Shorter days and colder weather not only signal the arrival of Fall. It’s also a time when IT departments across the country are hard at work on their budgets; and software priorities are taking a front seat in 2023.
What projects should be prioritized? Where do resources need to be allocated? How will global economic and local market factors impact decisions and strategies?
These are all questions being considered as leaders look to make the best use of their budget dollars and allocate their staff time.
Here’s what we’re seeing as the emerging software priorities for 2023.
IT Spending on the Rise
It’s tempting to think that signs of an economic slowdown mean technology projects are being slashed. Research says that’s not happening.
Gartner is forecasting a 5.1% increase in IT spending worldwide as businesses continue to push forward with digital business initiatives. This is no time to put the brakes on digital transformation initiatives.
“Enterprise IT spending is recession-proof as CEOs and CFOs, rather than cutting IT budgets, are increasing spending on digital business initiatives.”
John-David Lovelock, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner
Where are IT leaders looking to spend? Investing in software is projected to show the biggest growth in 2023 (at 11.3%). IT services are expected to grow 7.9%.
Businesses we’re talking with these days are looking to technology – including software and services – to address:
IT resources are in demand and many businesses have gaps across the organization they’re trying to fill so they can move critical projects ahead. Automation, citizen development and outsourcing are just some of the ways businesses are trying to address the shortfalls.
Security and Compliance
Risks of a security breach are significant and with hybrid work environments, the challenges have increased exponentially. At the same time, security and governance controls can impact customer and user experience so it’s a delicate balancing act to protect data and privacy while delivering a streamlined user experience.
In an increasingly competitive environment, customer experience can make the difference between getting the sale and the customer going somewhere else. CRM, enhanced online presence, expanded ecommerce capabilities and online self-serve are just some of the priorities customers are looking to expand.
Today, it’s important our staff can work from anywhere, but simply having access to files and tools isn’t enough. Employees are looking for solutions that make working from anywhere easy. User experience is top of mind and can also be seen as a retention tool (which is equally important in a world where staffing resources are tight).
Data is King. Leveraging real-time information and seeing a complete picture of your corporate information from a range of data sources can help drive efficiencies, respond to changing market conditions faster and serve customers better.
Top 6 Software Priorities for 2023
As companies continue to wrestle with the challenges we’ve just highlighted, we are seeing growing interest in technologies to support these key priorities.
Turning data into actionable information is an outcome every business is seeking, but there’s a lot of work needed to extract value from data. There are different solutions on the market that can help businesses harness the vast amount of data being generated, including platforms like Power BI.
The foundation of many business applications, platforms (like the Microsoft Power Platform) let companies digitize their business and run applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. They also can provide companies with access to a wide range of tools to connect disparate systems. It can streamline modernization and automation efforts.
Empowering citizen developers is seen as a way to give business units greater control over their technology requirements while addressing skills shortages. While it has some real benefits, citizen development can also present some challenges, so it’s important to recognize the pros and the cons.
Almost all organizations (96%) currently use low/no-code tools and 36% plan to increase their use over the next 12 months. ZDNET
Yes, we are still talking about the importance of cloud. It might seem that cloud is a corporate norm today, with cloud application development becoming increasingly popular. But we are also seeing a shift in the way companies are using cloud technologies with the move towards hybrid and multi-cloud models where businesses use a combination or public and private cloud services working alongside internal data centers.
Web 3.0 & the Metaverse
A lot of businesses are watching the metaverse but are hesitant to leap in with both feet to embrace this emerging technology. We see it as an opportunity to offer a “more immersive” digital experience to your customers, employees, or business partners. Being able to digitally recreate anything in the physical world offers incredible opportunities for training, inspection, collaboration and testing – to name a few.
Microsoft Work Trend Index shows that 50% of Gen Z and millennials envision doing some of their work in the metaverse in the next two years. Microsoft
Environmental, social, and governance processes are taking center stage around the world. Customers are also taking a closer look at how businesses are working to reduce their impact on the environment, improve diversity and equality, and protect privacy as a part of their evaluation of the companies they want to do business with. Tech with a Purpose is defined as technologies and companies that are focusing on achieving sustainability goals and have a positive impact on humanity. And, while it can seem like addressing big issues like climate change is daunting, small steps can have a big and positive impact.
We’re Here to Help
For the last 25 years, we’ve helped countless companies transform their operations and implement software solutions to meet their business goals. And we can help you meet the challenges of the future head on with the ideal customized toolset. Need some help planning or ready to start implementing your 2023 software priorities? Let’s chat.