With rising inflation and fears of an economic slowdown, technology leaders must assume that they will face more scrutiny of IT spending and more pressure to prove business value. Unlike the response to the pandemic, which demanded huge investments in the technology underpinning new delivery models, digital experiences, and anywhere work, the response to the current economic headwinds will necessitate optimization and rationalization while maintaining resilient, modern environments, all without undercutting the organization’s future fit tech strategy.

To help technology architecture leaders assess their spending across the board and deliver maximum business value, Forrester has developed a new report, Planning Guide 2023: Technology Architecture & Delivery, providing guidance on where to increase and defend investments and where to decrease investment — and where some experimentation might work well in 2023.

Increase Or Defend: Cost Optimization And Portfolio Rationalization Investments

With increased financial pressures, cost optimization and portfolio rationalization must come to the forefront of technology leaders’ priorities to increase or defend investments. This includes technologies such as cloud cost optimization, integrated software delivery platforms, core business applications that protect assets and people, resilient operational infrastructure, distributed data platforms, intelligent document extraction, and vertically aligned IoT and edge use cases. Specifically, we recommend that tech leaders increase or defend investments in:

  • Tools and technologies that optimize cloud costs
  • Holistic and integrated software delivery platforms
  • Core business applications and features that protect business assets and people
  • Resilient, operational infrastructure
  • Globally distributed data platforms that feature multimodal architecture
  • Intelligent document extraction serving critical business processes
  • Vertically aligned edge and IoT use cases and smart buildings for anywhere work

Decrease Or Avoid: Stale Or Risky Investments

In a tough economic environment, certain technologies become either stale or a risky investment. For chief technology architects and tech leaders across infrastructure and operations, development, enterprise software, and data, this includes virtual machine environments, individual DevOps delivery tools, broad applications of emerging capabilities in core business technologies, declining operational technologies, monolithic point data solutions, process discovery tools, and private 5G networks. Specifically, we recommend that tech leaders decrease or avoid investments in:

  • Antiquated virtual machine environments
  • Individual DevOps technologies requiring manual integration
  • Broad applications of emerging capabilities in core business technology
  • Declining operational technologies
  • Monolithic, centralized, and point data solutions
  • Process discovery tools that require large amounts of resources to execute
  • Emerging private 5G networks

Key Emerging Technologies Worth Experimentation

If the economic outlook worsens, tech leaders will feel tempted to meet demands for budget constraints or cuts by reducing investments in emerging technology. Some caution and investment reduction is necessary, but total elimination would be a mistake, because it is these investments and experiments that often help the business create hard-to-copy innovation and leapfrog rivals with sustainable competitive differentiation. While there is a constant influx of emerging technologies to evaluate, Forrester sees growing and promising value in these areas. In the coming fiscal budget cycle, technology leaders should consider evaluating these technologies (and allocating budget to fund proofs of concept) to determine organizational fit:

  • Cloud-native computing that enables agility at scale
  • Edge intelligence that brings analytics directly to the customer
  • TuringBots that write code on their own

For more details on what you should invest, divest, or continue experimentation with, read Forrester’s Planning Guide 2023: Technology Architecture & Delivery report.