Tech Outlook for 2023: Strong Investments but Shifting Priorities


Strong tech investments in 2023 will require a skilled workforce to implement new solutions. Leaders who foster positive relationships across the tech talent landscape have the best chance of success, says Jason Pyle, President of Harvey Nash USA.

Without a doubt, 2022 was a turbulent year, and some of the most challenging issues were in the workplace – starting with the continued shift of remote and hybrid work, the ‘great resignation”, a prolonged tech talent shortage, and now, some rather large-scale tech layoffs. 

In the face of this disruption, Harvey Nash’s Digital Leadership ReportOpens a new window still found that U.S. companies plan to continue investing in technology solutions and the workforce needed to implement them in the coming year. The growth expectations the tech leaders surveyed voiced show that companies are strongly committed to continuing their digital transformation. This is welcome news during uncertain global times and critical to stabilizing the U.S. economy and job market moving forward.

Below are the four trends we expect to see in 2023 due to this anticipated tech spend.

Tech investments will remain strong in a majority of sectors

U.S. digital leaders responding to the survey indicated a firm commitment to tech financing, with 52% anticipating their budgets will increase in the coming year. There’s no single answer regarding where the investments will take place, but some generalities exist. Many of the organizations surveyed, including technology, professional services, healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services companies, are still playing catch-up as they work towards achieving their digital transformation goals. This will require greater investment in cloud computing and big data and analytics.

The government sector tends to lag behind private business regarding tech, but it’s also more insulated from damaging economic headwinds. This allows public agencies to focus on areas where they can make big strides. For the federal government, this means modernizing internal systems that make it easier to connect people with much-needed benefits such as unemployment pay, food assistance, and veterans’ benefits. At the local level, cities, towns, and municipalities will likely invest in solutions that help deliver essential services to residents, which is especially important in times of crisis.

Cybersecurity across all sectors remains a top priority, with more resources being funneled to it in 2023. This is one area where the government sector needs to consider increasing investment due to growing threats of cyberattacks as the world becomes more volatile. And it’s not just at the federal level. A recent ransomware attack in NY has hampered essential functions in one county, sending it back to the 1990s fax era.

Despite tech layoffs, talent and skills shortages Will continue

In the U.S., 59% of companies struggled to recruit and retain talent in 2022. While things have improved since 2021, when it was 69%, the shortage remains a critical challenge. Some companies hope that large tech layoffs will present an opportunity to recruit newly unemployed workers in 2023. However, the talent being let go from these firms will likely still have good opportunities from tech organizations and adjacent industries that are less impacted by the current economic challenges.

Attracting these candidates is still hard but possible for smaller, lesser-known companies. It’ll require focusing on tech worker priorities, including good pay, benefits, innovative projects, skills development, and a positive culture. These organizations can also increase their chances of attracting and retaining talent by hiring talent based on potential and not necessarily experience, examining their existing employees for upskilling possibilities, and investing in training and development to improve the overall skills of their teams.

Companies Will Prioritize Data Management Over Emerging Tech

It’s not unusual for companies to invest in technology because it’s a hot trend without considering if it meets a strategic goal. In a rush to digitize, many leaders put the cart before the horse – prioritizing advanced tech such as AI, ML, automation, and DevOps before they had the basics under control. A few things can be done to address this, starting with assessing the organization’s progress on its digital transformation. Is it fully cloud-enabled? If not, this is probably the best place to invest.

Companies should also develop a cohesive data strategy. As they plan for 2023, digital leaders expressed that gaining actionable insights from data was the second highest priority (behind improving the customer experience), and 67% said that these insights would provide a competitive advantage. Many senior leaders now understand that advanced technology solutions are only as good as the data being fed into them, so it’s important to start with clean data sets. This doesn’t mean they need to halt their emerging tech strategies completely. It does mean that some progress should be made on improving data management before proceeding.

Having the right data team in place is an important first step. Not only can these professionals bring order to an organization’s data, but when it’s time to invest in advanced tech and supporting talent, the data they’ve wrangled will provide invaluable insights. Like all in-demand tech talent, data scientists and analysts seek access to exciting projects and transformative initiatives, benefits that enhance and improve their lifestyle, and companies that invest in continued education and development. Additionally, highlighting the company’s commitment to data accuracy from the top down will help attract the best data talent.

See More: Rethinking Data Management in the Data Economy Era

DEI initiatives need to be accelerated

Looking ahead to 2023, organizations can do more to establish improvements for minority representation, especially in leadership roles. This means going beyond having a DEI presence on a website and living and breathing the mission of building a diverse employee community. While quotas don’t promote more diversity on their own, measurement can be one tool to help put accountability behind DEI initiatives. Data can play another critical role by constantly evaluating specific metrics to provide a window into what equity work is most and least effective.

It’s also important to pick up the pace to encourage women and underrepresented groups to pursue long-term tech careers. While the current talent shortage allows employees to jump from one entry-level job to another, these moves don’t typically translate into increasing tech skill levels. Companies should focus on creating robust upskilling programs for existing team members to help elevate their experience.                                               

Long-term, there need to be more investments in the younger generation to introduce them to the types of tech and engineering careers that exist today and those on the horizon. A majority of digital leaders (69%) feel the U.S. government could do a better job of prioritizing STEM introduction earlier in the K-12 public education system. In some cases, students aren’t introduced to coding and robotics until middle school, instead of at the elementary level, where they should begin. The government could also do more to incentivize private organizations and educational institutions to partner together for internship and apprenticeship programs.

See More: Stop WOKE Act: Implications for DEI and the Workaround

2023 Imperative – Counteract Disruption With a Positive, Supportive Culture

While the future is always uncertain, 2023 will likely see continued disruptions that may impact a candidate’s decision to join a company and an employee’s decision to either stay or leave. Organizations can make all the tech investments they want, but business innovation and transformation will stagnate without the talent to implement the solutions. With this in mind, leaders should foster positive relationships across the tech talent landscape. They can do this by being approachable and open to feedback to understand the unique needs of each individual. They should also recognize that because we live in a disrupted world – sometimes feeling safe, secure, and supported at work can make all the difference.

Why do you think a skilled workforce is needed to deploy innovative solutions? Share with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .