How businesses aim to leverage disruptive technology to get the most out of their digital investments in 2023
Hari Vasudev, SVP – Retail Tech Platforms and Country Head, Walmart Global Tech
“It’s an exciting time for the retail tech industry. The recent years have blurred the lines between digital and physical, and technology will play a pivotal role in serving customers when, where and how they want. Agility will be key. Adopting a ‘Four-in-a-box’ model that brings together technology, product, design, and operations will be crucial to innovate with speed and constantly evolve products and services to better serve customers. The coming times will also witness shopping experiences that are more personalized, inclusive, and accessible. Predictive technology, leveraging AI and ML, will be vital to understand customer preferences more deeply and cater to their unique needs. AR/VR will be a gamechanger in bringing personalized experiences, such as virtual try-ons for apparel, eyewear, or even scanning shelves to find items that match one’s lifestyle and diet. Over a period of time, voice technology will emerge as a natural part of one’s shopping experience and an important tool for retailers to reduce customer friction.”
Faiz Shakir, Managing Director – Sales, Nutanix India & SAARC, Nutanix
“As the dynamic macroeconomic scenario continues to strongly influence cloud economics, the year 2023 is expected to be an eventful year for the technology sector and primarily for the cloud business. New decision making around applications and their infrastructure will take precedence as companies begin to reconsider their exposure to the cost economics of a single cloud provider a public cloud only strategy owing to the limited ability of moving applications and data between clouds or to on-prem locations. Thus, portability will emerge as an important multicloud value as enterprises look to characterize their apps and data for optimal location in terms of performance, sovereignty, and of course, cost.
Enterprises will also prioritize consolidation of developer environments due to its potential to run development environments where they make the most sense for the business while having the flexibility to pivot and move without fear of lock-in to a single infrastructure provider. In addition to this, untethered edge operating models will become more prevalent as applications will be expected to run all the time. Furthermore, sustainably will also emerge as a deciding factor in IT investments, globally, as companies start placing greater emphasis on how technology can lower energy costs and enable the achievement of sustainability mandates.”
Monish Darda, CTO and Co-founder, Icertis
“A recent BCG-NASSCOM report reveals that IT buyers expect investment in emerging technology to reach 70 to 80 percent of their IT spending by 2030. In this Techade, technology companies will continue innovating to help enterprises keep emerging solutions like autonomous analytics, edge computing, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) at the heart of their investments.
Additionally, while companies are already investing in artificial intelligence (AI), the technology is still traditionally seen as complicated and challenging. In 2023, we will witness AI become more democratized to a broader user base, including those without specialized knowledge of AI. The technology industry will also focus on ethical AI practices, such as eliminating bias from automated decision-making systems and unfairness in AI. This is critically important for the effective use of AI across core systems of record, such as a company’s ERP, CRM, SCM, or contract intelligence solution.”
Manuj Desai, CIO, STL
“Recent years have seen a period of increased global unrest characterised by pandemic, inflation, geopolitical discord, supply issues, blockades, etc. It has been an opportune moment to re-evaluate how we conduct business and a pivotal time to embrace new technological solutions that help organisations in navigating these challenging times and using them as a competitive advantage.
Digital transformation based on cloud, information security and deep learning has been a key area of focus for businesses in terms of their digital investment and achieving the digital milestones. This is expected to stay relevant in the coming years as businesses across all industries have relied on technology as an agent to increase profitability, sustainability, scalability, and efficiency, among many others. As we move towards a new year with new possibilities and the ongoing 5G rollout, there are technological capabilities, trends, and services that are expected to be a priority for businesses.
It can be predicted that the growing amount of data being generated, along with the increased use of 5G across industries, and limitations in human data processing and retention abilities will lead to an increasing demand for deep learning neural networks prescribing techniques to enable the business. This is expected to boost Analytics adoption in the near term and contribute to the rapid adoption of internet of things (IoT) strategies, cloud computing, and other technologies. Therefore, businesses will prioritize investments in building a technological infrastructure capable of supporting Deep Learning, IoT, Information Security and cloud adaptation to secure their digital investments across various sectors in the coming years. According to experts, the metaverse will contribute $5 trillion to the world economy by 2030, and 2023 will be the year that determines the metaverse’s course for the following ten years. The fields of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will develop further. The metaverse workplace is one to keep an eye on; in 2023, I feel we’ll have more immersive meeting spaces where we can collaborate, brainstorm, and create together. Stopping carbon emissions so we can address the global warming crisis is one of the largest challenges the world is now facing. Green hydrogen, a novel clean-burning energy source with almost no greenhouse gas emissions, will continue to advance in 2023.”
