The 2023 technology predictions bonanza

Frontier Enterprise has compiled a list of some of the technology predictions for 2023. The topics include 5G, AI/ML, analytics, autonomous vehicles, automation, cloud, customer experience, data, quantum computing, and the metaverse.

Image courtesy of BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash.


Private 5G, in hand with Wi-Fi6, will revolutionise new cloud, edge and IoT innovations

As more businesses in Asia Pacific begin to realise the benefits of digitising and using future technologies, we foresee a greater adoption of 5G especially, driving the total 5G revenue in the region to rise from US$2.13 billion in 2020 to US$23.89 billion in 2025. While a game changer, the combination of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G will pave a new future of connectivity for almost every industry, by providing three times more bandwidth and five times the speed of Wi-Fi 5. This is especially key for firms in sectors like manufacturing, which require high-precision engineering capabilities to implement transformative applications that drive digital transformation, smart factories, and automation within processes for greater efficiency. The power of the technologies comes from their ability to monitor and manage thousands of assets. Its scalability brings the promise of wide-scale deployment of mobile robots and self-driving vehicles closer to reality. We can hence expect more companies to be on the lookout for such technologies once the relevant spectrums and infrastructure are provided.

– Bee Kheng Tay, President, ASEAN, Cisco


5G to revamp IT infrastructure

The deployment of 5G in Singapore is set to boost IT services like never before. According to the International Trade Administration, one of Singapore’s primary telecom service providers announced in July 2022 that it had achieved over 95% standalone 5G nationwide coverage, making Singapore the first country in the world to have complete standalone 5G coverage. IoT (Internet of Things) and edge computing will result in a significant impact on industries such as banking & finance, e-commerce, healthcare, and civil services, among others. As organisations continue to migrate to the cloud, efficient workload and application management will necessitate advanced enterprise IT solutions. With 5G set to bring high-speed networks to process data faster, businesses can modernise infrastructure and experience enhanced performance complementing IoT, AR/VR, experiential platforms, and other technological advancements. 

5G will boost Edge, HPC, and AI 

The speed of a 5G network is approximately 10 times faster than 4G – edge computing will become viable as real-time processing improves. With 5G and Edge poised to gain stronger traction in 2023, HPC supported by AI will gain prominence. 5G will provide high-speed transfers of large volumes of data, and the Edge architecture will aid in employment management and maintenance of application workloads closer to the source of data i.e., the HPC system, making it more accessible. Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has been focusing its efforts since 2019 on driving industry technical trials to demonstrate the transformative impact of 5G for enterprises as well as supporting the 5G innovation and research ecosystem.

– Kumar Mitra, Managing Director and Regional General Manager, Central Asia Pacific at Lenovo ISG


While already widely adopted in industries such as e-commerce, fintech and healthcare, voice AI technology will skyrocket in popularity across different sectors. Businesses will continue to find new ways to leverage voice AI, beyond the traditional use cases like loan collection and payment reminders, to include various applications across business operations, such as customer onboarding, sales, and information verification.

Ensuring successful adoption of new technologies is not a task undertaken by a sole party. Across the region, government bodies are paying more attention to voice AI technology and the power it yields and are rolling out initiatives to encourage data sharing and make more data available. With the backing of local governments, as well as tested guidance on how to integrate these technologies into the existing tech infrastructure, voice AI providers can establish greater credibility and work more closely with the authorities to build solutions that can be used on a national scale.

Businesses will be challenged to innovate ways in which voice AI can go beyond its traditional capabilities and provide more opportunities for businesses to streamline their operations, scale up or down accordingly, and reduce costs. Rather than seeing voice AI as a siloed technology, closer collaboration between different business functions will be explored to ensure a seamless integration of the different workflows.

– Kun Wu, Managing Director and Co-founder, AI Rudder


Turning to democratised AI to accomplish more with less

AI has become a key investment area for many companies’ long-term success, but most of them are still in an experimental phase and have not fully put the technology into production because of long deployment timelines and IT staffing needs.

As companies aim to do more with less, 2023 will see them draw a clear and more intentional distinction between where they build their own AI and where they can simply adopt “AI agents,” a category of democratised cloud-based AI tools that can be immediately applied to automate processes and solve business problems, with limited technical expertise required by employees.

The ability to inject AI into workflows or understand AI-based tools cannot be confined to those with data science and programming skills – it must be accessible to everyone. The widespread adoption of AI across the enterprise will therefore increasingly involve these AI agents, which are:

  • Making it easy and cost-effective for employees to translate content from the most common enterprise document types (e.g., PDF, Google Docs, Google Slides, Microsoft Word) into more than 130 languages, while preserving layouts and formatting and supporting post-editing human-in-the-loop feedback and document review;
  • Speeding up procurement cycles involving invoices and receipts, and contracting to close deals, by simplifying and automating document processing;
  • Scaling call centre support by intelligently routing customers, facilitating handoffs between virtual and human customer support representatives, and analysing call transcripts for trends.

– Ruma Balasubramanian, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, Google Cloud


Operationalising adaptive AI systems for quicker business decision-making

With the increase in demand for real-time data processing, streaming, and sharing to power organisations transform into data-driven organisations, we anticipate more businesses investing in building adaptive AI systems that can ingest large amounts of data at frequent intervals and adapt to changes and variances quickly.

