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10 Opencast predictions for 2023

5 January 2023

We asked 10 senior experts across Opencast to gaze into their crystal ball and give us their predictions for the year ahead of us – including on tech trends, the world of work and more

Prediction 1: An accelerated and more comprehensive focus on delivering sustainable, energy-efficient technology solutions in the drive towards net-zero

“The coming year will see an accelerated and more comprehensive focus on delivering sustainable, energy-efficient technology solutions in the drive towards net-zero. Organisations will increasingly adopt carbon accounting software as part of their ESG [environmental, social, and governance] to quantify and reduce their environmental impact, and embrace design standards and principles that result in lower carbon digital services as an integral part of how they do business. This will become an imperative rather than an option, as climate-conscious investors, customers and prospective employees increasingly make decisions based on the environmental stewardship shown by organisations.”
Lee Foster – chief technology officer

Lee Foster: "Organisations will increasingly adopt carbon accounting software to quantify and reduce their environmental impact"
Prediction 2: Technology has ramped up for remote, but we need to keep our humanity. We need rules and ethics and etiquette to ensure that tech enriches our lives

“The pandemic changed everything for work. Some reference the 80s slogan for Martini: 'any time, any place, anywhere'. This is not an ambition without peril! The technology has ramped up for remote, productivity and engagement, but we really need to keep our humanity. That needs rules and ethics and etiquette. We all need to set our boundaries, understanding ourselves and our colleagues better, so that we can ensure tech enriches our lives. We are only just quantifying the harms of Web1.0, but we are building for a future Web5.0 with added AI and metaverse – and that's before anyone's nailed the metaverse!”
Charlie Hoult – co-founder

Prediction 3: More investment in digital transformation as organisations drive efficiency. Organisations will get serious about sustainability

“Given the challenging global economic climate, I see a further big focus on digital transformation to drive operational excellence – investment will be prioritised at least in the short run as organisations look to improve efficiency. For me we are also entering the period where all organisations are going to get serious about sustainability as the demands of people working for organisations, public/customer perceptions, investor requirements, and government regulations will start to drive real behavioural change.”
Tom Lawson – chief executive

Prediction 4: Cost pressures driven will mean that intelligent investments into what matters most for employees are going to be critical

“Cost pressures driven by inflation and cost of living will mean that really intelligent investments into what matters most for employees are going to be critical. This continues to elevate the role of the chief people officer/CHRO within the board room, with the best CEOs and CFOs working very closely with them to define a strategy that wins for the business commercially and for the people.”
Cate Kalson – chief people officer

Prediction 5: Industry-wide realisation that open source must be better supported to keep commercial software up and running

“Low code/No code will continue to simmer along in the background with advocates continuing to push it as the silver bullet for enterprise systems, but no major breakthroughs will be made. There will be an industry-wide realisation that open source must be better supported in order to keep all commercial software up and running.”
David Sarginson – head of software development

Cate Kalson: "Cost pressures will mean that really intelligent investments into what matters most for employees are going to be critical"
Prediction 6: Focus on how we can usefully and ethically harness the power of AI and machine learning, as tools rather than magic solutions to problems

“More focus on resilience of processes and systems and on security. Supply chains have been stretched and broken in the last two years. More focus on how tech can help going forward. Impact and risk analysis could surely be smarter, predictive and “what if"! Continued and even more focus on use of tech in government services, which are under severe financial pressures. We expect more from them as citizens and also are all part of ageing populations. A focus on how we can usefully and ethically harness the power of AI and machine learning. People are starting to talk more of these technologies being tools rather than an all-in-one magic solution to a problem, but we need careful governance and to remember humans ultimately direct them. Don’t blame a “rogue algorithm”!”
Mike O’Brien – co-founder

Prediction 7: More conversations with people moving into tech from completely different previous careers mean companies will explore how they can open new opportunities to bring in people from diverse backgrounds

“I'm having more and more conversations with people who are moving into tech, sometimes from completely different previous careers. Maybe it's the pandemic prompting people's change of career, or maybe it's that tech roles are becoming more visible and accessible. This is fantastic, because we also know that the pool of experienced folks for some roles is very small, so I'd expect companies to start to explore how they can open new opportunities to bring different folks in to their business from varied and diverse backgrounds to fill these roles. This opening up of tech could be amazing.”
Emily Allinson – head of user-centred design

Prediction 8: People teams will work harder as shorter tenures become the norm. People are seeking a culture and environment with wellbeing at the forefront – we'll see this trumping other motivations

“Digitalisation continues and so does the ongoing competition for ‘good’ tech talent. Companies will need to address the shortfall by thinking creatively, allowing more time for innovation and being more collaborative. Recruitment and people teams will work harder as shorter tenures become the norm. Millennials and Gen Zs are emerging predominantly in our workforce. Companies that have become people centric and provide greater transparency will most certainly be ahead of the game this year. People have become fed up with burnout and stressful work lives, and people are seeking a culture and environment where wellbeing is at the forefront – we'll see this trumping other more traditional motivations.”
Lorna Madden – head of talent engagement

Prediction 9: Cloud and 5G are changing everything. Greater use of live AI for data capture and visualisation and the ever blurring boundary between gaming and the real world

“I'm still deeply attached to my geospatial roots, and there is so much amazing work being done. Cloud and 5G are of course changing everything but, while fantastic, that’s really about the ecosystem in which all our work is done, across all sectors – the plumbing and the processing power. It’s incredible of course and we increasingly rely on it. The really exciting stuff that this unlocks in geospatial is in the use of live AI for data capture and visualisation – across myriad platforms simultaneously – for aerial and drone and ground and subterranean surveys, for autonomous driving, for asset management, for operational control of utilities, smart cities, modelling, augmented reality – and the ever blurring boundary between gaming and the real world.”
Paul Crisp – enterprise architect

Prediction 10: As the need for data increases, so will the need to provide data privacy. This will lead to growth and ideation in the data governance space around visibility of and traceability of the data used in AI

“AI and automation already play a big role in many companies – but I think this will grow quickly as companies look to streamline their ability to deliver services at a competitive cost while continuing to attract and reward strong talent. 2023 could also be the year where we see further pressure around data privacy – especially compounded by the growth in AI and automation. As the need for data increases, so will the need to provide data privacy – I think this will lead to growth and ideation in the data governance space specifically around visibility of and traceability of the data used in AI. Now, more than ever, the companies struggling to move workloads into the cloud will be under significant pressure to make the push. Much of our physical digital infrastructure is manufactured overseas, and prices are likely to continue to increase.”
Gordon Murray – enterprise architect

Read our blog: 10 2022 predictions revisited

Emily Allinson: "I expect companies to explore how they can open new opportunities to bring different folks in to their business from varied and diverse backgrounds to fill tech roles"

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