Hamilton Forth recently attended ‘Tech Trends 2023’ in Edinburgh and Glasgow, the first in person event for three years. It was an informative and enlightening talk hosted by former Gartner Analyst, Richard Marshall whose expertise covered multiple areas including space, AI, work turmoil, managed services, resilience, transparency and ‘cool new stuff’. Hamilton Forth Consultant, Tom Watson shares his thoughts on the event and provides some insight into the tech trends we can expect in 2023.
Sustainable will be a key word for 2023, including sustainable careers, sustainable investments and a sustainable future. In line with previous Tech Trends events, this key word will be revisited in 2024 to evaluate how accurate it was. Richard also touched on some additional thoughts for the audience including the crypto and metaverse crazes, and emphasised that although the vast majority of these communities believe these are ‘new’ technologies, they have been around for several years.
Seven key tech trends for 2023 are summarised below.
The first trend Richard touched on was space, which saw the first UK attempted satellite launch from SaxaVord Spaceport at Lamba Ness in Shetland. With the Space sector contributing to a large sum of the UK Economy, generating £16.5bn in income in 2019/2020 and employing 47,000 people, Richard highlighted that the sector holds significant potential. A variety of factors contribute to this potential including new space infrastructure, significantly lower launch costs, faster and more reliable launches, and the reusable parts and technologies; therefore creating a base platform for this trend.
“Derivative drivel” promoted a few laughs from the audience as Richard moved onto the next trend, AI. Richard outlined that generative AI can be used for a variety of purposes; from creating convincing text from simple prompts, developing images from numerous styles and implemented text, code programming / automation, and future AI based on previous content types and domain specific areas.
The emphasis that AI will become a core architectural component was emphasised by Richard, whilst also acknowledging the importance of awareness of ethics and problems such as inaccuracies, biases, plagiarism, compliance, auditability and several more. Although AI has its faults, Richard outlined that over the next 12 months, “AI is going to transform” – a slightly daunting but equally exciting thought to finish.
Richard’s thoughts on AI align with other influential speakers within the industry which you read about in one of Hamilton Forth’s previous blogs: Digit Expo 2022.
There is increased awareness of poor management being acknowledged within the workplace, as well as increased recognition and importance being placed on employee wellbeing. Richard highlighted that new approaches such as asynchronous collaboration, allow for greater opportunities for organisations to increase productivity and collaboration whilst also improving employee wellbeing. Furthermore, industry bodies have the ability to develop and implement new and innovative approaches to improve working environments.
Additional areas such as appropriate and updated training (particularly with new techniques, tools and processes for home working), will also contribute to increased satisfaction within the workplace and reduction in poor management.
Managed services are experiencing a revival, with more organisations placing greater faith in outsourcing.
Outsourcing increases an organisation’s capacity to access innovative techniques without the need to acquire specialised staff themselves, allowing them to focus on their main business activities. This subsequently allows organisations to establish trust and upskill existing staff, contributing to the acceleration of digital transformations and providing access to new skills.
Richard states that resilience is a primary component for technology in the next 12 months, expressing that “agility builds resilience” and highlighting that difficult, changeable conditions are not going away. Richard further outlined that responding to events quickly and preparing for “unknown unknowns” allows for greater resilience.
IT service risks have also changed, which has caused a shift in requirements when responding to modern disasters. Due to the responsiveness and security of systems, physical catastrophes have become less likely. However, this has caused an increased likelihood of software failure. Subsequently, organisations need to modernise their DR/BC plans, and additional training for staff is required to ensure backups are prepared and staff can action the required procedures accordingly when required.
In a similar vein to the previous trend of resilience, Richard asserted that transparency and observability within organisations will become a core requirement, and AI must be auditable to realise its full potential. Honing in further, Richard emphasised that AI should be able to overcome doubts, bias, plagiarism and be insurable; stating that without these, AI will no longer be limited to only simple applications. Equally, Richard highlighted that “continuous change continually challenges transparency” and that being transparent is something we must be aware of.
‘Cool New Stuff’
Richard outlined some key points we should watch for and expect in 2023, including; neuro-inclusive design, protection-level agreements (PLA), offline-reinforcement AI, AI-powered products, HealthTech and limitations on cybersecurity insurance.
Thereafter, there was a recap of the expected trends for 2022 and Richard highlighted which ones had come to fruition; including conversational systems, specialist processors, low/no code development and that carbon counting in technology has ascended.
Overall, it was a fantastic and highly insightful evening with Richard, touching on a variety of tech trends and potential areas to watch in 2023. It was great to attend another event alongside the Hamilton Forth team and we will certainly be attending again next year to discover the predicted trends for 2024 and whether Richard’s predictions for 2023 were correct.
If you are a technology professional working across Scotland considering your options or seeking career advice, or a client seeking a contract/interim recruitment solution, please get in touch for a confidential discussion: [email protected]