year’s top 10 list was a recent Gartner CEO survey that found environmental and social concerns are now a top three priority for investors just after profits and revenues. To meet investors’ ESG requirements, executives will be investing in technologies such as traceability, analytics, renewable energy, and AI that foster sustainability.

Key trends for strategic technology

The expanding metaverse

Gartner also expects that by 2027, the metaverse — virtual, 3D shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality — will be used by over 40% of large organizations worldwide through a combination of Web3, AR cloud, and digital twins in metaverse-based projects aimed at increasing revenue.

Super apps take over mobile

By 2027, Gartner expects that more than half of the world’s population will be daily users of multiple super apps, which it defines as an application that combines the features of an app, a platform, and an ecosystem. Third parties can develop and publish their own mini-apps within super apps.

“The critical aspect of most current super apps is that they are mobile solutions, giving users an integrated digital experience inside a single offering, and providing enterprises with the opportunity to use ecosystem partners to scale,” Groombridge said.

He also noted that there are currently 15 mobile super apps, such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, that have more than 2.6 billion monthly active users today. As of November 2021, 67% of U.S. consumers said they were interested in integrating multiple digital experiences into one super app.

Adaptive AI adoption increases

Adaptive AI systems use real-time feedback to learn dynamically and adjust their outputs in real time. Adaptive AI will not replace existing AI but will become more prominent in highly-dynamic environments, Groombridge predicted.

“Organizations relying on AI must prepare for adaptive AI by designing continuous intelligence and event-stream capabilities into current AI solutions, and incorporating measurable business indicators that will demonstrate success,” he said.

Digital immune system

Because 76% of the teams behind digital products are now also responsible for revenue generation, CIOs will be adopting new practices and technologies for software design, development, automation, operation, and analytics that create superior user experiences while reducing system failures, Groombridge said. By 2025, Gartner expects organizations that invest in building digital immunity will reduce system downtime by up to 80%.

Applied observability comes into view

Gartner expects organizations to continue to exploit data to improve decision-making through a process called applied observability. Applied observability uses data from across the organization including artifacts, such as logs, traces, API calls, dwell time, downloads, and file transfers that appear when any stakeholder takes any kind of action to enhance decision-making.

“Applied observability enables organizations to exploit their data artifacts for competitive advantage,” Frances Karamouzis, a distinguished vice president and Gartner analyst, said in a press release. “When planned strategically and executed successfully, applied observability is the most powerful source of data-driven decision-making.”

AI trust and risk take center stage

According to a Gartner survey of U.S, U.K., and German organizations, 41% said they had experienced an AI privacy breach or security incident. As more AI projects move into production, organizations will be implementing new capabilities to ensure model reliability, trustworthiness, security, and data protection.

Industry cloud platforms support innovation

By 2027, Gartner expects more than 50% of enterprises will use industry cloud platforms that combine SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS to provide industry-specific sets of capabilities to support specific use cases. These platforms provide enterprises with the agility they need to innovate unique customer-facing solutions while avoiding vendor lock-in.

Platform engineering teams become the norm

Gartner expects that by 2026, 80% of software engineering organizations will establish platform teams. Some 75% percent of those teams will include developer self-service portals. Platform engineering optimizes the developer experience and accelerates the delivery of customer value through the operation of self-service internal developer platforms.

Wireless value realization

Enterprises are expected to use a range of wireless solutions to provide connectivity to all their environments from office Wi-Fi to low-power services and even radio connectivity for field operations. By 2025, Gartner expects 60% of enterprises to be using five or more wireless technologies simultaneously.

“Wireless networks are no longer just about connectivity,” Groombridge said. “New capabilities in wireless networks greatly extend the business value they offer well beyond connectivity.”

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