Saurabh Saxena, Intuit India Site Leader & Vice President, Product Development
“The past two years have prompted a surge in the use of digital technologies leading to accelerated digital transformation. 2023 will be about witnessing how technologies such as AI, ML, Web3, the metaverse and others will continue to evolve and support business transformation including understanding consumer behaviour, needs and practices.
The FinTech market will experience a massive and fundamental change due to the advancements in these technologies which are redefining security models, structures & systems, capabilities and creating connected, customised, and immersive experiences in companies. For example, Web3 will provide more control for users that will fundamentally affect FinTech by speeding decentralization. We’re going to experience fewer building blocks in FinTech, and these building blocks will be critical for companies and for those using embedded finance. We’ll see superhighways that become the consumer-trusted data and information connection between companies.
Security practitioners and the industry as a whole will have much better tools and much faster information at their disposal, and they should be able to isolate security risks with much greater precision. As data protection concerns grow globally, we will see many organisations unlock their potential to possess data safely, responsibly, and compliantly. Businesses will aim to increase investments in new technologies to ensure that personally identifiable data enable more collaboration and analysis, more protective data sharing, and foster a privacy-by-design approach to product development.”
Rahul Joshi, CTO at Movate (earlier CSS Corp)
“There’s no doubt that cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate. From making it possible for employees to work remotely, allowing flexible hours, to making business communication and collaboration a lot easier, while also amplifying the company’s growth by modernizing operations and expanding IT capabilities – cloud computing has given us all!
- Investment in cloud security and resilience: The industry will keep spending on cyber security and building resilience against everything from data loss to the impact of a pandemic on global business in the coming years. At Movate, we have made investments in our Contelli platform which offers great cloud security and resilience. Our solutions combined with industry leading solutions gives a greater real-time detection and prevention of known and unknown threats.
- Multi-cloud to become popular strategy: In 2023, most businesses will start leveraging the advantages of diversifying their services to different cloud providers taking a multi-cloud approach. This approach offers several benefits, including improved flexibility and security with no vendor lock-in.
- Low-code and no-code cloud services: We can expect continued innovation in the field of hyper-scale cloud services. Low-code and no-code solutions are becoming available for building AI-powered applications for companies wanting to leverage AI/ML without getting into the complex coding job. Many of these services are provided via the cloud, i.e., people can access them “as-a-service” This trend will pick up in the upcoming years. At Movate, we have built our Analytics and BI platform on top of LCNC platform. This has helped us to reduce our GTM over ~60%. This also enabled our business users to develop the dashboards on their own through DIY model.
- Leveraging the efficiency of the cloud to meet sustainability goals: Today, sustainability is the most critical criterion in IT buying decisions. Organizations will continue to shift towards sustainable efficiencies by leveraging software and cloud-based infrastructures.
- Innovation and consolidation in cloud gaming: We all enjoy binge-watching and listening to music. Thanks to the cloud that has brought us streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, etc., revolutionizing the way we consume content today. Although, streaming video gaming is taking a little longer to gain a foothold as it requires higher bandwidth than music or videos. With the ongoing rollout of 5G and other ultra-fast networking technologies, 2023 could be the year cloud gaming will impact.
Developments in AI/ML in 2023
Out of all the technologies that have been introduced into the mainstream over the last few years, AI has proven to be one of the biggest buzzwords in the IT industry. Every year new use cases are being discovered and are becoming feasible with advances in AI and efficient hardware. Here are a few examples that can help companies to be more efficient in leveraging AI:
- Advanced Cybersecurity: AI and ML can be used to enforce best cybersecurity practices, reduce attack surfaces, and track malicious activity proactively. More and more companies will start to invest in building AI systems that can analyze large volumes of data, including malicious code, malware, and code anomalies, to help cybersecurity teams identify potential threats. At Movate, we are leveraging AI to fight AI-powered cyber-attacks, where AI and ML-based algorithms adapt to new threats faster than humans, as they can quickly spot the similarities between the new generation of malware and cyberattacks and others.
