Let’s make no mistake about this: In 2023, European tech leaders will have another difficult year, with plenty of challenges awaiting them. But unlike during previous times of crisis, when CIOs focused largely on gaining efficiencies and trimming operational spending, in 2023, CIOs and their tech leadership colleagues will focus their strategies and investments more on driving better operational adaptability and resilience. But what are some of the concrete actions that tech leaders across Europe will take to deal with continuous change, underlying market volatility, and geopolitical uncertainty? Here’s a sneak peek at some of Forrester’s 2023 predictions for European technology executives:

  • European cloud investments will drive better operational resilience and flexibility. The recent pandemic already kicked European cloud investments into high gear. But between the conflict in Ukraine, the need to deal with complex European regulations, and overall market volatility, more European companies will now move beyond simple cloud migration. To better scale around ongoing change and to cut down energy cost, in 2023, tech leaders across Europe will leverage cloud technologies to drive operational resilience whilst improving flexibility elsewhere. For example, Carrefour built a recommendation engine with Google Cloud and reduced energy consumption by 45%. Meanwhile, Lufthansa Technik built its AVIATAR platform to help business operations scheduling of maintenance to avoid delays and cancellations. At the same time, many firms will be reinforcing fundamental aspects of public cloud resilience at each layer of the stack and modern security policies while increasing the awareness of supply chain and vendor vulnerabilities.
  • Innovation strategies will focus on pragmatic change, leveraging ecosystems. Given the uncertainties expected in 2023, more emphasis will be put on modernising business processes, automation, supply risk management, and employee experience. As a result, innovation strategies will shift away from big moonshot innovation programs toward a more pragmatic approach to incrementally improve operational resilience and adaptability. At the same time, volatile market conditions will force organisations to leverage innovation networks and drive collaborations beyond the traditional business process and technology domains. For example, manufacturing advancements in additive manufacturing (3D printing) will drive innovation ecosystems around rapid prototyping and localised fulfillment. Meanwhile, augmented- and virtual-reality technologies will underpin interdisciplinary cooperation to build collaborative solutions to improve customer and employee experiences — for example, around customer service and warehouse management.
  • The need to drive supply chain resilience will boost supply chain tech spending. In 2023, any company with more than 3,000 employees that does business in Germany must monitor their supply chains for specified human rights and environmental risks; they must report and act on any violations or risk fines of up to €8 million or 2% of their global revenue. Worse than any fines is the potentially catastrophic damage to reputation or the ability to sell to companies with purchasing rules that preclude dealing with organisations found guilty under the German act. Whilst Germany is not the first country to move in this direction, the sheer size and breadth of the German market will push tech leaders to invest heavily in solutions that enable them to remotely monitor their suppliers’ facilities and operations, also laying the foundation for more operational resilience in the longer term.

Read the full report to get more of our predictions for Europe. If you aren’t yet a client, you can download our complimentary Predictions guide for European leaders or explore the Predictions hub for additional resources, including webinars. Clients and nonclients alike are welcome to join our LinkedIn Live session on December 1 where we’ll dive deeper into these predictions.