Predictions for 2023

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

Sojung Lee, Asia Pacific president, TeamViewer. Image credit: LinkedIn
Article by Sojung Lee, Asia Pacific president, TeamViewer

Organisations across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) have seen significant change and evolution over the past few years, with many experiencing a rapid shift in the use of technology to streamline their operations and empower employees to work from anywhere.

For example, data shows that, in Australia, the number of people working remotely has grown from eight per cent to 40 per cent in less than two years, while in New Zealand, almost half of the workforce now has a choice about working from home. However, the shift to flexible working environments is not the only trend impacting workers across ANZ. There are five emerging trends that will impact organisations into 2023 and beyond.

Prediction #1: The augmented reality and industrial metaverse will sustain adapted remote work practices post-pandemic
The pandemic has indeed accelerated digitisation and shown the industry what is possible, even in a remote setting — especially when it comes to enabling business continuity through the use of augmented reality (AR) and the industrial metaverse. When countries restricted movements, and experts still needed to be onsite, there was an increased realisation of what remote connectivity solutions can do, instead of engineers traveling to do their work. While the world is gradually returning to a pre-pandemic state, Teamviewer foresees AR practices established during the pandemic to stay due to their benefits, particularly increased productivity, lower operational costs, and improved overall operational efficiency.

Prediction #2: Changing demographics will create a demand for training
Ageing populations will create new challenges for workforces across ANZ. In 2022, one in six New Zealanders were over the age of 65; by 2028 it will be one in five people. In Australia, currently 16 per cent of the population is over the age of 65, and this number is expected to grow to between 21 and 23 per cent by 2066. Organisations are already thinking of how to address the forthcoming skilled worker shortage, and ensure young new talent quickly acquires the existing organisational knowledge and expertise. AR once again comes into play with the passing of expertise from one generation to another. Through AR, the next generation will be able to bridge the knowledge gap in an experiential way, with step-by-step guidance presented to them right in front of their eyes.

Prediction #3: High industry growth in Asia will drive demand
The manufacturing sector in many Asia Pacific (APAC) economies has shown a significant rebound since September 2020, as lockdown measures have been significantly eased in many nations. APAC continues to be the location of global powerhouses, and creates constant demand for solutions to improve productivity, with the automotive and household consumer products industries seeing double-digit growth in 2021. While the sector is smaller in ANZ, with only 6.8 per cent of the population employed in manufacturing in Australia, and 10 per cent in New Zealand, the region will likely experience positive flow-on effects from the wider APAC area.

Prediction #4: Digitally savvy workforce to accelerate industrial metaverse adoption
A recurring concern about industrial metaverse solutions is that they are too new and too advanced for those currently working on the factory floor. However, current solutions are already easy to implement and require no IT knowledge as they are based on no-code approaches. Additionally, familiarity with technology in the industrial metaverse will increase as the general population becomes more digitally-savvy.

Prediction #5: Bring your own industrial metaverse device / BYOD
Even now, some companies are already implementing industrial metaverse solutions based on smartphones and tablets, to not fully rely on smart glasses. This is a testament to how quickly hardware has developed over the last few years and takes advantage of solutions that are brand and product agnostic in nature. Some companies are using tablets to document their work activity, which is updated in their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in real-time, for example. Meaning, a successful industrial metaverse solution isn’t just about AR and smart glasses, but instead focuses on managing data flows to help workers on the factory floor. The increasing ubiquity of devices that can interact means a lower reliance on expensive customised devices and an increase in potential cost savings.

The last few years have demonstrated that unprecedented events can and will disrupt operations. However, it’s clear that the accelerated adoption of new tools and technologies has helped to futureproof many organisations and industries and will empower businesses to better respond to future events. As such, new and emerging technologies will continue to be essential for operations to ensure flexibility and agility into 2023 and beyond.