- Efficiency in IT Operations: As machine data explodes, businesses are in a race to find value in their data and stay competitive. However, metadata initiatives are failing, and data discovery and retrieval is becoming challenging. This paves the way for the Growth of AI-as-a-Service. The emergence of the industrial internet and the integration of complex physical machines with networked sensors and software have forced these two areas to work together to improve resiliency, availability, and cybersecurity. Observability and controllability are areas of focus as organizations leverage AIOPs and data initiatives to make enhanced correlation with increased adoption of SRE, DevOps, APM and other technologies.
- Customer Service Excellence: I believe AI can help provide personalized customer serviceby leveraging the data pertaining to demographics, past interactions, choice of channels, improved self-service, and enhanced search capabilities. Interestingly, we are seeing rapid adoption of voice bots/self-service, which leverage conversational AI, NLP, and deep learning capabilities not just for informational use cases but for complex self-service use cases, including interactions with multiple systems. Additionally, AI helps reduce customer effort by providing excellent search and next-best actions based on historical transactions.”
Sameer Goyal, Director & Head of Engineering, Strategic Initiatives, Acuity Knowledge Partners
“The pandemic “forced” everyone to look at technology to help sustain. The last several years have seen significant advancements in and adoption of technology. Cloud, AI/ML, Big Data Analytics and SaaS (Software as a Service) have been at the forefront of this change, and I firmly believe that they will continue their dominance in 2023 and beyond.
Financial technology or fintech as it is popularly known, has been probably one of the biggest beneficiaries of these advancements and the widespread adoption of modern technologies. Although, one of the most regulated sectors globally, fintech must thank the regulators for being accommodating and in certain jurisdictions, like India, leading the adoption and acceleration of technology from the front.
In my opinion, fintech will see further advancement and growth in the adoption of Cloud as constituents of the financial markets, be it the lenders, borrowers, asset managers, investors (institutional including private equity & VC as well as retail) or insurers, look for financial as well as operational efficiencies.
Software as a Service (SaaS) aka Banking as a Service (BaaS)
As ‘embedded finance’ becomes more acceptable and popular and service providers go far and beyond to woo customers by offering hyper-personalization of services, SaaS will see tremendous growth and eventually come out to be the winner. Cloud has a big role to play here.
Artificial Intelligence & Rise of Big Data Analytics
AI/ML advancement, both academically and practically, will enable fintech to automate newer areas in workflows and processing, including but not limited to loan origination, customer screening, opportunity & deal validation, customer servicing and more. Even the sky is not the limit anymore.
Regulators across the globe are leading technology adoption and advancements. Technology-aided regulatory compliance like eKYC, AML & transaction monitoring, investment compliance, ESG reporting, and monitoring will see newer innovation and adoption. AI/ML and opportunities presented by Cloud adoption will help this space further.”
In 2022, India crossed the halfway mark towards the five-year goal of becoming $5 trillion by 2024-25. While the country has covered a lot of ground (pandemic notwithstanding), a lot still needs to be covered. Credit penetration in most living expenditure categories is less than 5% for households. MSMEs also lack access to formal credit, with more than 60% relying on costly informal sources of credit. Banks, NBFCs, fintech players, small finance banks, who play a mainstream role in India’s economic growth, remain constrained by inefficient credit flow cycles due to inefficient debt recovery processes. Traditional debt collection methods, which are mostly manual, slow and costly, make loan recovery at scale a challenge.
The emergence of SaaS startups with innovative approaches has helped the debt collections industry fast track their digitisation initiatives and it will be one of the major factors driving the market growth in 2023. The new digital and data-driven collections models are compliant with evolving regulatory norms, customer-centric and a profitable path for lenders. The focus is gradually shifting towards managing the borrower’s experience rather than just collecting the dues. Technology would have a greater say in how debt collection strategies are formulated and implemented, thereby significantly reducing the time taken as well as the cost of recovery. Big Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and NLP will remove aggressive recovery tactics by humans to a more balanced and humane approach.
The uncertainties in the economies globally coupled with innovations in consumer lending and a differentiated customer experience are driving the demand for advanced technology solutions in collections. We are already working with some of the leading lenders in India and Southeast Asia and we are very excited by the response that we are getting. “
Atul Rai, CEO and Co-founder of Staqu
AI-based Startup- Industry-specific Analytical views on 2022
“Investments in artificial intelligence (AI) start-ups grew steadily in the years preceding and following the COVID-19 pandemic, as this ground-breaking technology displayed its potential to promote people’s lives. In 2022, venture capitalists partnered with a large number of promising early-stage start-ups in disciplines where artificial intelligence can have a notable influence, such as health care, climate science, retail, security, and education, and where AI tools can empower individuals by assisting them in being more productive and meaningful”
Hitesh Garg, India Country Manager, NXP Semiconductors on the shift in the advancement of technologies along with the step forward in next-generation technology in 2023.