What will determine the winners from the laggards will hinge on the speed at which predictive analytics can be executed, and the cost-benefit ratio related to these algorithmic paradigms. An organisation’s ability to create trust with usable and explainable AI for faster and flexible decisions will separate the leaders from the pack.

We foresee organisations pivoting focus beyond the algorithm to things like business-ready predictive dashboards, visualisations, and applications that simplify the use of AI systems to reach conclusions. These will help business leads quickly understand the impact to their business and act with confidence. 

– Remus Lim, VP for Asia Pacific and Japan, Cloudera


Staying vigilant when employing AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) will be a booming space in 2023, along with conversations on the role of AI. Mind-blowing innovations such as ChatGPT have demonstrated AI’s ability to interact, solve problems and create content. Businesses need to be careful of over relying on AI, as it’s ultimately created by humans and will be flawed. This is not dissimilar to when the public cloud and Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) launched and businesses thought they didn’t need to back up their data. As AI grows in popularity, organisations must learn how to integrate it rather than seeing it as a replacement for vigilance in security and backup.

– Anthony Spiteri, Senior Global Technologist, Product Strategy, Veeam


Push for the use of ethical AI technology models alongside ML to drive growth and accelerate the employee experience

AI is becoming increasingly prevalent across our daily lives, and a new generation of ethical AI technology and refreshed modelling is emerging. The benefits and use cases of AI to complement ML for large amounts of data are growing. The unification of ML and ethical AI is enabling organisations to gain greater efficiency and create actionable insights that help guide the business forward in true terms.

The use of ML in finance digital transformation enables finance professionals to automate accounting, reporting, and financial planning and analysis processes, thus enabling greater efficiency and agility. Besides numbers, in modern organisations AI and ML are also used to understand employee sentiment by automating action pertaining to employee wellbeing, growth, development, and ultimately cultural happiness in an organisation. Listening with intent and creating insights from the data are key to happy employees and, in turn, great organisations.

With AI growing in prominence, there are growing concerns about how businesses and employers will use AI and ML technology. As a result, there will be emergence of ethical AI that removes model bias. For this emerging technology to take off in the coming years, companies must provide greater transparency on how their AI is applied.

The compliance and open book analysis of how AI and ML is being applied will allow organisations to establish greater trust, thus allowing the advancement of enterprise AI adoption on a wider scale. More providers will begin disclosing how their ML models lead to their outputs (e.g., recommendations) and predictions, possibly even at an individual level.

– Damian Leach, Chief Technology Officer, APJ, Workday


A new era of predictive networks has arrived, and it will change how we define business agility

Competing in today’s digital landscape means one thing – what can be delivered digitally, must be delivered digitally and it must be always on. Applications are just the front door to an expansive digital landscape that is evolving and growing in scale and complexity, given that ASEAN’s super app market is forecasted to reach US$23 billion in revenue by 2025.2 The key to delivering a great digital experience comes with having full stack visibility into the different data, system interactions, interdependencies and business metrics that are happening in real-time across the digital interface. Predictive network engines that can gather data from a multitude of telemetry sources and integrate them into different models to predict user experience issues will be powerful tools. They will help bridge the current gap between IT and business teams, allowing IT leaders to fix issues before they happen, and business teams to focus on agility and innovations that will win customers’ hearts.

– Bee Kheng Tay, President, ASEAN, Cisco


Thirty years ago, a marketing professional did not need to know about the internet. Fast forward to today and it’s an integral part of just about any job, including marketing. 

Analytics is on a similar trajectory, and that will become even clearer in the coming year. In fact, 73 percent of Singaporean organisations are expecting analytics spend to outpace other software investment in the next 12 – 18 months. We will see more companies enable knowledge workers throughout their business to garner impactful insights from their data. The combination of no-code/code-friendly cloud analytics solutions and increased investments in data literacy and upskilling will take data analytics out of the realm of specialty roles and into the entire organisation.

– Alan Jacobson, Chief Data & Analytic Officer, Alteryx


Many organisations will be looking to do more with less to counteract rising inflation. CISOs will need to be smarter about their investment choices and double down on automation, AI, and ML to increase team efficiency and augment headcount. It will also force leaders to reassess their cybersecurity stack and find ways to consolidate.

– George Lee, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan, Imperva


Workflow Automation will continue to be vital for organisations in 2023, especially in a turbulent economic landscape with a tight labour market. The many uncertainties ahead will require companies to be judicious about how they plan for growth.

With workflow automation, companies can better manage the complexity of their environments caused by deglobalisation by planning what’s coming next and orchestrating the best response. Beyond just simplifying repetitive tasks, workflow automation can help create efficiency across different business functions, such as security, ITOps, and customer service. Automation will help organisations overcome system complexities, and the shortage of tech talent. A better-streamlined work process will also create more engaged employees, as they can focus on creating positive customer experiences.

– Dhiraj Goklani, Vice President, Observability, APAC, Splunk


Non-technical employees will write code

Organisations of all sizes will break through AI deployment roadblocks by adopting simplified, no-code platforms that let non-technical employees train ML models.

Bringing AI into production has been historically difficult for many organisations due to factors such as the scarcity of data scientists, slow model development, and clunky deployment options.

Enter no-code machine learning platforms, which let business users without coding or modelling experience train sophisticated models through simple drag-and-drop interfaces. This not only frees up data scientists’ time, it also lets businesspeople quickly apply their knowledge and expertise, resulting in faster development and better-performing models.

