A man sits in a white chair at a mirror-topped table and looks down at the smartphone in his hand. The man is wearing a dark-wash chambray shirt over a white collared shirt. He has dark hair and a mustache and goatee. The room around him is white with a gray sofa and large sliding glass doors behind where the man is sitting.
"Super apps" will be apps that have multiple functions and act as a hub for various features and processes contained in "mini apps." — Getty Images/MoMo Productions

As the year winds down, experts are already predicting the tech trends that will dominate the business landscape in 2023. Here are just a few technologies that we forecast will impact consumer behavior, employee engagement, and business growth over the next 12 months.

[Read more: 5 Work and Business Trends You Need to Know for 2023]

Super apps

Research firm Gartner predicts the rise of “super apps” in 2023 — apps that combine the services and functions of multiple mobile apps into one single app. Super apps are designed to unite different features, such as messaging, payment, or service requests, into one user interface. Essentially, developers of independently created “mini apps” share user information and data, providing access to different apps through a single sign-on.

“Software engineering leaders also build superapps to provide a more engaging experience for their employees,” wrote Gartner. “Most importantly, they can improve the UX by enabling users to activate their own toolboxes of miniapps and services.”

A super app can be designed to streamline the features of individual apps, platforms, and other IT services. Small business owners can expect to see these offerings increase in 2023, and consider using them to provide self-service options for employees and vendors.

Metaverse

Big brands are already trying to integrate the metaverse into their marketing strategies. And, while the term itself is somewhat broad, small business owners should look for ways to integrate metaverse technologies into their business in 2023.

“The metaverse” — a sci-fi-like concept that describes a unified, augmented virtual reality combined with a digital economy — is still a long way away from becoming mainstream. However, metaverse-adjacent technologies, such as blockchain, crypto tokens, NFTs, AR and VR, and video games, are becoming more accessible.

“To assist in the development of new products and transform the business, it’s imperative to identify, examine and track emerging technologies,” wrote Gartner. “The metaverse may be in its early development stage, but the transition to it is expected to be as substantial as the one from analog to digital.”

Some experts predict that the metaverse will add $5 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Savvy business leaders should start tracking trends like virtual training using AR and VR, smart contracts enabled by blockchain, and other trends connected to the evolution of the metaverse.

Big brands are already trying to integrate the metaverse into their marketing strategies.

Cloud technology

Cloud technology isn’t new; in fact, it’s been an integral part of the shift to remote and hybrid work over the past five years. As the business landscape continues to shift with fears of an economic downturn, supply chain issues, and fluctuating consumer demand, leaders are continuing to invest in the cloud.

“Just under two-thirds (63%) of digital leaders report large-scale use of the cloud and half of respondents expect it to deliver a competitive advantage over the coming 12 months,” reported ZDNet.

This commitment reflects the confidence that many business owners have in the value of cloud services. Cloud services and platforms are flexible, scalable, and adaptable. Many SMB owners will continue to integrate cloud IT into their business operations in 2023, doubling down on this proven IT investment rather than spending on unproven emerging technologies.

Zero-trust cybersecurity

Small businesses are the favored targets of hackers and cybercriminals. One study found that employees at small businesses are three times more likely to be targeted than employees at large enterprises.

Many merchants are realizing that they need to take cybersecurity more seriously in 2023. One poll of small business owners found that half of respondents believe a cybersecurity incident will disrupt their business in the coming year. In anticipation, business owners are adopting a zero-trust cybersecurity policy. “Zero trust” is an approach to security based on the idea of never trusting, always verifying.

Technology that enables a zero-trust approach includes multifactor authentication (or at least two-factor authentication), SAML and SSO, and other advanced identity and access management tools.

Sustainability

Finally, Forbes predicts that sustainability will become a key consideration in new technology investments. Where historically IT leaders focused exclusively on price and utility, businesses will be encouraged to consider the environmental costs of investing in a new tool.

Driven by consumer demand, companies should rethink the impact of their supply chain. “People will be thinking more about where rare earth components for things like computer chips originate and how we're consuming them,” wrote Forbes. Consider whether the products and services that your company uses are energy-efficient, if they're sourced from environmentally friendly partners, and how they can be recycled responsibly at the end of their lifespan.

[Read more: Black Friday Marketing Trends Provide Preview of 2023 Consumer Habits]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published December 08, 2022