Jan 05 2023

2023 Tech Trends: These 3 Developments Will Keep Enterprises Busy

Large businesses will focus on cybersecurity managed detection and response, application modernization and evolving their hybrid cloud environments.
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With 2022 behind us and enterprises looking to 2023 and beyond, the horizon is hazy. There are conflicting opinions among experts about whether the U.S. economy will experience a recession in 2023, and higher-than-normal inflation is expected to linger but come down next year, experts say.

What does all of this mean for businesses and the technologies they rely on to meet customers’ demands? For one thing, they’ll have to be nimbler than ever. “For the next several years, leading technology providers must play a leading role in helping enterprises navigate the current storms of disruption,” Rick Villars, IDC’s group vice president of worldwide research, says in the firm’s IDC FutureScape 2023 presentation.

Enterprises’ use of managed detection and response (MDR) tools for cybersecurity, their need to modernize legacy applications and their continued use of hybrid cloud infrastructure are expected to be among the key technology trends to watch in 2023, industry analysts say. Here’s a closer look at those trends.

1. Zero Trust and MDR Will Help Bolster Enterprises’ Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a constant concern for enterprises, and it’s not difficult to see why. A June 2022 report from Zscaler found that ransomware attacks had increased 80 percent year over year. Yet many enterprises are updating their cybersecurity strategies to focus on risk mitigation as a business investment rather than taking aim at ransomware or other specific threats.

One priority will be a continued investment in zero-trust architecture. Research firm Gartner predicts that 60 percent of organizations will use zero trust as a starting point for cybersecurity by 2025.

Craig Robinson, research vice president for security services at IDC, notes that zero trust is a journey, so a business’s use of it depends on where it started. Many enterprises have focused on a key pillar of zero trust, identity and access management, he notes. Roughly half of organizations have cybersecurity insurance, but enterprises will need to continue to mature IAM and authentication controls to maintain that coverage.

 

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Managed detection and response is one of the fastest-growing security services, Robinson says, because it allows enterprises to quickly meet anti-fraud and cybersecurity maturity guidelines required by cyber insurance firms. “To be able to offload that onto organizations whose core competency is detecting and responding to attacks is a game changer in terms of raising your maturity,” he says.

Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO, says enterprises are also likely going to embrace MDR— human intelligence at an outside firm — as a cybersecurity tool. MDR provides 24/7 threat monitoring, detection and response capabilities, including threat hunting, across all of an organization’s threat vectors. Enterprises will turn to MDR to become more “proactive” about threat detection and response, Schulz says.

“That’s trying to find out where those vulnerabilities are and how did they happen? How did somebody get in? How did something occur?” he says. “And of course, being able to roll that back if something does happen.”

Many enterprises probably won’t outsource all their threat detection and response tasks, Robinson says, but will instead use MDR firms to supplement their internal efforts. “You’ll have well-defined playbooks in terms of what situations the provider responds to, what situations the client responds to or where do they do it together,” he says.

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82%

The percentage of organizations that have adopted hybrid cloud

Source: Cisco, 2022 Global Hybrid Cloud Trends Report, May 2022

2. Microservices and Containers Will Help Modernize Enterprise Applications

As they boost cybersecurity, enterprises are also likely to continue to modernize their legacy applications in 2023. Legacy apps are often monolithic, containing millions of lines of code, says Katie Norton, IDC’s senior research analyst for DevOps and DevSecOps. They are also often challenging to update and costly to maintain.

Over the past several years, enterprises have adopted different approaches to modernizing such internal applications. One is a microservices architecture, which structures an application as a suite of loosely coupled services that implement business capabilities, Norton says, allowing rapid changes to be “propagated to individual modules within an application, enabling rapid application updates and changes.”

LEARN: Why AI powered SecOps are key for cybersecurity.

Another is containerization, in which “developers can create ephemeral production environments that can be cloned to test changes and liquidated once their purpose has been served, empowering application developers to try new innovative ideas,” Norton says. Containers also make it easier for businesses to “change between different programming frameworks or deployment platforms because they are shielded from the underlying deployment environment.”

In terms of maturity, an IDC survey found that more than half of organizations say they are piloting or regularly using microservices, with about another quarter planning their implementation, Norton says. For containers, she says, IDC research indicates that enterprise deployment of containers is “modest currently but is expected to grow over the next five years to become a significant part of enterprise infrastructure.”

“I believe that in 2023, we will continue to see enterprises adopt these technologies both in net-new application development and in the continued modernization of legacy applications,” Norton adds. “The expansion of DevOps across the enterprise will also contribute to increased demand for microservices and container management solutions, as they are the optimal infrastructure today for this methodology.”

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3. Hybrid Cloud Will Continue to Mature and Evolve

The vast majority of enterprises use hybrid cloud infrastructure today. According to a 2022 Cisco report, 82 percent of organizations have adopted hybrid cloud, and 58 percent of respondents said they use two or three public cloud providers.

Mary Johnston Turner, IDC’s research vice president for the future of digital infrastructure, says that hybrid cloud really means hybrid digital infrastructure, with workloads deployed across on-premises data centers, edge, public cloud and Software as a Service platforms. Well over 90 percent of enterprises will continue to rely on hybrid architectures for many years, she notes.

“They will continue to shift toward SaaS-based applications for standard enterprise applications while deploying selected custom-developed workloads and data resources to public cloud infrastructure services,” Turner says. “Other workloads will continue to run on-prem, particularly those that are subject to strict regulatory, privacy and geographical requirements. Increasingly, these on-premises workloads will shift from traditional data center environments to more automated, consumption-based private clouds that allow organizations to better match resource costs to usage while still having dedicated use of the assets.”

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While the hybrid cloud market is mature, the real issue for enterprises in 2023 and beyond will be in their mix of workload deployment choices. “Many organizations recognize that on a straight server-to-server cost comparison, public cloud services may be more expensive,” Turner notes. “However, they recognize that public clouds present a number of additional benefits, including highly automated security and operations, integrated access to advanced developers, artificial intelligence and other services, and certified ecosystems of validated partner solutions and support.”

Looking ahead, a key concern for many enterprises will be improving the timeliness and quality of data-driven business decisions. “Unfortunately, for many organizations, the proliferation of edge, SaaS and public cloud workloads has resulted in the creation of data silos,” Turner says. “Many organizations are struggling to develop consistent application programming interfaces, automated controls and operational policies to enable data integration and to support consistent data backup and restoration capabilities. Creating a consistent approach to data pipeline optimization and logistics should be a critical priority for all organizations.”

Illustration by LJ Davids
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