Many of these platforms can integrate with modern automation platforms, so, once models are developed, they can be brought quickly into automated workstreams. This lets AI flow through the enterprise to support better, faster decision-making everywhere.

Reducing programming requirements helps speed up app and automation creation for both professional developers and “citizen developers” throughout the business. Successful automators are also more likely to have adopted low-code programs, while citizen-led development programs can also help with employee retention. 

– Scott Hunter, Vice President, Strategic Engagements & Transformation Lead, Asia Pacific and Japan, UiPath


Amidst rising economic uncertainty, enterprises will increasingly move beyond isolated use cases of automation to accelerate digital transformation, drive growth, and achieve cost-savings to better navigate the disruption. Low-code and no-code automation tools allow organisations to drastically condense their digital transformation timelines by empowering employees from non-traditional tech roles to automate processes and create new services through drag-and-drop digital capabilities without prior coding knowledge. In 2023, we expect to see more business technologists take up such tools to save valuable time and circumvent bottlenecks. The ability for anyone to contribute towards digital transformation initiatives, regardless of background, provides a strong upside for businesses to remain agile in these changing times.

– Sujith Abraham, Senior Vice President and General Manager, ASEAN, Salesforce

Autonomous vehicles

The future of mobility

The automotive industry is being reshaped by a convergence of trends. New technologies, consumer demands, environmental pressures, and more are driving a race to reinvent the personal driving experience. The result is a vehicle that is more of a “computer on wheels”, and autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a key piece of this transformation.

AVs will require a constellation of advanced mechanical, electrical, and electronic systems as well as embedded software, AI, and ML working together to achieve true self-driving functionality.

Companies that hope to participate in the self-driving vehicle revolution – including legacy automotive original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and new market entrants – must be able to deliver innovative features such as lane keep assist or adaptive cruise control and contend with the mounting complexity of integrating them into the systems of a vehicle.

To succeed, it is critical for automakers to digitalise the entire vehicle design, development, validation, manufacturing, and utilisation lifecycle.  

– Alex Teo, Vice President & Managing Director of Southeast Asia, Siemens Digital Industries Software


Hybrid and multi-clouds will be widely adopted as the dominant cloud operation model as organisations are becoming more pragmatic in their approaches to cloud migration. This means that security tools need to support the same flexibility, or they will be replaced by tools that can.

– Lebin Cheng, Head of API Security, Imperva


PaaS migration will be on the uptick

Many businesses had looked forward to 2022 as the year of rebounding from the pandemic. However, in reality, this recovery has been more stilted than expected; businesses are still transitioning from years of suppressed profitability, as well as diminished cash flow and financial reserves. At the same time, the digital climate of today necessitates that businesses constantly innovate in order to stay competitive and not fall behind.

In 2023, adoption of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions will be on the uptick as the race to capture customers intensifies on the digital front – with the APAC region expected to generate 400 million new 5G connections by 2025  Investments in big data, IoT applications and other emerging technologies are only set to grow from here on out, and PaaS will be the gateway for businesses to access advanced technologies in the cloud without paying the cost for the necessary infrastructure. The proof is already in the numbers: Reports have placed PaaS on the path for exponential growth, with more than 30% year-on-year market growth. Especially as competition grows steeper, PaaS will be the tool that enables businesses to shift gears towards innovation.

– Lionel Legros, Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific, OVHcloud


FinOps solutions will take off amid rising expenditures on the cloud. 

Cloud spend is expected to grow from US$1.3 trillion in 2022 to US$1.8 trillion in 2025, according to Gartner. However, under the shadow of rising cloud expenditures is the issue of cloud waste. Currently, one third of cloud spend is going to waste, and it is challenging to control cost with multiple teams using multiple cloud vendors. To that end, leaders will become more prudent with their cloud expenditures and will look to solutions like FinOps to control cost and cut waste. With the aim of bringing financial accountability to the cloud spend model, FinOps enables distributed teams to make well-informed trade-offs between speed, cost, and quality. Today, there are FinOps solutions that provide a real-time, unified view of an organisation’s cloud spend across all clouds, AI-assisted instance management recommendations to help save, and features to proactively prevent costly surprises. I foresee more organisations leaning to FinOps solutions in 2023 to better manage cloud spend.

– Stephen McNulty, President, Asia Pacific & Japan, Micro Focus


The cloud takes on compliance

Complying with the patchwork of recently passed global privacy and data regulation has become a nightmare for corporate IT teams. In 2023, cloud services will finally take the burden of compliance off of these teams and automatically determine where data can be legally stored and processed.

Governments around the world are rolling out new privacy regulations. In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which became enforceable in 2018 gives individuals more control over their personal data and how it’s used. Other countries worldwide, including in Southeast Asia are following suit and using GDPR as a model. Singapore amended its Personal Data Protection Act to give its Data Protection Commission additional enforcement powers. Thailand’s first ever Data Protection Act came into effect earlier this year. 

Companies must now understand and comply with this patchwork of regulations as they do business globally. How can organisations hope to stay current and build compliance into their applications and IT systems?

