IT trends business leaders can’t ignore from IDC Directions 2023



Just a few months in, 2023 has already proven to be a difficult year for making predictions. Between economic uncertainty, geopolitical unrest, and ongoing labor shortfalls, there is no shortage of factors keeping business leaders up at night.

For those lacking a crystal ball, the 2023 IDC Directions Conference might be the next best thing. The 58th annual conference was recently held in both Boston, MA, and Santa Clara, CA, and offered a data-driven look at how technology and IT will continue to reshape business as usual.

Throughout the day, speakers shared how businesses are leaning into disruption to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. While the specific challenges may vary, here are 3 major technology and IT trends that business leaders can’t afford to ignore:

From digital transformation to digital businesses

Many companies have been undergoing the process of digital transformation for years — but the pandemic turned proactive futureproofing into must-have essentials overnight. Three years on, many businesses are still optimizing the tools and processes that were quickly cobbled together to meet an urgent need.

Business leaders are adopting a strategic approach by transitioning into truly digital businesses instead of relying on reactive changes. So, what exactly is a digital business? You might be working at one right now — a recent IDC survey indicated that 48% of companies are digital businesses.

Digital businesses represent the next stage of digital transformation, in which digital technology plays a role in every facet of the businesses’ operations to drive value, efficiency, and innovation. The transition to a digital business involves eliminating silos and overlaps that arise from piecemeal digital efforts and leveraging digital tools and insights across the organization to drive value and growth that is truly scalable.

Wherever your business falls on the digital maturity curve, it’s time to ensure your tools and processes serve the digital business as a whole. Generative

Narrative AI: Kind of a big deal

From DALL-E, to Bard, to ChatGPT, generative AI technologies can seem like something out of science fiction, yet their potential to transform business is very real. AI is essential for creating scalable digital businesses. From automating repetitive processes to converting complex data into actionable insights, we are just scratching the surface of generative AI’s capabilities.

Given AI’s incredible potential for disruption, where should business and IT leaders even start? In the near term, generative AI is primed to transform the customer experience by creating truly personalized experiences built on trust. Many collaboration and IT management tools are integrating ChatGPT to create more intuitive experiences.

Beyond traditionally data-driven facets of the business, automation and AI are playing an increasing role at an organizational level, from operations to finance, to innovating new and disruptive business models. The possibilities are truly endless, but harnessing the power of automation and AI at scale does not come without some challenges, including how businesses leverage “Big Data”.

Big Data needs to get smart

While the concept of Big Data has been around since the early 1990s, it wasn’t until 2011 that it became an inescapable buzzword among businesses and IT leaders. Since then, companies have invested massive amounts of time and money to capture just about every kind of data imaginable. Yet the era of endless data collection has resulted in some major challenges that are hard to ignore.

On the consumer side, users have become far more circumspect about sharing their data. This focus on privacy has impacted advertising that relies on 3rd party or passive data collection. In this new era, trust is paramount for engaging customers, and businesses must be more deliberate in demonstrating how collecting data benefits the end user.

When it comes to business intelligence, Big Data has gotten a bit too… big. A recent IDC report showed that as much as 50% of useful data goes unanalyzed, indicating serious shortfalls in the way that business capture, share, and utilize information. Luckily, the transition to fully digital businesses, along with new AI-assisted tools, are beginning to close this gap by providing the right information to the right people at the right time.

But wait, there’s more…

Now more than ever, technology and IT are becoming central to how businesses operate. Business leaders must understand the opportunities and challenges posed by emerging technologies or risk being left behind. The 2023 IDC Directions Conference offered an intriguing look into the evolving landscape of business IT trends, proving that even in a time of great uncertainty, there is much to look forward to.