2023 for high tech has been, admittedly, not too great. The industry has become synonymous with layoffs this year, as major tech company belt-tightening has brought the total number to almost 170,000 layoffs this year alone.
Despite the low confidence for recruitment and retention, what’s not uncertain is the broader understanding that the tech market is still thriving and moving forward – just with a seemingly shrunken workforce. That’s why key trends and capabilities shaping the tech space are perhaps more relevant than ever for both explaining the “why” behind all these layoffs and anticipating future needs within the tech industry.
At the beginning of 2023, we predicted and analyzed the top trends shaping high tech for the year ahead, including superapps, digital assets for sales, the metaverse, data analytics, and data storage/processing. Now that the calendar year is halfway through, it’s time to re-evaluate these trends with six months of live insights to look back on.
Superapps takeover apps
The idea behind superapps is fairly self-explanatory: one queen bee app encompasses all the functionality and features of a suite of standalone apps, ultimately eliminating the need for any of the original, individual apps altogether. WeChat, the beacon of the Chinese tech ecosystem, is a shining example of this trend toward Superapps, but is the trend really taking off in the West as it has in APAC?
While the adoption of Superapps and their Miniapp children is far slower in the Western marketplace, the forecast still points toward a worldwide merging of our proliferation of niche applications into just an elite, encompassing few. Just imagine a would-be future with a travel mega app brought to you by the merging of Uber, Hilton, and Delta’s already existing individual applications. By 2030, perhaps, this could easily be the norm. Tech companies have to start pivoting their business models and ways of thinking to be ready for tech services and functionality that can exist and provide value to a Superapp, not just a standalone bespoke app that would be better suited, and offer more utility, as part of a larger Superapp. So while the Western strategy may be slow on the uptake, with 2023 focused more heavily on digital assets or metaverse possibilities, Superapps are still a subtle but consequential change to the tech ecosystem that can not be avoided in the long-term future.
More digital assets for sales
NFTs for sale! NFTs for sale! Or, perhaps, not. Transactions for digital assets, or NFTs built on the blockchain and decentralized internet of the future, are not going anywhere—in fact, they’re picking up popularity with rapid force. But that may be due to a simple change in the nomenclature of digital assets.
Nike is one consumer retail brand leading the charge to make NFT sales more mainstream, and it’s doing this with one key strategic move involved: don’t call NFTs NFTs. By removing the overtly technical and alphabet soup facade, Nike is making digital asset sales more approachable, desirable, and scalable. Tech companies should take note and consider how they can similarly demystify sales of their own digital goods for the rising generation of e-commerce in the metaverse.
Speaking of the metaverse, the broader implications of our VR future expand far beyond just the sale of digital Nike swooshes for your virtual avatar. The metaverse is primed to become the next ubiquitous tech takeover following the rise of social media of every variety over the past two decades. Now, consumers are preparing to take their social media inclinations to an entirely virtual or augmented reality.
As it stands, this usually entails headsets to put the user’s vision entirely in the metaverse, but a future with full-body suits hooked up to the metaverse is not out of the question. The latest player to join the metaverse market is Apple with their new release of an xrOS-equipped headset. Whether headset or full-body immersion, the metaverse is fast approaching and we foresee more and more users flocking to these platforms much like social media gradually captured the entire globe. Tech firms can’t afford to ignore this eventuality and must consider how their sales plays can be unique and competitive in the coming metaverse economy.
Sophistication of data analytics
Data analytics has been and will continue to be a top priority for all businesses, as data exchanges and predictive analytics become sought-after distinctions in any industry. Tech firms have been known for leveraging their data better than many industries, but the fight to have the most sophisticated data analytics will always be pertinent. Data analytics is a matter of ongoing maintenance, and making sure data is accurate, comprehensive, and usable is no small feat. Data lakes and data fabrics/meshes remain the leading data models and investments are pouring into better tech to align with these models.
A cloud-based SSOT is an excellent foundation to start with for managing data clearly and collaborating across the organization to drive value from the information you’re already gathering and housing through sales. Tech firms that adopt company-wide collaboration on cloud are positioned to support their data analytics the best with more and more scalable solutions designed to build on cloud alongside the data.
Data storage and processing demand rises
Finally, hand in hand with data analytics is the matter of data storage and processing, another top tech trend as old as time.
The amount of data in the world is already astronomical, and we’re only set to generate more. This will naturally lead to the need for more data centers, more data storage partners, and more investment in data maintenance. Tech firms must strategize on the data ins and outs of their entire tech stack and consider what data needs short-, mid-, and long-term storage capacity. It’s one thing to have the funds for massive data storage—it’s an entirely separate matter to have the ideal strategy for storing.
Many organizations may default to data hoarding operating with a ‘more is always better’ mentality, but this isn’t always the case. “There is an enormous amount of data being stored because of the unproven premise that one day value can be extracted from it,” says Vincent Berk, a c-suite executive at cybersecurity firm Quantum Xchange. There are more liabilities and risks the more data you’re storing, so it’s important to make sure the data you’re saving serves a strong purpose worthwhile to your long-term business strategy.
Simplus has been working closely with high tech organizations as our client base since day one, implementing sleek quote-to-cash tools, data integration capabilities, and cloud-based industry-specific Salesforce solutions for ongoing innovation in the face of such trends. Reach out today to find out how we can help your organization prepare for the future.