We believe the majority of cloud services will soon come with compliance features built in. The cloud itself should take the compliance burden off companies. Developers shouldn’t be required to know exactly how and where their data can be legally stored or processed. The burden of compliance should largely be handled by the cloud services and tools developers are building with. Networking services should route traffic efficiently and securely while complying with all data sovereignty laws. Storage services should inherently comply with data residency regulations. And processing should adhere to relevant data localization standards.

– John Engates, Field CTO at Cloudflare


Delivering a Better Hybrid Multi-cloud Experience for Enterprises

The hybrid multi-cloud will grow in importance as more services move from on-prem to the cloud. Public cloud spending in APAC is expected to continue its rise by 28.3% YoY in 2023, according to IDC. While this continued migration to the cloud isn’t surprising, sustained supply chain challenges are pushing buyers to look beyond on-prem hardware to ease procurement challenges.

More enterprises are also embracing the multi-cloud strategy moving ahead. Already, 84% of APAC enterprises have already adopted a multi-cloud approach. However, many enterprises realised that their cloud is not living up to its full potential due to complexity and uncontrolled cloud sprawl; siloed, disparate environments; security risks; and rising costs.

Moving forward, more organisations will take a strategic approach that seamlessly connects a mix of clouds and on-prem environments. In the next phase of the evolved cloud, enterprises will turn to a unified control plane to remove management complexity, stay secure against evolving cyber threats, be sustainable, and cut costs through automation,  whether their data resides on the cloud or on-prem. This will put organisations in a position to focus on innovation and drive their business.

– Sanjay Rohatgi, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific and Japan, NetApp


Continued move to the public cloud and hybrid cloud, optimising deployments 

Public cloud spend and workload volumes continue to accelerate for organisations of all sizes as cloud-first policies and cloud migration remain top of the agenda for senior IT leaders. However, a significant amount of this spend is wasted as organisations struggle to optimise costs effectively. 

According to Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud Report, respondents self-estimated that their organisations waste 32% of cloud spend in 2021. As cost optimization remains the top cloud initiative for organisations for the sixth year running, we will likely see organisations opt for more cost-effective strategies to deliver results quickly and efficiently, including:

  • Migrating more workloads to the cloud to free up resources while driving agility 
  • Implementing data and analytics solutions that can manage the end-to-end data lifecycle – from ingesting data from multiple sources to storing, processing, serving, analysing and modelling it to drive actionable insights
  • Repatriating some machine learning workflows back on-premise, where complex processes are more cost effective, to optimise cloud spend for compliance, governance and security

This is where leveraging modern data architectures like data lakehouse, data fabric and data mesh is essential to driving business efficiencies across diverse operations. In addition to managing data on-premises and in public or private clouds, these modern data architectures are also intrinsically designed to handle complexities such as security and governance related issues. They also address the concerns of IT teams in allowing access to organisational data. 

– Remus Lim, VP for Asia Pacific and Japan, Cloudera

Customer experience

It is an increasingly challenging time for customer experience (CX) leaders, with the availability of multiple channels of communication, change in customer expectations, and economic headwinds on the horizon. In these times, customer acquisition and retention become increasingly important and the right CX strategy will play a leading role in helping companies achieve revenue growth and profitability.

In the year ahead, finding appropriate ways to provide convenience to the end user, with effective ways to measure customer satisfaction will be key. We believe that with digital marketplaces integrating product experience with apps, there should be extra emphasis on how to make that integrated experience seamless and personalised, especially given the complexity of omnichannel customer journeys.

Business leaders should also increase the capabilities required for digital trustworthiness whether it is privacy protection or data security. AI and automation will play an important role in delivering better service and increased productivity and these areas should be leveraged. However, the human element remains key, and business leaders should also look at enhancing their talent management processes to strengthen their overall customer service competencies.

– Angie Tay, Group Chief Operating Officer, TDCX


AI moves deeper into the data pipeline
As concerns about a recession and economic uncertainty rise, many will see a pull back on investment and hiring. However, with the global skills shortage continuing to impact companies of all sizes, ensuring technologies such as AI and ML are able to automate some of the more menial data preparation tasks will be crucial.

By moving AI deeper into the data pipeline before an application or dashboard has even been built, we can finally start to shift the breakdown of time spent on data preparation versus data analytics. Right now, less than 20% of time is spent analysing data, while just over 80% of the time is spent collectively on searching for, preparing, and governing the appropriate data.

Doing this would enable hard-to-come-by data talent to focus on the value-add; cross-pollinating and generating new insights that weren’t possible before. A far more productive use of their time.

– Dan Sommer, Senior Director, Global Market Intelligence Lead, Qlik


Growing environmental and geopolitical threats will make data sovereignty a primary concern

With increasingly turbulent waters to tread in the form of both natural disasters and geopolitical tensions, ensuring data sovereignty will become a non-negotiable step for businesses.

There is very little latency between cities in neighbouring countries – such as Singapore and nearby Johor Bahru in Malaysia – and yet data sovereignty concerns are driving demand for separate data centres to be built in-country itself. Especially as the digital economy of the region continues to grow and data continues to drive value, storage needs will become increasingly local.

In 2023, we will then see growing threats such as severe natural disasters and geopolitical conflicts become key players in organisations’ data backup and archiving strategies. Next year and beyond, it will be more critical than ever for organisations to think carefully about the location of their data backups to help avoid catastrophic data loss.