“India has been fuelled by innovation to become one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, especially with programmes like “Digital India” and “Make in India”. These initiatives have opened a plethora of opportunities to innovate in the new gen-tech across industries. According to NASSCOM, the Indian engineering, R&D development market’s share of the global market is anticipated to increase by 12–13% CAGR to reach US$63 billion by 2025.
With the introduction of new technologies like Metaverse, augmented reality, and virtual reality, people in the physical world are now able to experience the digital world, and 2023 will see more of this trend. As consumer demand increases and products and services will become more energy-efficient, we will focus on developing supply networks and sustainable technology in 2023.
The increase in demand has further created a need for more faster, smaller, and efficient semiconductor chips to ensure that the infrastructure and technology are prepared to shift to Industry 4.0. Therefore, at NXP, we focus on creating a smarter and more connected world with the next gen-tech. In addition to this, we are focusing on vehicle electrification, smart infrastructure, and in the upcoming time, we will also be working on new gen-tech like digital keys, AI accelerators, etc.”
Arpit Jain, Founder and CEO of GreedyGame
“Now that 5G services have also been released in India, the AdTtech industry, which is already in its golden age, will receive a boost. As the use of smartphones and apps increases, the last mile of rural internet connectivity will aid in the advancement of the sector. Additionally, machine learning and artificial intelligence will be used more to boost efficiency. It is clear that performance-based and customer-focused marketing strategies will take precedence. We will witness evolving communication methods and solution-driven technologies. India’s future potential in the ad tech industry is boundless as a result of the growth of the virtual population and digital technologies. Further, new employment with a variety of responsibilities will be created. 2023 will undoubtedly see the AdTech sector flourish.”
Krishna Mohan Jha, Founder and CEO at Nine Triangles
“2022 has been a year of V shape recovery across industries in India, mostly on account of domestic demands, easing of pandemic, pent-up and revenge spending. However, the Ukraine war, energy crisis in Europe, rising interest rates across the globe (to tame inflation) and, now looming fear of Covid resurgence – all of this is giving enough signal for caution for 2023. Owing to cost cutting pressure, the pace of growth of spending on Marketing is sure to take a hit – digital would be no different. Consolidation of existing businesses, focus on value delivery, performance and adoption of emerging technology are few things that agency businesses would need to focus to tide over uncertain times.”
Pritika Singh, CEO of Prayag Hospitals group
“The year 2022 was marked by a digital revolution in the healthcare industry post-pandemic which saw the adoption of innovative technologies like AI and IoT. Other healthcare industry trends that were in limelight this year were telemedicine, immersive technology, and 3D printing, among others. There has been a growing focus on improving the holistic well-being of patients as well, through yoga and meditation centers. Considering current trends, 2023 will see further changes and innovations in pharmacy, telehealth, and medical research. So, the next year will see a holistic approach toward healthcare along with incorporating advanced medical equipment. As we know, around 80% of healthcare is run by the private sector, so the health industry will expect the Government to give adequate importance to them in the upcoming budget. There will be a focus on patient-centric healthcare systems in the next year as well, a trend that we saw in 2022.”
Kumar Gaurav Gupta, VP & Country Manager – Indian subcontinent, SAP Concur
“Technology has incredibly changed and enhanced the working model. As there was an impact on businesses due to COVID -19, going virtual has proven to be a valuable addition to many companies’ business toolkits. In this virtual work mode, technology continues to play an essential role in ensuring policy compliance, cost and operational efficiency while providing guidance to the management.
As companies shift to building more proactive strategies, they will make plans to adopt next-gen like AI, ML, Blockchain, and cloud computing to achieve such visibility, helping them build resiliency within their organization. Technology continues to change and enhance how we work in incredible ways considering its impact the overall management. From early, fundamental accounting software for finance leaders, to more approachable cloud solutions for the employees, to the introduction of smartphone applications and utilization of 5G on the go, technology has enhanced the employee experience. As we look ahead, data insights and intelligence will also play a significant role in helping end users do their jobs more effectively to deliver more value to an organization.”
