ORLANDO, Fla. — IT leaders need to take quick action to update how their businesses work, invest sustainably, and reduce cyber risk as financial uncertainty looms, according to analysts at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2022, in Orlando, Florida.
But the set of actions can, and should, adapt to where businesses are in their journey — and where their priorities lie.
"Choose the technologies that match the ambitions and risk appetite of your organization," said Paul Proctor, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "If you want to stay ahead of the pack, hyped up emerging technologies may be for you. If you're responsible for public health or safety and welfare, then more mature technologies may be a better fit for your strategy and mission."
A souring global economy and its potential implications for business are top of mind for executives, analysts said.
Underlying causes of the economic troubles also represent key leadership concerns, from shifting consumer patterns to a shrinking labor pool.
To respond to disruption, here's what IT leaders ought to consider as they shape technology strategies for 2023:
Technology sits at the epicenter of the talent crisis, but also of its potential solution, said Tina Nunno, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner.
"IT now matters more than ever in the recruitment, retention and high performance of all enterprise employees," said Nunno.
Technology is a source of friction — in the job application process, for example — which can deter the business from capturing in-demand talent, Nunno said. Having the right technology on hand can help retain workers, as work satisfaction continues to hinge on the tools workers have at their disposal.
Environmental and social change is of key interest to investors, said Kristin Moyer, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner. But they are still looking for positive financial outcomes.
That's where responsible investments come in. This subset of technologies can have a duplicative effect: beyond mere financial motivations, this category of technologies also yield environmental and social change impact.
"The next phase of digital will power sustainability outcomes," said Moyer. "Digital and sustainability create a virtuous cycle — digital increases the sustainability maturity and sustainability increases digital maturity."
Examples include intelligent connected infrastructure (ICI), which is a combination of AI, IoT and ML in use at cities such as Coral Gables, Florida, to improve public safety.
Protect your business and brand
Businesses are under fire daily, with IT organizations fending off a complex and growing threat landscape. Insider threats, supply chain attacks and ransomware gangs are testing technology leaders.
"We need to treat resilience cybersecurity as a business problem, not a technical one," said Proctor.
To uphold the defenses and navigate the growing threat landscape, companies should develop strategies, manage their attack surfaces, protect critical business outcomes and processes and use outcome-driven metrics (ODMs) and protection-level agreements (PLAs) to gauge where the organization sits in terms of its security stance.