Metaverse, AI and 'super apps': Watch out for these top tech trends in 2023

Gartner lays out the tech trends that could change how companies operate in 2023 and beyond.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
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As many companies prepare for economic turmoil, IT leaders need to figure out how to save costs while also moving digital projects forward. No easy task, by any means.

According to tech analyst Gartner, companies who wish to achieve this will need to look beyond traditional tech tools in 2023, particularly as leaders try to align their sustainability goals with new, rapidly evolving technological advancements.

Gartner's top strategic technology trends for 2023 are built around three themes: optimizing operations, scaling product delivery, and pioneering new opportunities for success. In plain terms, this means businesses in 2023 will need to make the most of the tech investments they already have, while also figuring out how to ramp-up delivery of their services or products, plus identifying new ways to innovate using new tech.

The metaverse, adaptive AI and "super apps" are the top tech trends listed by Gartner under the 'pioneer' category.

A super app fuses the features of an app, a platform and a digital ecosystem, according to Gartner. These apps have their own functions and incorporate mini apps published by third-party platforms. The aim is to have a one-stop-shop app for products and services; Gartner predicts that more than 50% of the global population will use super apps by 2027.

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Frances Karamouzis, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, said that super apps can "consolidate and replace multiple apps for customer or employee use."

The metaverse is gaining interest from businesses as major tech companies create their own XR hardware, hinting at changes to how people work and interact. Gartner predicts that, by 2027, 40% of large companies will use a combination of web3 and AR in projects conducted in the metaverse.

Gartner also predicts that adaptive AI systems will be used to quickly eradicate issues caused by human error, such as patching cybersecurity vulnerabilities overlooked by humans. Adaptive AI systems can adapt to changes in real time and adjust accordingly, making them suitable for rapidly changing environments.

Digital immunity

To optimize their companies, leaders in 2023 should focus on digital immunity, observable data and artificial intelligence, according to Gartner.

To reduce downtime in the event of systems outages of cyberattacks, Gartner suggests that organization invest in building technological resilience – or "digital immune systems". According to the analyst, organizations that invest in building digital immune systems will be able to reduce system downtime by up to 80%. This will increase both business value and customer satisfaction while mitigating risks associated with unstable IT operations. 

Observable data, like logs, traces, and metrics, are also powerful tools for building IT systems, enabling organizations to keep track of what changes are made, when and by who. "When planned strategically and executed successfully, applied observability is the most powerful source of data-driven decision-making," said Karamouzis.

Investments in AI trust, risk, and security management, meanwhile, can help organization ensure that a security or privacy breach doesn't occur at the expense of underdeveloped AI technology. 

An August 2022 Gartner survey in the US, UK and Germany found that 41% of organizations had experienced an AI privacy breach or security incident. Gartner suggests companies invest in technology that protects model reliability, trustworthiness, security, and data protection. 

To scale, organizations should invest in industry cloud platforms, platform engineering, and wireless value realization to increase profits in 2023 and beyond, says Gartner. The analyst predicts that, by 2027, over 50% of organizations will use cloud platforms to expedite business initiatives.

Platform engineering – self-service internal developer platforms built for software delivery and life-cycle management - can also improve the developer experience and increase product delivery. According to Gartner, by 2026, 80% of software-engineering companies will have platform teams, 75% of which will incorporate self-service portals.

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Companies will also need to focus on sustainability in 2023, Gartner warned, Business leaders are becoming more aware of their duty to meet sustainability goals and intertwine those goals with technological advancements: a recent Gartner survey found that environmental impact is now one of the top three concerns for investors, following profit and revenue. 

"Every technology investment will need to be set off against its impact on the environment, keeping future generations in mind. 'Sustainable by default' as an objective requires sustainable technology," said Gartner analyst David Groombridge.

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