What entrepreneurs and start-ups should be mindful of in the New Year

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2022 was a year of anticipation, recoveries, and more. As the year ends, businesses are still negotiating the global risk environment from the previous year. Instability has been unavoidable, whether it is due to the ongoing effects of Covid-19, the geopolitical crisis, supply chain interruptions, or stubbornly persistent global inflation.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts global growth to be 2.7%, which is less than previous projections. In its October (2022) prediction, the organization noted that “more than a third of the global economy will shrink this year or next,” and added that 2023 “may feel like a recession.” 
In view of the forewarnings, it is likely that many organizations will focus on building dynamic and proactive plans to better handle the challenging environment in 2023. The following trends could possibly change how we work and do business in the new year.

Businesses and startups to leverage modern-day technologies for streamlining their business

According to a BCG-NASSCOM analysis, IT buyers anticipate that by 2030, investments in emerging technology would account for 70 to 80 percent of their IT spends. Disruptive technologies like the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), cloud computing, and fast network protocols like 5G will continue to advance and innovate. They will play a significantly huge role in hybrid and remote working, and decision-making, among other business practices.
Besides big businesses, start-ups must also turn their focus on overcoming the slowdown through wise investment and expense management, alongside simplifying operations. To achieve this, they should consider applying AI, Machine Learning (ML), big data, and data analytics to improve services and impart a dynamic outlook to client practices. Improving the existing AI models serve the purpose but must be supported by capital investment by stakeholders.  
So, 2023 may witness more “intelligent organizations,” where systems and procedures cooperate to carry outwork in the most effective way possible.

A strong cloud-security framework to tackle challenges from new-age technology

New-age technologies that are helping businesses advance and upscale, entail inevitable challenges. A constant increase in data breaches has led to cybersecurity being the top concern for companies. Given that most enterprise application deployments now take place in cloud settings, safeguarding those apps will be crucial in determining the security measures taken by a certain company and their dependability. Many businesses are attempting to optimize their spending more effectively on IT services. To assure high levels of performance and availability, cloud service providers will develop cost-effective cloud solutions. To ensure that cloud services are affordable, cloud service providers will need to make efficient use of the resources at their disposal and offer workload optimization.
Secondly, the rise in the usage of personal mobile devices to access business networks and data from various locations owing to remote and hybrid working, has created the ideal environment for hackers. To counter this, firms must require their employees to password-protect their mobile handsets, encrypt their data, and install security apps authorized by them, to prevent information-theft while using cell phones on public networks.
Lastly, businesses will establish fundamental cybersecurity procedures and regulations for employees, such as mandating strong passwords, and acceptable Internet usage standards that spell out the consequences of breaking the organization’s cybersecurity rules. While we may witness greater reliance on automation and managed security services in 2023, there will be a greater requirement for businesses to train employees about budding technologies, their usage, and the strategic methodologies for securing business data.
Operations and workforce

Supply chain security and sustainability to become new business norms

The increasing globalization of the economy has led to more complex and longer supply chains, making it harder to manage and control them. There is a growing focus on ensuring that supply chains are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Supply chain problems that first cropped up during the global Covid-19 shutdowns exist for many businesses owing to geopolitical issues. In 2023, companies must map out the entirety of their supply networks and determine any exposure to supply and inflation concerns. They must look at risk-reduction strategies like finding substitute providers and increasing their independence, lowering susceptibility to commodities’ variable market pricing as well as incorporating safety features into supply chains to address shortages and escalating logistical costs.
Besides economic challenges, the world is struggling with several environmental issues. Considering these, consumers and investors might favor companies with the right environmental and social credentials, and buying trends are increasingly being driven by conscious consumers, who give priority to elements like ecological impact and sustainability when deciding from whom to buy or conduct business.
The environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices that businesses use in 2023 must be put to the forefront of their strategy. Every organization needs a plan with specific objectives and timelines to minimize any negative effects, and the plan must be supported by reliable action plans.

An upskilled workforce can drive a smooth business

A survey revealed that India had a positive attitude toward hiring for the services sector in the third quarter of 2022. In 2023, it will be crucial to provide the workforce with meaningful employment, continual learning and growth opportunities, flexibility, and diverse, value-oriented workplaces. To compete in the future, businesses must address the enormous skills gap that exists in fields such as data science, AI, and other technology-related sectors. On the flip side, as technology augments human jobs, employers must retrain their people in the abilities necessary to work with intelligent machines and develop unique human qualities that cannot yet be mechanized.
To keep up with the shifting expectations, employees must also be prepared to unlearn, relearn, and pick up new skill sets. Companies must make sure that essential worker pools are upskilled, especially those who oversee running their main business models, helping employees become more tech-savvy so they can improve their capacity to survive in a totally digital environment.

Immersive customer experiences will take precedence

Customers today have more choices than before. In fact, during the pandemic, consumer loyalty underwent a huge change. According to a Mastercard study, 74% of consumers were more likely to purchase products from companies that showed concern and great customer care during the COVID era. Customers will value experiences above all else in 2023.
It will be essential to adopt an approach that combines technology, product, design, and operations to innovate quickly and continuously improve goods and services for consumers. More individualized, inclusive, and accessible shopping experiences will be seen in the future. Technologies like the metaverse, where we communicate with businesses and other customers using immersive media like VR and 3D surroundings will achieve scalability. There will be more online stores where we can browse and “try on” virtual versions of clothing, jewelry, gadgets, and much more. We could utilize AR to see how the products fit us or we could use virtual dressing rooms to dress up avatars of ourselves. Experts predict that the metaverse will contribute $5 trillion to the global economy by 2030 and that 2023 will set the metaverse’s direction for the next 10 years.
The road ahead
There is still much to consider in 2023 to mitigate the ensuing challenges to businesses. Emerging markets are spurring innovation and driving the rise of new technology. Developing effective sustainability policies amid shifting consumer preferences is also the key. Greater flexibility in the allocation of capital will increase the diversity and sources of return in uncertain times and enhance agility in the face of the unexpected. Businesses will be better equipped to adapt to unforeseen occurrences and generate more sustainable returns in the coming year by experimenting with and swiftly learning from risk mitigation and investment opportunities. It’s exciting times ahead!


Disclaimer Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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