Channel markets, IT management, Vertical markets

4 Emerging Tech Trends for 2023

Cyber security technology and online data protection in innovative perception . Concept of technology for security of data storage used by global business network server to secure cyber information . Elements of this image furnished by NASA (

As 2022 winds down and the new year is fast approaching, Cisco's Liz Centoni offers her predictions for tech trends coming in the year ahead.

Trend #1: Expanding Attack Surface Requires Security Innovation

Centoni predicts that, as the attack surface expands, risk management will need to merge with business innovation capabilities. "Compromised credentials, misconfigurations, and malicious and inadvertent misuse of resources have been at the center of security discussions," Centoni said in a blog post. "We see the conversation broadening to applications and their dependencies, as well as shadow IT which goes far beyond mismanaged devices. Exposure for businesses could exponentially increase due to unvetted development projects and as organizations innovate to meet the demand for always-on, digital access to products and services."

Centoni believes application and API security will take center stage, which will drive demand for cloud-native application protection platforms (CNAPPs), and that quantum cryptography and quantum key distribution will evolve to solve the challenges of transmitting keys and the potential for post-quantum cryptography to be broken.

Trend #2: The Experience Economy

Customer and end user digital experience is now a primary driver of business success, and “experience” will emerge as a key new KPI in the months ahead, Centoni said.

"To survive and thrive, companies need to be able to tie data insights derived from normal IT operations directly to business outcomes or risk being overtaken by more innovative competitors. Distributed tracing will soon become a currency of business performance, and every technology investment will need to be set against observability standards and practices – from cloud to core to edge," she said.

Full-stack observability will increasingly provide a view relative to business context. In 2023, business context will become widely recognized as an integral part of monitoring and visibility outcomes, Centoni said. To achieve this, organizations will increasingly adopt OpenTelemetry and, Centoni said, "There will be a focus on adoption of application development frameworks for the edge replete with new data management, compliance and security APIs coupled with novel AI/ML toolchains. This is the beginning of a world where the edge will be operated by horizontal software platforms – groups of small, generic computers scaled to deployment needs and consumed as a service."

Trend #3: Digital Transformation's Next Move

Resilient and agile supply chains can be a weak link or a great competitive advantage. Predictive technologies move us away from using isolated data analysis to real-time decision-making, Centoni said. "Smart connectivity and networks are at the center of it all. They’re not just about optimizing resources – they can potentially help organizations anticipate and respond to global trade issues, workforce changes, and other unexpected events. Next year, 2023, will be a turning point in the deployment of game-changing networking and connectivity solutions on which future engineering marvels will be built," she said in the blog post.

Centoni predicted that enterprises and logistics providers will increasingly use IoT to bring greater visibility into their supply chains in 2023, bringing better resiliency and efficiency and improving IT/OT network management. As a result, organizations will start to reconfigure supply chains around predictive and prescriptive models including smart contracts and distributed ledgers. This is a major transition toward more sustainable business practices and circular supply chains.

In 2023, she said, the network will become more experience-centric with increasing prediction capabilities that can proactively identify end user experience issues and provide problem-solving options. Companies will increasingly access predictive technologies in integrated, easy-to-use SaaS offerings. "This represents an important step toward a future where connectivity is powered by self-healing networks that can learn, predict, and plan. Predictive networks will be powered by the same predictive analytics that are gathered from myriad telemetry sources," she said.

We will also see a discernible shift in how companies leverage multi-cloud architectures, she said. "While 89% of enterprises are adopting a multi-cloud strategy for a variety of reasons (geopolitical, technical, provider diversification), the benefits also come with additional complexity in connecting, securing, and observing a multi-cloud environment. We will see continued movement toward new multi-cloud frameworks such as Sovereign Clouds, Local Zone Clouds, Zero-Carbon Clouds, and other novel cloud offerings. This will create a path toward more private and edge cloud applications and services ushering in a new multi-cloud operating model."

Trend #4: Responsible Innovation and Greater Inclusivity

Finally, Centoni said, 2023 will be the year where organizations put their money where their mouth is when it comes to corporate responsibility. "Trust in our institutions and in companies has been tested over the last few years. This has brought us to an inflection point, and we are on the edge of generational change that will become evident through technology in 2023," she said. "Ultimately, organizations will have to define a purpose that goes beyond profitability. While there have arguably been benefactors of the collapse of trust, the new scope of innovation is bending fast toward public good – with responsibility, sustainability, equity and inclusion as guiding themes."

Hybrid work and inclusion, sustainability and the journey to net-zero in pursuit of solutions to climate change and responsible and ethical AI will all be front-and-center for 2023, she said.

"As we look to the year ahead, we see a transformation in how applications, connectivity, and security are delivered and consumed. We see an immersive future that is 'sustainable by default,' requiring new technologies built with new processes and in service to new business models. We see exceptional, reliable digital experiences as the gold standard of business success," Centoni said.

"No matter how extensive or complex the advances, there’s no greater risk than standing still. The winners in 2023 will be those armed with the right tools – and the courage – to break down organizational silos across domains and disciplines and work together without limits to affect real and lasting change," she said.