Technology is key to building business resilience in 2023

Leaders in Northern Ireland are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to harness the value of data and create more intelligent products and services that keep pace with the changing needs of consumers
Jason Ward

THIS has been a year in which organisations across Northern Ireland embraced hybrid working and increased their reliance on technology to reach new customers and to keep one step ahead of competitors. But as the pace of digital transformation accelerated, businesses have had to face new and evolving cyber risks.

As we look ahead to a new year, breakthrough technologies will come to the fore to help businesses in Northern Ireland to navigate new economic challenges while enabling a hybrid workforce to innovate at speed.

In 2023, technology will enhance the resilience of businesses. Artificial intelligence (AI) will become an engine of growth next year as it is adopted in every organisation - irrespective of size.

Although a partnership between Ulster University and Dell Technologies as part of the Belfast Region City Deal is demonstrating the potential of this technology to advance digital healthcare, 2023 is a year we expect the real-world use of AI and machine learning to accelerate.

Across Northern Ireland, leaders are turning to AI to harness the value of data and create more intelligent products and services that keep pace with the changing needs of consumers.

For decades, quantum computing has only been accessible to the world's largest research institutions and government agencies. But in 2023, industry in Northern Ireland will pilot the use of quantum and harness its advanced computing capabilities to speed up innovation. Healthcare and finance are two sectors where the impact of quantum will begin to be felt.

With a significant number of organisations embracing a hybrid future, technology will come to make or break the employee experience next year.

No longer seen as ‘added extras', new tools and devices will not only shape how we work from home, but they will also help transform the role of the office, so it becomes a space for collaboration. That will enable businesses to provide employees with a consistent and productive work experience, not defined by where they work.

Today, every business is a digital business. But with the rise in the volume of data being created, organisations of all sizes are prime targets for cyber attackers. And with cyber attacks occurring globally every 11 seconds, it's no longer a matter of “if” a business will encounter an attack, but “when”.

That's why business leaders will need to focus on building a culture of security at every level in 2023. With ever evolving ransomware attacks and the need to keep a hybrid workforce secure, cyber resilience will become intrinsic to business resilience.

In the wake of COP27 in Egypt and Northern Ireland's Climate Change Act, IT will play an ever-greater role in helping organisations achieve their environment, social and governance (ESG) goals.

Over the coming weeks, IT teams will play an ever more important role in developing the right metrics and accessing data from across the business to reliably track emissions and measure progress. Applying AI and machine learning can help to identify opportunities within an organisation to reduce waste or to promote more efficient farming practices.

But above all, 2023 is the year to invest in long-term change. Businesses will increasingly need technology to navigate a volatile world and fuel new ideas and solutions that will help protect the planet.

Although the coming year will bring knowns and new surprises, I'm optimistic that breakthrough technologies will unlock new benefits for businesses and organisations and make 2023 a transformative year.

By looking to the horizon and identifying the technology trends that will shape the economy in Northern Ireland, we can support private and public sector organisations to adapt, innovate and remain resilient.

:: Jason Ward is vice-president and managing director of Dell Technologies Ireland and Northern Ireland