As we race towards 2023, multiple opposing forces are felt in the office of the CIO and the IT organization. We are still in the midst of a talent shortage, but at the same time, executives are whispering about the possibility of a recession and job cuts. Outside of business, consumers feel unsettled due to economic uncertainty and inflation, but they continue to spend.
What does this all mean for 2023? This was the focus of the closing session of the Forrester Technology & Innovation 2022 event in Austin and virtually in October. Here are some ideas shared.
Global technology spending will increase, reaching $4.8 trillion in 2023, according to Forrester Vice President and Group Director Keith Johnston, who moderated the final panel discussion at the event.
Don’t Jekyll and Hyde your employees
For the first time ever, we will face a slump of limited talent. Recessions are usually marked by high unemployment; this one will be different. Forrester recommends that IT managers stay stable in their approach to employment numbers. Conventional wisdom may say that there must be downsizing because we are in a recession. However, organizations that have invested in “employee experience” over the past few years risk losing the positive reputation they have built if they lay off.
“You go to a Jekyll and Hyde and become a completely different type of character as an employer, that’s going to be a big deal and people are going to notice that and there are going to be long term implications for that,” David said. Brodeur-Johnson, senior analyst covering the future of work.
Where to spend
As organizations face a possible recession, they’re likely considering all the things they can cut in their budgets, not just headcount. Forrester predicts that 80% of companies will shift their innovation spending from creativity to resilience, according to Linda Ivy-Rosser, vice president and chief research officer at Forrester. Even if they do, Ivy-Rosser advises leaders to “choose pragmatism over fear.”
Meanwhile, the cost of marketing technology (martech) will increase by 200% in 2023 as there will be fewer end-to-end vendors and more specialists. That means companies themselves will have to invest in order to integrate multiple solutions, according to Mike Proulx, Forrester’s vice president and chief research officer, who leads the company’s chief marketing officer research team.
Hybrid, back to office or remote?
There are many mixed signals in the back-to-work movement as many organizations seek to implement a hybrid schedule. Forrester predicts that 90% of executives who try to coerce their hybrid workers back into the office will “completely fail.”
What does “failure” mean in this context?
“It’s kind of a backlash. They’re going to go through something that they’re going to regret making the decision,” Brodeur-Johnson said. “We have 68% of employees who can work remotely saying they want to continue to be able to do so as we move through the pandemic, yet we have half of the executives running these hybrid companies saying they want to leave their options open to remove this.
This appears to be the setup for some sort of showdown to come.
“If you force people to work in a way that’s not really what they want, that’s an attack on their autonomy. From a psychological perspective, autonomy is the strongest motivator, an intrinsic motivator,” he said. “They’re going to take a hit in terms of their willingness to give you 100 per cent of themselves and do the best job they can for you.”
Forrester predicts that 65% of enterprises will be hybrid and 15% will be fully remote.
What’s New in Data Privacy
Forrester predicts that “we will do less data gathering and more eavesdropping” when it comes to privacy. Among the forces acting on this trend is the possibility of new privacy laws in 2023. For example, new laws could come online in the United States, and there could be improvements to GDPR on the way. road.