– Sunny Chua, Singapore General Manager, Wasabi Technologies


Artificial intelligence, data intelligence and AIOps will be utilised by data-driven enterprises and operations in 2023

We are seeing demand increase across all industries, with the most exciting DataOps innovations in banking, technology, consulting, government, telecommunications, insurance, and healthcare.

We predict that in 2023, more enterprises will be utilising AIOps and artificial intelligence to automate IT operations. Through a robust data management program, collecting data in real time, and a combination of data analytics, powered by AI and ML, companies will be able to actually get to the point where they can really, truly deliver on that vision of self-driving infrastructure.

We will also continue to see advancements in data intelligence and the ability to rationalise data. Until very recently, data storage has been centred around storing data and doing it well. The ability to understand stored data will take a combination of analytics and leveraging advanced operational analytics to increase data optimisation and developments in this space will be game-changing in enabling businesses to optimise the use of stored data from across all spectrums.

– Radhika Krishnan, Chief Product Officer, Hitachi Vantara


Data sovereignty evolves from compliance concern to market driver

Rising geopolitical tensions have forced data protection concerns to the forefront for governments and businesses alike, motivating businesses to keep sensitive data on national soil.

While governments have already laid the necessary groundwork with data localisation policies in recent years, we can now expect to see business data storage patterns grow more local than ever before. After all, there can be no compromise on the security of data. Data remains the lifeblood of the Asia-Pacific economy, particularly for the Southeast Asian region that will witness millions of new users boost its internet economy in the coming years.

Ultimately, these considerations will see data sovereignty grow to become a driver of data storage trends in 2023 and beyond. As storage needs grow uncompromisingly local, businesses will have to ensure compliance across multiple data zones and use of multiple cloud providers will be an inevitable outcome. With that, it is cloud providers that ensure an open ecosystem that will emerge on top.

– Lionel Legros, Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific, OVHcloud


Poor communications and the lack of data visibility across all nodes in the supply chain were the main causes of the logjams for the last two years. To prevent this, people and systems need to be able to communicate with one another and confidently share real-time updates. 

In 2023, global supply chain leaders will have to work towards getting intelligent technologies online as fast as solution providers can support the deployments. Customers and partners will demand to see what’s happening on the road, in the skies, at ports, and in all staging areas. And, together, they will work to understand what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what they can do about it – something that will become easy with the right advanced vision and tracking technologies such as Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, RFID and electronic data loggers in place. 

Many companies have already been piloting technologies at the loading dock that show them exactly how to improve trailer and container utilization. 2023 will be the year when transport and logistics coordination and supply chain orchestration become simple, straightforward and, to a certain extent, automated. Real-time data will drive every decision and action, from the dock to customers’ doors.

– Vivien Tay, APAC Vertical Marketing Solutions Lead for Warehousing, Transport & Logistics, Zebra Technologies


Acceleration of augmented data management

AI is now being adopted at an accelerated speed by companies across industries – be it by social media platforms suppressing posts, connecting healthcare professionals with patients, or large wealth management banks granting credits to their end consumers.

Data is now the new oil – because data and analytics-based insights are necessary for propelling business innovation. However, the growing volume, variety, and velocity of data have made data management too complex to manage at scale.

This is why augmented data management has recently been embraced by various data management vendors where, with the application of AI, organisations are able to automate many data management tasks. Each layer of a data fabric — namely data ingestion, data processing, data orchestration, data governance, etc. should have AI/ML baked into it.

In 2023, the use of augmented data management will accelerate, helping data management professionals focus on delivering data-driven insights rather than being held back by routine administrative tasks.

Increased adoption of data fabric and data mesh

The debate over the different approaches to data management has evolved over the past two decades. While there are numerous options for deploying enterprise data architecture, where we stand now sees accelerated adoption of two data architectural approaches – data fabric and data mesh.

Data fabric is a composable stack of data management technologies and data mesh is a process orientation for distributed groups of teams, and both are critical to enterprises that want to manage their data better. Easy access to data and ensuring it is governed and secure, is important to every data stakeholder as it is critical for dashboarding and reporting, advanced analytics, machine learning, and AI projects.

So, in 2023, we should expect a rapid increase in the adoption of both architectural approaches within mid-to-large size enterprises.

– Ravi Shankar, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Denodo


Data teams will find the “Aha moment” using engineering practices

According to Gartner, through 2022, only 20% of analytic insights will deliver business outcomes. Planning, processes and KPIs are the most frequent sources of data projects failures. For data leaders to succeed, they have to drive optimum efficiency and put in place the right measurement frameworks. For data practitioners and leaders to realize and demonstrate the value of their data investments, they will need to apply the same processes, rigor and metrics used by engineering teams. Machine learning and algorithms for greater automation, DataOps and DevOps to increase quality and reduce time to value or observability to pinpoint the problem faster will support data teams to get the job faster and maximize impact on the business.

– Sam Pierson, CTO at Talend

In 2022, organizations focused on cloud security, but in 2023, they will shift their focus to data security.

The last few years have been focused on infrastructure velocity with the cloud, infrastructure as code, and the shift left mantra. Tooling has been introduced to provide cloud posture management and attack surface monitoring in these high-velocity contexts. In 2023, leaders will turn a strengthened focus up the stack into data movement, provenance, health, and governance driven by an increasing focus on data sovereignty and upcoming data regulations and frameworks such as the European Health Data Space.

