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Key digital innovation trends for 2023, Q&A with Andrea Iorio

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Andrea Iorio, Leading speaker on Digital Transformation

How could you describe your career path in few words?

Let me start off by saying that my professional journey has been so unique and non-linear that oftentimes it is hard to explain. I have a background in Economics (I studied at Bocconi University in Italy, my home country), wrote my final thesis in Egypt, as an exchange student at the American University win Cairo, and then moved to the U.S. to pursue my Masters in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University. After that, in 2011, I moved to Brazil, where I started working at Groupon as a sales manager (that is where I learned so much about people management, hands-on) and after 3 years, I was hired by the Match Group to launch Tinder, the dating app in Brazil. That was my first leadership experience, and as the Country Manager, I managed to make the app tech the top grossing position in the Brazil App Store, as well as make of Brazil the 2nd biggest market for the app. After my 5 years at Tinder, I challenged myself with a new role as a Chief Digital Officer at L’Oréal: a totally different context, that made me learn more about Digital Transformation in traditional businesses - the topic that nowadays I cover in my job as a keynote speaker and best-selling author. I am currently one of Brazil’s most requested keynote speakers around Digital Transformation, Leadership and Innovation, with more than 150 keynotes delivered online and offline in 2022. 

What are the highlights of the key digital innovation trends for 2022? Can you give us some major examples?

First of all, I wanted to highlight the “bubble” burst around Web3: topics such as the Metaverse, NFTs and cryptos, which were part of a hype in 2020 and 2021, imploded in 2022 because of the lack of underlying fundamentals, because of bad actors (see FTX), and because of technology not mature yet (as the case with the Metaverse, where the right hardware for truly immersive experiences is not ready yet).

Second, a key digital innovation trend that took place in 2022 is the acceleration of Internet of Things: powered by the adoption of 5G in many countries of the world, and the sprawling volume of sensors and connected devices, businesses of all sectors now rely on Internet of Things technologies to better understand its customer, and to better automatize processes. The by-product of this growing volume of IoT devices? Definitely an increasing volume of data (to the point that the volume of data now globally is about 97 Zettabytes). Last but not least, when it comes to key digital innovation trends in 2022, we see an increasing rate of Digital transformation across B2B companies. Agribusiness, Pharma, insurance, chemical, Oil & Gas: all these industries, and others in the B2B sector, are accelerating their adoption of digital technologies, and a proof of that is the high number of speaking engagements that I have done for these companies, covering exactly the topic of Digital Transformation.

Based on your experiences, what are the impactful trends in digital innovation that are becoming more important in the context of 2023?

It is a fact that making predictions about tech trends has been harder and hard in such an unpredictable world (see the recent buzz around the metaverse, and its subsequente rapid implosion), at the same time it is possible to notice trends that are here to stay and that we should keep an eye on in 2023. The top 3 are according to me:

A) Obviously, we should look at Generative AI. We have seen through the rapid adoption of Generative AI tools such as Chat-GPT and Midjourney (and the loyalty of its users as well), that Large Language Models reached maturity and are from now on part of our daily lives. 

B) Less obviously, we should look at Edge computing. Interestingly enough, with the exponential spread of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are going to generate huge amounts of real-time data, cloud computing is not going to be enough (since data is sent and stored into centralized servers of the Cloud service provider), but this data is going to have to be processed on the spot. This is exactly what Edge computing does, and we should look at it more closely.

C) Last but not least (and you might find this curious since it is not a tech trend per se), it is Leadership upskilling in Digital. Yes, I feel that the third most important trend is not a tech trend, but a Learning and Development (L&D) trend: a recent Technavio report about Corporate Leadership Training Market Growth points to a 9% CAGR until 2026 of investment into leadership training, and much of that is in the Digital space. I see much of that because of my job, and I feel that this is a trend here to stay, because of the growing importance of digitalization on businesses of all sectors and sizes. 

In your opinion, how can they create high value for organizations?

All of these trends create high value for organizations because in a world where the customer is more and more digitally connected, where Artificial Intelligence can substitute many human tasks, and where big data can help us make better decisions, all of the upcoming Digital Transformation trends are beneficial because can help organizations change at the rate that the external world is changing.

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