While many are wary of recessions, there are other trends impacting business and the economy worth keeping an eye on this year. In this article, Renae Smith outlines five.
Businesses have had a strange few years, with one unprecedented event after the next spurring significant change across the board — from staff shortages to supply chain stoppages — it seems that every corner of business has been upturned, requiring owners to adopt ever-changing practices in order to succeed.
A new report from the Ai Group recently revealed 90 percent of CEOs surveyed expect to be impacted by staff shortages in 2023. Meanwhile, a survey of over 1000 small and medium business decision makers by MYOB found over half expect Australia’s economy to be in recession by the end of the year.
Regardless of what the year ahead brings, those that are able to find opportunity in challenges will set themselves apart from their competition.
For some other thoughts on what we can expect to see in 2023, here are five more trends expected to impact business throughout the year.
1. Cybersecurity and personal data privacy issues continue to rise
2022 saw a huge increase in data breaches and cyber-attacks on businesses across the world, bringing significant losses to companies’ reputations and profits.
2023 is expected to be no different, and experts like isms.online have predicted some massive changes to the cybersecurity space.
To combat the growing threat of phishing attacks, the experts at isms.online believe many companies will move towards passwordless security frameworks which overcome many challenges presented by more traditional approaches.
When it comes to data security, 2023 is predicted to be the year where compliance landscape will shift its focus to the individual user’s privacy, rather than simply focusing on information security, which has been the case for the past 10+ years.
A welcome prediction for businesses that operate across several regulatory borders, isms.online also predicts that 2023 will bring a more globalised approach to information and data privacy regulations.
2. Balancing hybrid work with employee well-being and inclusion
Prior to the pandemic, only six percent of employees worked primarily remotely. Now, it’s expected that a whopping 25 percent of professional workers will work remotely by the end of 2023.
A survey from salary.com found that more than 50 percent of business leaders planned to adopt a permanent hybrid working setup in 2023, with data from McKinsey’s showing that 87 percent of employees who are offered a hybrid work environment take it.
While working from home works for many, it certainly doesn’t work for all.
A Slack report found that both long-serving and new remote workers struggle to experience a sense of belonging at work and efforts to monitor employee wellbeing will be a big focus for business in 2023.
To support this finding, a recent Deloitte survey named “improving employee well-being” as one of the most important goals corporate executives hope to achieve in the short-term future.
3. More natural disasters on the horizon
According to the Australian Treasury, flooding cost the Australian economy over $5 billion in the 2021-2022 fiscal year and impacted almost seven out of every ten Australians. Natural disasters were also pegged as a key factor in the unprecedented increase to Australian’s inflation rate, sitting at the highest it has been in 32 years.
New Zealand business operators are also familiar with the ongoing danger posed by natural disasters, adding landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to the list of possible occurrences.
With 2023 predicted to bring a new batch of floods, droughts, heatwaves, and bushfires — companies around the world are having to look more closely at the financial risks these natural disasters could expose them to.
The cost of natural disasters on businesses’ bottom lines can be obvious — these include things such as loss of property, equipment, or even the availability of workers who have been affected by these disasters.
Some effects, though, are less obvious — and with uncertainty around the extent of how these disasters will continue to affect the economy generally, business owners are beginning to see the importance of planning ahead — anticipating the effects of continued increases to operating costs such as fuel and wages, as well as dealing with potential supply chain issues.
4. The Circular Economy matures
Economic development and population growth has placed unprecedented pressure on cities, infrastructure, services and resources. This has caused shortages in everything from staff to supplies — but it’s also having a greater, more long-term effect on our environment — and as we’ve seen above, this directly affects the economy.
Most businesses work on a linear economic model of ‘source, make, use, waste’. But, according to PwC, moving many of Australia’s heaviest polluters towards a circular economy, that’s one which embraces sustainable solutions, there’s potential to generate $1.9 trillion in economic benefits over the next 20 years.
PwC predicts that in 2023, businesses will begin researching ways that implementing a ‘circular economy’ will help their bottom line, while also helping the environment.
5. Make or break for the metaverse
Spearheaded by Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of an interactive virtual world, the metaverse remains an incredibly hot topic in tech.
While companies like Microsoft continue to invest millions into metaverse spaces, statistics show that the actual number of VR and AR deals carried out in 2022 fell by more than a third when compared to the previous year.
These numbers have caused some analysts to predict the arrival of a “metaverse winter” in 2023, while still other experts are predicting 2023 to be the “biggest year yet” for metaverse growth.
Trevor Hubbard from Entrepreneur predicts that within the next three to five years, a minimum of 30 percent of business will include a blend of metaverse experiences and implementations of Web3 technologies (such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and nonfungible tokens, or NFTs).
Hubbard believes that 2023 is an essential time for businesses to plan their role in the metaverse so that they’re available when their customers arrive there en masse — which every expert agrees should only be a matter of time.
Gain visibility and control to defeat uncertainty in business
No matter the challenges that 2023 brings, businesses that proactively plan ahead will be best placed to convert challenges into opportunities and steer their businesses confidently into the future.
Regardless how large or complex your business is, planning requires accurate foresight. And that means having a clear picture of your business.
DISCOVER MORE: Book a FREE session with our Business Advisory Specialist.
Source: MYOB January 2023
Reproduced with the permission of MYOB. This article by <author name> was originally published at https://www.myob.com/au/blog/business-trends-2023/
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