– Nick Vigier, CISO at Talend

Data centres

Monitoring solutions will keep playing a vital role in the data centre sector

As multinationals continue to relocate their data centres to Southeast Asia, there is little doubt that the region has become a hotspot for data centre investment. In the second half of this year, Singapore’s government lifted its moratorium on data centre construction. With the Satu Data Indonesia (SDI) 2022-2024 action plan, the Indonesian government is also focusing on expanding the implementation of data structures such as data centres. Meanwhile, the Thailand data centre market is expected to reach US$1.03 billion by 2027.

With data centres – and the subsequent infrastructure and devices that are often spread over multiple geographic locations – comes the challenge of monitoring them. Because data centres have become an essential infrastructure for organisations across various industries, their failure means that businesses are often left inoperable.

In order to ensure efficient operation, it has become paramount to keep a constant eye on the various technical equipment, operational facilities, and security, which will minimise data centre downtime. As the data centre sector continues to play a major role in multiple industries and across the SEA region, so will the monitoring solutions.

– Paessler


Global recession worries spark a reckoning for hyperscalers

With potential for a global recession in 2023, it is no secret that companies are moving quickly to tighten their belts. While the tech industry witnessed a surge in cloud adoption owing to digital demands brought on by the pandemic, recent headwinds have already impacted several industries in the APAC region and caused a slowdown in IT spending, such as healthcare, construction, and government services.

At the same time, inflationary pressures continue to rise and hyperscalers are keen to maintain margins. Put bluntly: $/GB rates for cloud storage have stopped trending down; there have been no price reductions among leading providers since 2017, nor can businesses expect reductions in the near future. Instead, hyperscalers have simply opted to introduce lower-cost storage tiers, which in reality involve additional steps and expenses to realise the promised cost savings – from data transfers, to new data lifecycle and management policies.

However, with businesses running on even tighter budgets in 2023, such lower-cost storage tiers will no longer suffice. Hyperscalers can expect to experience increasing pushback from customers over usage fees, like egress charges and API call charges for storage. Coupled with that, the call for lower costs has sparked a movement towards cloud financial operations (FinOps) tools as customers seek support to closely monitor and optimise their cloud spend. Should hyperscalers meet these growing demands with a stalemate, businesses will surely opt for alternative providers that are willing to.

– Sunny Chua, Singapore General Manager, Wasabi Technologies


The future of retail is still evolving at a dizzying pace. Given the volatile market due to inflation and economic uncertainty, fickle consumers, and fierce competition, the blind chase towards revenue can spell doom for retailers. Companies are seeing their revenue growth slow and in 2022, more are shifting focus from growth to profitability, a trend we expect to continue into 2023.

One way retailers can improve profit margin is by nailing the basics, as opposed to investing in the latest trends. In a data-dominant world, relying on business intelligence tools can provide myriad benefits like ensuring inventory management, logistics, and order management systems are correctly tuned.

Such composable commerce platforms go beyond headless commerce to give brands the flexibility needed to mould their technology stack to overcome the complexity of omnichannel. Whether it’s content, services, data, or building a better customer experience, composable commerce is about letting you mix and match third-party solutions, and tailor to meet the ever-changing consumer needs. While it may seem like a simple strategy, getting the fundamentals down will translate to operational improvements, leading to additional sales.

Given the renewed focus on profitability we’re seeing in the market, we recommend that merchants run promotions and make merchandising decisions with unit economics and profit margins top of mind.

– Robert Cain, General Manager, Australia & New Zealand, VTEX

Future of work

Workplaces need to blend human and AI capabilities to address critical talent shortage and keep business operations moving at speed. The most efficient and productive workplaces make sure the right tools and information are at employees’ fingertips. Workers shouldn’t spend time looking for things and it’s not good for business.

We will see the rise of virtual twins or ‘machine mates’ in the workplace, taking on more routine work and connecting people to information to free up employees’ time, and to solve problems at speed from anywhere.

– Wee Luen Chia, Managing Director and Area Vice President, Asia, ServiceNow


Hybrid work will be a mainstay and emerging challenges in the modern workplace will require a change in collaboration technology

We are seeing workplace stability for the first time in two years since the pandemic with companies across many industries now having largely reached a hybrid equilibrium. This new equilibrium, however, comes with distinct challenges for the modern workplace, such as poor audio and video quality, in-room distractions, difficulty sharing content, and an inability to fully engage with all meeting participants. We have found that as many as 43% of remote workers say they do not feel included in meetings, and 41% say half or fewer of their rooms are properly hybrid equipped, and this hinders them from engaging in effective collaboration.

In a hybrid working environment, all meetings are of high value now, and the cost of technology failures and human disruption is a burden at all levels. There is no point in a meeting if it’s not productive, as companies have learned from the energy and time wasted due to misconnections and bad audio/video. We expect that to address this, more companies will look to hybrid workplace solutions to facilitate more natural conversations, empower employees in collaboration, get the most out of dispersed talent, and make sure people feel connected to each other.

– Jacques Bertrand, Executive Vice President of Asia, Crestron


2022 saw a shift in the way we perceive the role of work and the importance of work-life balance, with more employees seeking flexible work arrangements such as fixed off-site days, four-day work weeks, or flexible hours that empower them to pursue their desired lifestyle and needs. As organisations continue to find the sweet spot between organisation efficiency and employee expectations amid the hybrid work era, we expect to see the continual emergence of new work trends that will dominate APAC in 2023.

