4 Tech Trends That will Define 2023

By Liz Centoni, Chief Strategy Officer and General Manager, Applications.

Tech innovation often plays out behind the scenes until an event – a data breach, a cloud outage, a social movement – brings it into the news headlines. Staying ahead of that hype cycle is hard. Getting an edge over the competition means investing in the right technology at the right time. That’s the motivation behind my annual tech predictions, and here are the trends I see coming in the year ahead.

Trend #1: New Dimensions to the Attack Surface

Demand for digital products and services is booming and making businesses an even greater cyber-target. We’re increasingly hearing about phishing schemes, ransomware, and mismanaged defenses. In 2023, we’ll hear a lot more about how the race to compete is exposing application infrastructure and shadow IT projects.

  • Application and API Security—Developers will get their hands on better tooling support to speed up how they build, secure, and manage modern applications which are intuitive to exceptional digital experiences.
  • Quantum Cryptography—As we prepare for a quantum world, quantum-safe encryption with Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) will start rolling out widely with upgrades to data centers, autonomous cars, and consumer devices like phones.

Trend #2: Experience Economy and Business Insights

With more and more interactions between companies and customers happening online, success is increasingly tied to great digital experiences. In fact, we will see customer and user “experience” among the hottest new business KPIs in 2023 as we look to guide companies toward better business outcomes in the digital economy.

  • Full-Stack Observability and Business Outcomes—A significant problem with monitoring has always been too much data with too little business context. In 2023, correlation of application monitoring and visibility with business outcomes will be a leading solution.
  • Traces and OpenTelemetry—OpenTelemetry will emerge as the leading open-source standard for data observability, and distributed tracing will be table stakes in the assessment of the complete, end-to-end application experience.
  • Edge Native Application Development Frameworks —We will see growing adoption of application development frameworks for the edge replete with new data management, compliance and security APIs coupled with novel AI/ML toolchains.

Trend #3: Next Phase of Smart Connectivity and Networks

Smart connectivity and networks promise to help organizations anticipate and respond to global trade issues, workforce changes, and other unexpected events. Next year we will see the launch of game-changing networking and connectivity solutions – a signal of future marvels,

  • Supply Chain Resiliency—The supply chain of the future will take shape fast with distributed ledger capabilities and the use of IoT automation in tracking, maintenance, and delivery. This will kick the door wide open to circular supply chains.
  • Predictive Networks—Empowered by massive amounts of data gathered from telemetry sources, companies will get their hands on real predictive networking and connectivity capabilities via integrated, easy-to-use SaaS offers.
  • Multicloud Realignment—There will be no turning back as industries adopt entirely new multicloud models. We will see continued movement toward new multicloud frameworks such as Sovereign Clouds, Local Zone Clouds, Zero-Carbon Clouds, and other novel clouds.

Trend #4: Building a Better, More Inclusive Future for All

Trust in our institutions and in companies has been tested in recent years, bringing us to an inflection point. The new scope of innovation is bending fast toward public good – with responsibility, sustainability, equity and inclusion as guiding themes. We are on the edge of generational change that will become evident through technology in 2023.

  • Hybrid Work Equity and Inclusion—The next phase of hybrid work begins in the year ahead with new ways to empower broad access and inclusivity through innovative applications of AI and other futuristic technologies.
  • Journey to Net Zero—Data centers will be transformed in ways that seemed impossible just a few years ago, advancing sustainability goals via cloud-based energy management powered by APIs and reused hardware.
  • Responsible AI—Artificial intelligence will be harnessed by rogue actors, shocking the public and bringing together industry, governments, academia, and NGOs with a common purpose to deliver universal principles of responsibility to AI systems.

Cisco has been helping our customers understand and navigate change for three decades. Keeping an eye on the future is a familiar concept and Cisco continues to be a catalyst for technological transformation. The year ahead will be exhilarating, and we’re on that journey together.