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Which trends will impact the technology industry in the coming year? That’s a key question for technology professionals and managers as they try to strategize for the next 12 months.

CompTIA’s Industry Outlook 2023 attempts to break down those emerging trends, including:

  • “Business as usual gets a reality check”
  • Challenges in hiring and retaining technology professionals
  • The “metaverse” and customer experiences
  • Cloud acceleration
  • New competitors in the digital ecosystem
  • More automation
  • The need to evolve cybersecurity metrics
  • Inflation uncertainty
  • Decentralized identity and web3
  • Advances in A.I.

Those are all extraordinarily complicated issues, and not every technology professional is expected to master every nuance of them. Nonetheless, “big” issues such as cloud and automation will likely touch more businesses than ever before. Technology professionals who exhibit a curiosity and a willingness to learn new skills and strategies will succeed in this environment.

Despite fears of a potential recession, companies will likely continue to spend on new technology initiatives—given the importance of technology to their overall strategies, they don’t have any other choice. “Spending on new technologies is expected to hit $1.36 trillion in 2023, adding nearly 30 percent to the expected spending on traditional items,” reads CompTIA’s introduction to the report. “One final note on spending projections: The current economic chaos, including inflation and relative strength of global currencies, is impacting forecasting models as much as it is driving uncertainty for businesses. Actual spending may fluctuate more in 2023 than in previous years.”

But amidst all this evolution and chaos, how are technology professionals thinking about their careers? Do they want to focus on their current specialty, or consider how to best ascend into management? CompTIA queried technology professionals about that very question:

 

(Methodology-wise, CompTIA surveyed 500 profesisonals based in the United States.)

If we take this survey as indicative of the tech industry, technology professionals are focused on not only expanding their current skills, but also developing new ones. Slightly smaller percentages have their eyes on management. Whatever their choice, the report adds, there’s a need for it: “Whether the choice is developing skill within a current specialization or exploring a new opportunity, there is no shortage of skills needed in digital organizations.”

Or to put it another way: 2023 is going to be complicated, challenging, and potentially rewarding for many in tech—just like so many previous years. The key to surviving and prospering in this environment is continuous learning, whether on your own or via the classroom.