One trend we can expect is the emergence of chief remote officer roles that are designed to support and manage the opportunities and challenges that comes with a growingly remote and hybrid workforce. We also anticipate the rise of workcations and flex holidays, where employees are granted the autonomy to work while travelling, or decide what holidays they take instead of a-one-size-fits-all calendar.

– Karen Ng, Regional Head of Expansion & Market Lead Singapore, Hong Kong, ASEAN, and India, Deel


From 2023, we will start to see a marked shift in how workplace tools connect and integrate. These changes will create new efficiencies for traditional departments, like finance and HR, which will bring a ripple effect of benefits to employees and customers. For example, more integrated travel and expense (T&E) solutions will provide better visibility into company spending, create more efficient finance processes, and ultimately lead to faster expense approvals and reimbursements.

– Matthew Goss, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific Japan and Greater China, SAP Concur


Upskilling and filling the skills gap will be crucial in 2023

While 2022 has seen some improvement in the technology talent skills gap, inflation, rising interest rates, and cybersecurity threats have seen IT leaders scrambling to source and keep high level and specific expertise needed to evolve and innovate businesses onshore. This is particularly true in areas such as the cloud, where competition is fierce. Organisations need to focus on how they are retaining their top performers, developing future leaders, and providing them support and time for upskilling. Embracing a pod of experts to bridge remaining skills gaps can be a key solution. With new smarter sourcing standards to deliver support, these teams can act as a true extension of their customers’ business and their internal teams, freeing up time for workers to train in the in-demand skills crucial to becoming specialists.

– Sandeep Bhargava, Global Head of Solutions and Services, Rackspace Technology


The age of the metaverse

2023 will see the age of the metaverse, which permeates not just lifestyle entertainment and financial investments, but also the industrial universe. For manufacturing businesses to remain competitive and navigate risks amidst digital transformation, manufacturers should make use of the industrial metaverse with physics-based digital models to make decisions faster and with increased confidence.

– Alex Teo, Vice President & Managing Director of Southeast Asia, Siemens Digital Industries Software


The metaverse could be the next big thing, but let’s be realistic

The metaverse has a relatively unknown future given its adoption is still in its infancy, but enterprises are still rushing it to market faster than the security community is comfortable with. We’re already seeing instances of identity theft and deepfake attacks in the current version of our digital world, in which bad actors prey on executives to make wire transfers of hundreds of thousands of dollars outside of a company.

What’s not to say there won’t be an uptick in similar scams inside of the metaverse virtual reality? As we start to look ahead to 2023, businesses will need to be careful and considered in their approach to delivering this nascent technology. Dragging passwords into the metaverse is a recipe for breaches. But if we’re thoughtful about the controls put in place to identify users and deploy continual authentication – leveraging different factors such as biometrics and closely monitoring user behaviour – it’ll help to alleviate those security concerns around the metaverse.

– Rick McElroy, Principal Cyber Security Strategist, VMware


Industrial metaverse and digital twins

The Industrial Metaverse, although still in its infancy, is rapidly expanding and is expected to be powered by dozens of digital twins. Each of these digital twins will come with the ability to replicate everything from assets and people to business processes. 

The world is set to change dramatically in the coming decades. The lines between physical and digital will be blurred, where every person, asset, and process will be replicated virtually. Underpinning this futuristic world is the Metaverse — a digital and immersive environment that is expected to replicate and connect every aspect of an organisation to optimise experiences and decision making.

Developing construction projects, mapping out a city’s area and resource allocation are just some of the many use cases of digital twins in the metaverse. Specifically, digital twin technology can be used to build cities and structures within the metaverse and enable leaders to visualise how an urban area can be better allotted.

Digital twins can also be used in the metaverse to create virtual copies of manufacturing workshops and plants to identify flaws and visualise the production journey. Product design, manufacturing, and labour processes can be easily optimised, allowing for a more efficient and effective production process.

– Emon Zaman, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, AVEVA


Network modernisation remains vital

Network modernisation is another crucial piece in the digital enterprise puzzle. As companies become more connected, expand operations into newer markets, deploy distributed applications and tap into a geographically dispersed labour pool, their network architecture must readily support distributed applications deployed in the cloud, on-premises and at emerging collection ‘edges’. For all of this to happen seamlessly, predictable network performance and strong security controls will become even more essential.

– Amitabh Sarkar, Vice President & Head of Asia Pacific and Japan – Enterprise, Tata Communications

Open source

In the next five years, company investment in open source will skyrocket.

While more than 90% of companies today use open-source software (OSS) in at least some capacity, the job of maintaining, protecting, and growing projects often falls on the shoulders of just a few developers. And when a project goes down – like with the Log4j vulnerability – companies risk losing millions of dollars and customers.

But instead of retreating from OSS, we’re seeing companies increase their investments. In doing so, they’re not only improving the health of their software stack but also opening their doors to the ever-growing OSS community – a relatively untapped global workforce.

Through this greater recognition of the value and impact of open source, I expect to see a rapid increase in OSS investment. Internally, companies of all shapes and sizes will create open-source program offices. And externally, we’ll see a new norm: companies directly funding the projects and maintainers they depend on.

