It’s impossible to predict every twist and turn that 2023 will bring – but one thing is certain for organizations: the demand for modern, innovative and powerful digital applications will only increase.
It’s through this lens that businesses are looking ahead to the next 12 months – and making decisions based on new technology, working practices or even new responsibilities for IT teams. For many organizations, the key goal for 2023 is to successfully accelerate digital transformation while keeping the total cost of ownership (TCO) down, in order to achieve business growth and competitive advantage. This is particularly important given the economic uncertainty expected over the next year.
With this in mind, our industry experts at Couchbase have shared some of their IT predictions as we all get started with 2023.
Ravi Mayuram, CTO
Cost-savings will drive tech stack decisions for organizations
“In light of today’s market volatility and spikes in inflation, more companies are re-evaluating their technology stack. Increasingly, we will start to see more vendors bake cost efficiency into their solutions as a way to offer a competitive advantage. This shift will drive more vendors to ensure their offerings optimize costs for customers while enabling increased productivity.
“Technology has a crucial ability to impact business cost optimization. For vendors in 2023, adaptability is key – especially in this changing business environment. Technology providers who can understand sudden market shifts and continue to provide innovative, yet cost-saving solutions will come out on top.”
The changing role of IT leaders and their teams
“Traditionally, CTOs were known as technologists and not so much as business stakeholders and strategists, but today – the role of the CTO is expanding to not only encompass the technology vision, but business vision, too. Companies are more hyper-focused on their tech investments than ever before and as the runway for digital transformation gets shorter, CTOs must look through the lens of providing smarter solutions to support overall business strategy. More importantly, CTOs are now thinking about how they can be better business partners to customers by providing solutions that will not only benefit a customer’s technology stack, but offer a service that can bring efficiency and agility to keep technology spend under control.
“Additionally, the days of IT teams focusing purely on delivering and managing IT infrastructure are gone. This reflects the growing importance of IT professionals for organizations, as they continue to prioritize digital solutions for business growth, customer experience and other benefits. To deliver this, tech departments will be expected to play a wider, more consultative role in understanding business needs, and address these with technology solutions.
“This shift changes the requirement for essential skills within IT teams, as businesses place much greater significance on key IT activities, such as digital transformation. With these projects at the very top of business to-do lists, and the benefits touching all areas of an organization, it’s clear how useful IT professionals will be in a consultative role, to help plan, implement and maintain digitization efforts.
“We will also see IT professionals required to educate other areas of the business. This will be driven by the rise in utility computing, and tools like low-code development, which lower the barrier of entry to successfully creating and managing applications. With other employees developing systems and overseeing cloud infrastructure, IT teams must act as the gatekeepers for efficient and compliant work.
“Further to the skills needed for effective consulting, IT teams will be required to act on intelligence from all the data that businesses collect and generate. Team members demonstrating these skills will quickly make themselves more recession-proof as they help the business evolve and make the most of its resources.”
In an increasingly data-centric world, edge computing will fuel the evolution of reliable AI
“AI is ubiquitous in our everyday lives. It suggests what to buy and the news we read. It could determine the emails we receive and augment the cars we drive. Moving forward, AI will be even more embedded in our world. It’ll go through a maturation phase that enables us to rely on it more. Predictability and explainability of AI will improve dramatically as we move forward.
“Moreover, AI will evolve from being algorithm driven to being more data driven. In order for this to be effective, more and more computation will happen at the edge for AI to be reliable, responsive and cost-effective. This trend of more data influencing the algorithms will determine how AI will evolve to be a tool that is relied upon heavily in this data centric future.”
Wayne Carter, VP Engineering
Edge computing will finally facilitate the fast and personalized interactions that users expect
“Just three years ago, companies were physically building edge computing environments by purchasing and installing hardware. Previously a large operational complexity, edge computing is now accelerating due to easier access and broader availability of pay-as-you-go edge solutions from cloud service providers. Enterprises are getting great value out of edge computing with the options to choose regions and locations for compute and storage from cloud, to edge, to on-prem.
“The power to select edge locations is providing enterprises with new levels of availability and guaranteed speed through a reduced distance between points of interaction. Just as a light bulb is expected to work immediately when the switch is turned on, edge computing enables building digital systems that are just as reliable and fast. In 2023, we will see more companies adopt edge computing for operational reasons to ensure businesses stay up, running and fast in all locations.”
Next-gen network infrastructure will provide increasingly ubiquitous connectivity
“In 2023, we will increasingly see new levels of access to networking infrastructure —connecting a whole new world. Locations that have never been covered by networking will soon have high speed networking all the time, from sea to shore. With edge computing, networks don’t need to be tied to a physical machine or constant location. The triad of a database, compute and networking will bring guaranteed internet availability and speed across vast oceans and in flight.
“New “celestial” networks will bring consumers constant access to experiences and information with no interruptions that were historically unthinkable. We will see massive amounts of new data usage in new environments in the next few years, including cruise ships, airlines and in any location that was historically disconnected. That could also include places like Antarctica and Everest.
Rahul Pradhan, VP Products
Serverless architectures will continue to gain momentum
“The emergence of serverless technologies has transformed the way applications and software are built, from application architectures to the DevOps toolchain, and even the economics of software development. Serverless architecture will continue to see strong adoption across the stack.
“The serverless compute offerings across various cloud providers are also accelerating. This trend will continue across the application stack with the availability and adoption of serverless data tiers by all major data vendors. Serverless edge computing platforms leveraging 5G/6G’s ms latencies and AI optimizations will facilitate a cloud continuum across multi-cloud and edge locations.”
Databases will streamline the tech stack, enabling developers and operational teams to do more with less
“With today’s organizations dealing with massive amounts of data in an uncertain macro environment, they will continue to move away from relational databases in favor of multi-model databases. These can handle different data types and models, including documents, graphs, and relational and key-value databases – all from a single, integrated backend.
“Multi-model databases provide unified data management, access and governance. These speed up time to market and lower deployment and operational costs, saving resources at a time when budgets are tight. We’ll also see next-generation databases emerge that can seamlessly support both transactions and analytics for real-time business insights. No longer will businesses need a separate vendor solution for operational analytics.
“We’ll be watching these trends closely over the next year, as well as supporting customers with new features to aid their modernization efforts.”