Technological trends to expect in 2023

Wednesday, January 4th, 2023 11:46 | By
Tech trends signage. PHOTO/Courtesy

It is said that global spending on information technology is set to increase by about five per cent to USD$4.6 trillion (Sh567.87 trillion) this year as more businesses shift to digital transformation. 

Kenya itself is staring at a digital transformation across the country starting with the access to government services, browsing the Internet, earning from the digital space, employment as well as access to education.

President William Ruto, in his speech during the 59th Jamhuri Day celebrations said it all when he promised to install 100,000 kilometres of digital highway in form of fiber optic cables to enable internet access in every part of the country.

This is expected to serve 29,000 schools, 26,000 markets and 8.5 million homes with access to electricity.  All payments for government services shall be made through eCitizen, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u further announced.

Despite the fact that the country is a trailblazer when it comes to adopting technology in mobile money and e-commerce and digitisation of services, Meta President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg said at the event that more transitions should be anticipated as the internet is expected to transition to the metaverse, which is the future of the internet.

Metaverse market growth

“We see the potential of the metaverse and want Africa to be central to its development that’s why we launched the XR programmes and research funds. A two-year Sh1.8 billion investment to build the metaverse responsible, including the support for African creators and developers,” said Clegg.

The next shift will be artificial intelligence (AI), which will become more prevalent this year with natural language processing and machine learning advancement.

“ AI and Machine learning will continue to be a huge innovation for the entire industry in the coming years. With AI platforms, such as ChatGPT being available to the general public, it opens up new possibilities, as well as challenges.  Big data will also be necessary for the learning of these technologies that then will see platforms, such as social media and retail platforms build more data collection points. A.I will continuously be sought to assist to solve problem in different markets, such as agriculture,” observes Amos Gichiri, Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Fundis Limited.

AI driven products

“AI will be big thanks to chat GPT and open AI.  Towards the end of last year we saw very many people use chat GPT thing to write essays do emails and so forth. There were so many people using it just to show you that AI will be a big thing since people are investing in AI driven products,” says Alex Mativo founder of Nanasi app.

The year 2023 will also see a fresh viewpoint on the connectivity of 5G and cloud computing, which is seen as one of the most crucial technological fields, which will ensure connectivity in remote areas. The world will also switch to be Hyper-Connected, Intelligent World, which is also known as the Internet of Things (IoT).  Experts indicate that it’s impact will be felt more strongly this year with a focus on enabling more useful, as well as complex machine-to-machine interactions.

This will result in the creation of privacy enhancing technologies (PETs). For example, AI companies would require the use of human data to train machine learning tools, such as Siri, Alexa, and self-driving cars and PET as a way to secure data. The year will also see the delivery of hosted services through the internet referred to as “cloud computing”.  Since many businesses began operating online in 2020 and 2021 were, the year 2022 was the year of hybrid cloud (a combined computing, storage, and service environment composed of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services, and a public cloud), which will explode in 2023. 

According to Gartner, global public cloud spending will increase by 20.7 per cent to USD$591.8 billion (Sh73 trillion) in 2023 compared to USD$490.3 billion (Sh60.5 trillion) in 2022.

Companies will begin to see the benefits of distributing their services around a number of cloud providers and a multi-cloud approach, a method that is perceived to grow this year since it has lots of benefits, such as flexibility and security.

“The year will also see the invention of payment gateways in Africa. A lot of investment has also been put in the fin-tech space within the continent, but gaps still remain. This provides opportunities for new companies to emerge or for the existing to stretch and fill those spaces,” observes Amos.

Coding in curriculum

Amos adds that E-learning will also be on the front this year and Kenya has been on the forefront in Africa towards ensuring all learnerst in primary school have access to computers. “Schools have begun engaging students through smartphones and tablets. The engagement is still nascent and needs continous reiteration to improve efficiency. Kenya has also pushed to have coding taught as a subject in schools. Legal Tech will also grow as there is a continuous need for legal service and the current system is very slow, inefficient and expensive,” he continues.

Most businesses will also be focused on sustainable technology this year as it has become crucial for industries to minimise their carbon footprint.

Social Media Marketing Consultant Janet Michuka says 2023 will see social audio become the new radio. Social-audio apps, such as Pludo, Clubhouse, Beams, Quest, and Racket have gained popularity since the previous year and more marketers, product teams and up-and-coming competitors are beginning to explore the strategies that are encouraging more users to the app.

“We will also see the growth and growth of communities. Other inventions to look out for, include Twitter Spaces and LinkedIn Audio spaces. The microphones are becoming the most powerful innovation space. We will see more adoption of microphones (audio command) to open doors, sanitary pad cans, toilets flash, taps in almost every other thing,” she says.

Eyes on crypto currency

The opportunities that will exist in the digital space, include training small businesses on how to use digital gadgets and the internet.  “People can also build their online shop or business online,” she says.

Crypto currency will also be a hot topic of debate this year because of the collapse of FTX, which handled around USD$1 billion (Sh123.4 billion) transactions daily. “Its collapse is having a knock on effect on other crypto exchanges. The collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire late last year has piled pressure on the industry since it ended up being a Ponzi scheme. Most people will be keen on seeing how the court proceedings go. So many people lost their cash and many governments will be keen on regulating it,” says Amos.

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