On-demand networking tops list of enterprise tech trends for 2023

Colt Technology Services has shared its forecasts for 2023’s biggest enterprise technology trends and influences, a rise in on-demand networking topping the list alongside advanced cybersecurity capabilities and growth in Smart X – particularly smart buildings – across the tech industry.

Private 5G in enterprise and greater investment in cloud will also advance in 2023 as digitalisation continues to drive sweeping change in the way the world connects, consumes and collaborates. 

“2023 is going to be a game changing year for enterprises, as tech firms cross boundaries, open up the world and deliver exciting intelligent technologies with smarter, faster, more powerful capabilities than we ever thought possible,” said Keri Gilder, CEO, Colt Technology Services. “It will be the year of on-demand networking; the year that 5G shows its incredible worth to businesses; and the year that the industry truly comes together to create a connected, seamless global ecosystem with customer experience at its core.”

According to Colt’s forecast, the future of work will continue to influence technology adoption, as organisations formalise hybrid work policies and invest in the technologies they need to support their goals. This is likely to lead to growth in agile, on-demand networking technology platforms including Software-Defined Networking and Secure Access Service Edge. Analyst firm Futuriom in its SD-WAN/SASE Managed Services Survey, forecasts 34 percent CAGR in 2023, with the market worth $4.6 billion, up from $3.5 billion in 2022

They also expect to see enhanced cybersecurity capabilities emerging, as vendors bring to market innovative solutions which deliver greater levels of protection against risk. AI, machine learning and the IoT will continue to play key roles in the industry’s development of sophisticated features and capabilities.

The enterprise use case for 5G will mature is also expected to mature. PWC say 5G will reach a tipping point in 2023, with the US reaching 75 percent coverage. Enterprises will optimise this accessibility with a hybrid approach to networking, backing their private 5G networks with digital infrastructure including on-demand fibre networks.

Businesses will continue to invest in, and migrate applications to, the cloud as they look to generate value, boost flexibility, increase scalability and increase automation. 73 percent of IT leaders are likely to spend the biggest proportion of cloud investment within two years. 40 percent will shift their CRM systems to the cloud between now and 2024; around 38 percent plan to shift HR systems, Manufacturing Execution Systems and Unified Communications.

Multi-cloud strategies will be prevalent, with 94 percent of large companies expected to move to a multi-cloud strategy in or by 2023 according to Statista. Industries which have traditionally been more cautious about switching applications to the cloud – such as the financial services industry – are likely to move more front office applications across.

The business case for the metaverse will become more defined, particularly in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare. 71 percent of business executives in a recent Accenture survey say the metaverse would be good for the enterprise, while 42 percent believe it will be ‘breakthrough’ or ‘transformational’. In 2023, businesses are set to extend their planning for use cases of the metaverse, as a virtual testing environment, trialling new opportunities and creativity.

The growth of SmartX – particularly cities, offices and buildings – is set to accelerate in 2023 and beyond. The number of smart buildings globally is expected to reach 115 million in 2026 – an increase of 150 percent from the current figure of 45 million – according to Jupiter research, as sustainability goals, including a reduction in energy consumption and a drive to zero carbon emission, drive this acceleration. Colt also expects to see growth in the smart manufacturing market, with the integration of IT and Operational Technology (OT) to improve data flows and analytics, boost digitalisation and drive visibility across the sector.

Blockchain will become more widely integrated into everyday business applications which require robust security, advanced encryption and peer-to-peer collaboration. Growing at a CAGR of over 46 percent since 2019, it is expected to generate $17 billion by 2024. Until recently, its usage has been generally experienced across the financial services industry, but 2023 is likely to see more industries adopt the technology. 

The rollout of low-latency, higher capacity networks will accelerate across new and existing geographies, as enterprises invest in – and benefit from as-a-service – digital infrastructure to help them meet their strategic goals.

And finally, 2023 will see vendors deliver innovative access technologies from subsea fibre networks to High Altitude Platform Systems, working seamlessly with each other to create powerful ecosystems driven by the customer experience.

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