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Focus, fighting and fulfillment - three key technology themes for 2023

Richard Timperlake Profile picture for user Richard Timperlake December 12, 2022
Summary:
From fighting crime to fulfilling customer demand, Richard Timperlake of Confluent looks at the vital conversations businesses need to be having as the year draws to a close.

Targets of focus for tech hand with dart on tech radar © sutadimages - Shutterstock
(© sutadimages - Shutterstock)

One of the first predictions when the pandemic struck was that tech would become more important to businesses than ever before, if they were to survive the macroeconomic situation we found ourselves in globally. That proved to be true and as The Economist put it, the tech industry ‘appeared to be sitting on cloud nine’.

Focus on efficiencies

Fast forward to the global economic crisis we are in now and tech is still a core focus for survival, but along with that comes a business need for efficiency. Tech is a great component for this but it needs to prove its worth now more than ever.

Implementing the right technology that takes away the mundane tasks to upskill the workforce is one focus we’re discussing often with businesses. A growing business needs to do exactly that – grow. But with efficiencies needed, for example with talent, one great way to still achieve success is to ensure that the workforce you have works on the most valuable work. The lower-level, repeatable tasks can be left to technology if done right. 

It would be remiss of me to talk about making efficiencies without talking about cloud adoption. Our customer AO.com adopted Confluent Cloud and explains that “before Confluent, when we had broker outages that required rebuilds, it could take up to three days of developer time to resolve. Now Confluent takes care of everything for us, so our developers can focus on building new features and applications”. Jon Vines, Software Development Team Lead. 

Technology can also help to find efficiencies within a business if it's implemented in a way that works this way. Using modern data pipelines to tie relevant data together the platform can use the data available to make smart, cost-effective decisions quickly. Using data in this way, a retailer can see how well stock is moving, and perhaps the cost could be increased with very popular items, or more ordered quickly, and equally see where items are sitting taking up space in stock rooms when they could be reduced and cleared to be replaced by higher ticket items.

Opportunities fighting crime

According to Fintrail:

Historically mortgage fraud, identity theft, and employee-related schemes have all increased during economic recessions, including the 2008 Great Recession, as have other smaller-scale frauds and scams.

This is a key theme that we see our finance services customers talk to us about more and more in this economic climate, and I am sure it’ll remain a huge focus throughout 2023. 

Along with fraud and financial crime, cyber security is increasingly top of mind for CIOs and CISOs. As we cultivate more progressive advances in security technology, cyber crimes also become more complex. Huge leaps have been taken in this area to fight these crimes over the past few years. I expect that like fraud and financial crime, cyber security will be a huge focus in 2023, and the current economy will magnify this.

Demanding customers – internally and externally

I revert back to Richard Branson’s age-old quote that happy employees equal happy customers. We’ve historically looked at customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) separately, and have slowly moved to talking about the experience economy. We are now increasingly having conversations with CIOs and CDOs about the total experience (TX), and some companies even have Experience Officers in place.

I’ve always advised customers that going back to Richard Branson’s theory, employee happiness leads to customer happiness, and if you can get this right it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy which will help with a company's bottom line and talent retention in the long term.

I firmly believe that even though we all need to buckle up for a bumpy ride in 2023, focusing on experience should stay top of mind. By implementing great technology that can give a business real-time data-backed decisions and take away mundane tasks that uplevel your workforce can work in harmony with making efficiencies, and creating great experiences for all.

These are the conversations I am positive we will continue to have throughout 2023 and I urge any businesses who are struggling in these areas along with financial and cyber security to start having conversations that matter now. 

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