“2022 for us was more of a learning year for us. The reason to state this is because any technology when introduced in the market takes some time for getting its fair share of market acceptance. The same was the case with SuperBot. A technology which was built with the vision of Disrupting Calling, needed a lot of education, to make businesses understand what it does, how it does and what benefit it brings to them. Initially, we were trying to make everyone understand the technology, but later we realised that it’s the challenges and pain points of the businesses which need to be first identified and then addressed. That’s when we changed our approach, and instead of educating people about technology, we started discussing how SuperBot can help address all the communication-related challenges. Guess what? It worked for us!
And as stated by Bob Dole, “The best way to cope with change is to help create it”, its now that we have started getting our share of market acceptance. The name of the SuperBot has spread, and the technology is now known to businesses. Following this, we are now all set to enter 2023, to expand SuperBot in a full-fledged manner. When we say expansion it includes everything from technological upgrades, to coming up with more industry-specific use cases, supporting more languages as well as offering it in the international demography. We are really looking forward to the new year and to achieving the scalability which we have planned and projected.”
Ankit Ruia, Co-founder, and CTO of SuperBot (PinnacleWorks)
“If we talk about 2022, it has been another year of a roller coaster ride for us. Because let’s keep the business perspective apart, being the Co-Founder and CTO, one thing which has always stayed on my priority list is to make SuperBot as advanced and smart as possible. But the journey, which might sound easy is a difficult one. Be it developing the Real-Time Fulfillment Functionality, which is yet offered by none at least in the Indian Market, building in-house ASRs with efficiency as high as 85% and introducing the DIY Platform, etc has their own challenges to overcome.
But today while standing at the end of the year, when once those features and functionalities which seemed next to impossible to introduce in such a short span, are live and working perfectly fine today, gives a sense of achievement. Talking about the next year, we are having expansion plans to enter the International Markets very soon, while spreading the wings to almost all the industrial segments in India & helping them address their communication needs. So yeah while keeping my eyes on the stars and feet on the ground, as said by Theodore Roosevelt, I am looking forward to the year 2023 and am all set to make SuperBot more and more advanced for disrupting calling in the near future. “
Johnson Varkey, Director – Digital Workplace, NTT Ltd. In India
The Digital modern workplace – why intelligent workplaces are the future of working
“The regular cubicle-based workplace system transitioned about 2 years ago with the onset of the pandemic. Today, the merging of physical and virtual spaces has led to the emergence of the intelligent, modern, and digital workplace. This is where the adoption of digital systems is transforming work and enabling organizations to seek talent that relies on social intelligence, people skills and human ingenuity, among others. The modern workplace is an entirely new avenue at the intersection of multiple technologies, people, and operating models. Additionally, the millennial workforce is all about experience, digital-friendliness, and self-service options. Organizations have therefore accelerated their investment into new technologies and are including some essential elements as part of their workplace strategies. These include cloud enablement for anytime, anywhere access; persona-based collaboration for holistic interactions; zero-incidence management for no-latency resolutions; hyper automation that compliments the workforce; and flexibility in all aspects. At NTT, we are also constantly working towards tapping into solutions that offer superior employee experience through technology and therefore, enable employee productivity and empower teams to deliver seamless and always-on services.”
Deepa Param Singhal, Vice President, Cloud Applications, Oracle India
“At Oracle, sustainability has been a key priority and will continue to be in the coming years as well. We have set a goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions to halve across our operations and supply chain by 2030, compared to a baseline of 2020. Sticking through our core philosophy of Oracle@Oracle and Cloud adoption has helped us rethink and relook at all aspects of our business from a different outlook and transform into a business model that can enable us to reduce emissions and cut down operational costs. By following our core ethics, we have been able to achieve ecosystem benefits including, reducing logistics emissions by more than 40% from a 2015 baseline, reusing or recycling more than 99% of decommissioned hardware, and associating with suppliers to meet our sustainability goals—more than 60% of both our indirect and direct suppliers have emissions reduction targets.
Not just this, through dramatic gains in computing efficiency, and reduced resource consumption by leveraging the elasticity of the cloud to rapidly deploy computing resources, we have further reduced energy consumption. To make ESG part of our everyday business, we also distribute data across a single SaaS Solution to access the right data. We have also embedded ESG into the skeletal structure of finance, human resource operations, manufacturing ,and procurement to operationalize sustainability further.
In the coming year, our core agenda will also be to fortify our current ESG practises while empowering our employees, partners and customers to understand this well. Ensuring the health of our planet demands a strong and steady action as there is ‘No Planet B’ for us.”