As is his annual tradition, Ulrich Petré looks back at the past year to reflect on the evolution of our digital society. Drawing inspiration from this, he always tries to make a new prediction in terms of digital transformation trends for the new year.
Here is his top 3 digital transformation trends for 2023!
Trend #1: Groundbreaking impact of AI
In our daily lives, we already unconsciously use Artificial Intelligence extensively: voice recognition in digital assistants such as Siri or Alexia, algorithms that recommend movies and TV series on Netflix, adjust the itinerary to changing traffic conditions and much more.
Even in factories and warehouses, AI is gaining ground: automation of production processes, prediction of maintenance needs, drones for security, etc… Productivity growth no longer depends on the employee. If a business leader deploys AI in the right way, employees’ work can become more enjoyable and efficient. Think of robots on the production line ensuring that factory workers no longer get their hands on faulty or defective products.
AI is also increasingly reaching creatives and knowledge workers. Recent models of generative AI move from cool functionalities to actual professional user scenarios. Generative AI saw a strong rise in 2022 and is focused on creating new things such as texts (e.g. ChatGPT), images (e.g. Dall-E 2) and videos (e.g. Synthesia).
In the coming year, we’ll see the progression of more and more people starting to use AI to support their operations. The looming economic recession may well accelerate this progress as business leaders may be forced to cut energy and labour costs.
Trend #2: Even more cyber attacks
As mentioned in the previous trend, digital technologies are increasingly finding their way into our lives and work. If we learn to use these technologies consciously, we can increasingly use them to our advantage, creating valuable lives, sustainable careers, successful businesses and an inclusive digital society.
But many people forget to think about their security in the process. This has already led to a lot of financial, productivity and reputation losses in recent years. The number of cyber incidents in 2022 was almost 40% higher than it had been two years earlier. The impact of cyber attacks even made headlines in the last weeks of 2022. The Antwerp and Diest city services and the Zwijndrecht police fell victim to cyber criminals.
For 2023, I predict that cybercriminals will apply the ‘the more, the better’ principle even more, but they’ll also get smarter with their cyberattacks. Think of Ransomware-as-a-service or advanced cyber attacks developed by machine learning. For part of the cybercriminals, it’s no longer just about stealing data, but also about leaving a trail of destruction (e.g. wiperware).
As the likelihood of a cyber attack increases, it’s important for both individuals and organisations to pay due attention to cybersecurity to ensure the safety of your identity, your data and your systems. Cybersecurity is more important than ever in 2023.
Trend #3: No more excuses for digital inclusion
All our jobs and daily lives require some form of digital awareness. It’s no longer just about having the right digital skills, but also about having a robust toolset and a learn-it-all mindset.
Yet today as high as 40% of the Belgian population is at risk of being excluded from the increasingly digitalised society.
By 2023, no one should have an excuse not to engage in digital inclusion. The divide between those who have access and can effectively use digital technologies and those who do not must be narrowed urgently. Otherwise, the consequences will be very dire for our society, economy and prosperity. Governments, education, organisations and citizens need to work together on digital inclusion. They need to make their citizens, students, employees and close family members and friends more digitally aware through initiatives such as providing access to digital technologies, developing learning enthusiasm and strengthening 21st-century skills.
Do you have more questions about digitalisation? Are you curious about how you can support your employees in terms of digitalisation? Be sure to contact us!