– Stormy Peters, VP of Communities, GitHub

Quantum computing

Quantum implications are here and will be painful to adapt to in 2023

Making infrastructures quantum-resilient is going to be more difficult than imagined, both for the public and private sectors. One major area of concern when it comes to quantum is national security. Governments have secrecy policies that last for decades. Some of those policies might be threatened by quantum computing as the technology evolves, with much of the information under these policies being transmitted (and potentially captured in encrypted form) with algorithms that may not be quantum safe. Within the next 5-10 years, quantum technology will likely become commercially available. This can be a real threat to past and outdated encryption algorithms, many of which are used to conceal the nation’s top secrets.

Quantum computing is going to be able to overcome complex roadblocks at speeds that will render multiple forms of current encryption useless. For the private sector, trade secrets, intellectual property, financial data and more are at the same risk if a bad actor gets their hands on quantum computing capabilities and breaks the encryption keeping critical assets under lock and key. While building cyber resilience in preparation for quantum technology could have started a decade ago, now is the second best time. In 2023, we’ll see both the private and public sector’s increased awareness around the challenges associated with quantum resilience. We’ll also see efforts begin to take hold more significantly to prepare for quantum computing. Much of the encryption infrastructure in communication networks that keeps information safe now is deeply embedded, i.e., certificates, and will take years to transition to quantum resilient algorithms, posing a timeline issue for changeover before the general availability of quantum computing.

– Jon France, Chief Information Security Officer at (ISC)²

Smart cities

With the integration of AI and analytics, data-driven video technology will become a powerful tool that will enable users to predict events before they happen, which will further enhance the safety and security in smart cities. Capabilities will extend beyond monitoring and recording as video security system combines with emerging technology such as ML-based tools to become smart visual intelligence platforms. Data-driven video technology can be used to identify traffic patterns and prevent any future incidents, or enhance city sustainability by monitoring energy consumption, wastage, or pollution – the possibilities of such technologies when applied to city infrastructure are endless.

Closer to home, Singapore has also implemented data-driven technology in national security. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) is leveraging video analytics and live tracking technology across the checkpoints to detect anomalies so that ICA officers can respond faster. Not only does data-driven video technology automate these processes, it has also proven to be effective in preventing national threats.

Looking ahead, data-driven video coupled with new technologies will provide us with valuable insights that drive the future of smart cities in Asia.

– Malou Toft, APAC Vice President, Milestone Systems

Increasing government interest and investment in smart cities

The APAC region is projected to be the fastest-growing region in the global smart city market between 2022 and 2028, and we can expect more active government intervention in the form of introducing regulation, incentives, and grants to fuel the growth of smart cities. In particular, there is heightened interest in areas such as public safety, emergency response and sustainable urban mobility and environments, with projects already underway in parts of APAC.

At the same time, greater investment from both public and private sectors are also expected to help accelerate growth of smart cities across APAC. For instance, Hyundai Engineering & Construction (Hyundai E&C) has signed a memorandum of understanding with its Vietnamese partners to jointly build and promote the development of the Ha Nam Eco-Smart Urban Living Tomorrow City, close to Hanoi in Vietnam.

However, one of the biggest hurdles to smart city initiatives is the lack of a common platform for sharing data. Smart city projects tend to be launched independently of each other, resulting in large pools of siloed data that do not communicate with one another. This is where location data is valuable as it can act as the common denominator that connects silos to integrate the data into various solutions, ranging from urban mobility issues, urban planning and land use, and even pandemic management.

– Jason Jameson, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific, HERE Technologies


Future of flash: 2023 will be the year of density for flash storage

Advancements in flash storage such as QLC (quad-level cell) and DirectFlash are lowering the cost and increasing density in flash to the point where many organisations are starting to replace their legacy spinning disk storage with flash. With increasing scrutiny on environmental sustainability, the energy and space savings that they get from flash is another reason why companies are moving away from legacy spinning disk. In 2023, we expect to see densities in flash storage really take a leap forward, increasing its suitability for Tier 2 and even Tier 3 workloads.

Containers: Nanoservices will enter the conversation in 2023

With increasing adoption of containers and microservices, 2023 will see nanoservices start to enter the conversation. These are designed for single function applications and are even simpler to run than microservices. An example would be a news site that uses a nanoservice to just run headlines or pull in weather data.

– Matthew Oostveen, Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Asia Pacific & Japan, Pure Storage

Speed of access over storage availability

The 3-2-1-0 rule is well-known by all. Focusing on backup availability, it requires businesses to:

  • 3: Create one primary backup and two copies.
  • 2: Save your backups to two different types of media.
  • 1: Keep at least one backup file offsite.
  • 0 : Be sure to have verified backups without errors

However, with nearly all cloud vendors today offering 11 nines of durability, having three copies means a lot less in preventing data loss than it did in the days before cloud storage became mainstream. After all, gone are the days when tapes broke and files were corrupted while being transferred. To put things in perspective, 11 nines of durability offers so much redundancy that even if a business had one million 1MB files to store, the business would risk losing just one file every 659,000 years.

Rather, the focus of backup strategies will move from availability of copies to speed of access to those backup copies. Especially in today’s digital age, businesses are more susceptible than ever to attacks on their data – particularly in APAC, which remains the most targeted region by cyberattackers. With that, a backup strategy that ensures the seamless, error-free, and speedy restoration of services is critical.

– Sunny Chua, Singapore General Manager, Wasabi Technologies