3 experts discuss top tech trends for 2023

Predictions for the future of technology are in. Here's how to meet the moment.

By Sara Alvarez Kleinsmith, thought leadership, Dell Technologies

The end of 2022 marks an inflection point in terms of the next wave of technology, according to Dell Technologies’ Senior Vice President of corporate strategy Matt Baker. Dell recently published predictions and resolutions from top leaders for what 2023 will hold, including conversations about changing ecosystems, Zero Trust architecture and the future of work.

At a recent LinkedIn Live event, Baker sat down with two tech experts to contextualize these predictions and plan the year ahead. Greg Sarafin, global account manager at EY, and Dell’s chief information officer Jen Felch broke down the barriers to digital transformation and the enormous opportunities presented by the moment. Here are their top takeaways.

Hybrid by design

There is no singular workplace. Work is now an outcome, not a single location.” –Matt Baker, VP of corporate strategy, Dell Technologies

Sarafin, Felch, and Baker at LinkedIn Live

Baker pointed out that although the pandemic brought on a remote work situation by happenstance, there’s now an opportunity to make hybrid work by design. “This is the biggest labor restructuring since World War II. My concern is the globe is sleepwalking through it rather than taking it for the massive opportunity it is.” According to Baker, the “hybrid by design” model requires a multi-tiered approach. “The notion of hybrid is important. It’s not just technology. It’s HR policy, it’s innovation with facilities, it’s an opportunity for us to lock in and build on the gains we’ve made. There is no singular workplace. Work is now an outcome, not a single location. We need to facilitate whatever hybrid model organizations adopt.”

According to Felch, workers’ needs are clear. “Leaders are listening to what their people want from their work situation, and they’re choosing to be remote. At Dell, we’ve been working on how to design the systems and processes to understand how the best work is done. Leading remotely by design requires a separate set of skills.”

Sarafin echoed that flexibility is paramount for the future of work and also made the point that artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will continue to gain traction because of the positive impacts they have on employee morale and productivity. “We increasingly use automation to free people up to do higher level and more interesting and more valuable tasks. When you combine both digital infrastructures to allow remote work, and you also use automation to further free people, productivity is up.”

Cybersecurity and the ‘Triple A’ method

While the flexible methods of work are preferred by many global employees, remote work is not without its challenges. Varied locations for workers mean increased vulnerability to malware and cyberattacks. According to Baker, “The threat environment is getting insanely difficult to manage. It’s the Wild West. The old way of approaching security isn’t possible anymore. We’re looking toward Zero Trust. It’s a mindset, a framework, an architectural approach. It’s something to aspire to.” He advises leaders to consider a “Triple A” security framework in a work-from-anywhere world. “We used to talk about Triple A: authorization, authentication and accounting. We’ve got to make it back to Triple A. Everything has got to be authorized in order to be effective.”

Authorization and Zero Trust are ways to meet the new threats at play, according to Felch. “The cyber villains have automated their processes. They’re quick, they’re fast, they’re everywhere,” she said. Sarafin stated that the Zero Trust is not only of interest to businesses in this new threat economy but also to their customers and partners. “Zero Trust is a mindset for security, but it’s also the thing that’s going to unlock a lot of new value creation in the marketplace. It proxies the old, slow version of trust with the new, fast version of digital trust, and to me, that’s a critical thing in a secure ecosystem.”

Delving into broad ecosystems

In 2023, organizations will rely more heavily on technology platforms that give them open access to innovation. Dell experts believe open ecosystems will replace closed models of the past, in keeping with the new era of technological advancement and digital transformation. Felch says that the work-from-anywhere model has created a naturally more distributed ecosystem, creating the need for a collaborative and consistent process. “Our people are working from wherever they like. The importance of that open ecosystem is now critical for our operational rigor. How do we keep the same availability and resiliency as when everything was in-house? As an industry, we all have to do this together.”

For Sarafin, open ecosystems shift focus to abundance rather than scarcity, noting that when multiple partners come together to solve problems, the result for clients is more impactful. “Technology has now reached such a level of capability. The technological hurdles have nearly been dissipated away. The ability to do truly tremendous things with technology, to help the economy, to address sustainability…there’s immense opportunity now.”

As 2023 accelerates the momentum of technological advancement, innovation will accelerate, too. For leaders and organizations to meet this moment, they must prepare for growth with infrastructure that is secure, reliable and suited for the workforce. As Baker pointed out, “You can call it the ‘fourth industrial revolution.’ The pandemic accelerated digital transformation. Now there’s a big opportunity around us in terms of forward-looking application architectures. One thing is clear: the technology landscape is vast.”

Click here to view the full recording of this LinkedIn Live.