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2023 tech trends and the future of networking technology

NetworkTigers looks at 2023 tech trends and the future of networking technology.

Staying abreast of 2023 tech trends means always looking to the future. Networking technology has grown in leaps and bounds that no one could have predicted even five or ten years ago. An estimated 90% of the world’s data was created over the last two years, with the meteoric rise of social media networks, online purchasing, expansion of GPS signals, and more. There are over 600,000 new Internet users daily, and an estimated 127 new devices connect to the Internet worldwide every second. Meanwhile, computing power and speed have grown exponentially, generally doubling every one and a half to two years since the 1970s. 

What will the future hold? Network Tigers breaks down some of the current forecasts in networking trends for 2023 and beyond.

1. 5G to 6G

The creation of 5G has revolutionized network connectivity, offering greater speeds and lower latency across the globe. 5G networks significantly improve live streaming capability and have promising implications for the development of fully autonomous vehicles and augmented reality, where even small delays can spell disaster. Meanwhile, even as 5G is still being implemented, 6G capabilities are already being developed. If 5G has changed the game, 6G may be able to handle even greater amounts of data seamlessly. 6G networks are poised to use a new and different encoding, orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM). This setup is expected to be more efficient than traditional CDMA. 

2. Expansion of AI

Artificial intelligence is just beginning to be embraced by businesses and individuals. Networking experts predict that the role AI has to play in future technology trends is nearly limitless. AI monitoring of networks may significantly improve existing cybersecurity structures, with some predicting that AI-based conversational interfaces and virtual assistants for network teams will become the industry standard. AI risk-management systems have the potential to flag operations outside of the norm before they can be predicted by human teams, as well as isolate problem areas and reduce downtime once issues are spotted. 

For the moment, AI operations and systems automation may seem promising, but they remain costly to install and out of reach for many smaller businesses. In the future, look for AI technology to become more accessible and developments to make AI more trustworthy and widespread. 

3. International cooperation

International cooperation around cybersecurity is a must in today’s interconnected landscape. It has become clear that no nation can isolate itself entirely against the threat of international hackers. Global cybersecurity education and certification programs can potentially create a new and highly educated workforce dedicated to preventing hacks and leaks that cross borders. Developing internationally agreed-upon standards and protocols can help stem the flow of international hacks and help countries protect their citizens’ data privacy. 

4. Evolution of cloud networks

Cloud computing has significantly impacted how we manage, store, and access our data as individuals and corporations. With this growth in mind, Multi-Cloud Networking Software (MCNS) can help handle the spillover as companies adopt multiple cloud environments. There will also be a growing need for networking professionals who are fully fluent in cloud operations and understand how to secure them against leaks better. 

5. Unified SASE

One tech trend to watch is unified SASE for security and to address hybrid remote and in-person workforces. Unified Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) uses single-pass scanning architecture that draws from a unified data lake. It tightens security while allowing companies to provide a streamlined user experience. Unified SASE can help a remote workforce stay connected while addressing multi-cloud platforms within one tech ecosystem. 

6. Wearables

Wearable technology, such as smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR headsets, are poised to become much more prevalent in the near future. The global wearable AI market is projected to reach $69.51 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 26.5% over seven years. Some experts predict that this expansion of the Internet of Things can help us stay connected to our homes and families through fuller integration with smart home access. Others are concerned about the rapid expansion of data collection and the increased need for data privacy via always-on AI. Either way, wearable tech will soon expand into other areas, such as smart jewelry, headsets, and more. 

7. Continued use of SD-WAN

Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) offer greater flexibility for corporations and large groups than traditional WANs. While introduced in 2014, SD-WAN is expected to increase in relevancy given its ability to share both Long Term Evolution (LTE) and broadband internet connections. 

8. Fully hybrid workforce

Global workforces, especially in network management, are predicted to retain hybridized in-office policies in the upcoming years. Some predict that network management, as it relates to establishing AI protocols, may soon become a fully remote industry. Data access is trending towards becoming more widespread and management decentralized. Network professionals in the future may be based in other geographic areas or even different countries than the home networks they manage. 

9. Edge computing

Real-time data processing is necessary as consumers stream more content and businesses adapt to fully remote employees. Edge computing offers a promising method to bring processing power closer to the level at which it’s needed. Edge computing allows data prioritization in centralized locations and expands remote processing capabilities at the “edge” of the network. Edge computing is expected to grow as tech consumers demand lower latency networks. 

10. Increased digitization of records

The past five years have brought a boom in the amount of data generated and trends like telehealth appointments, online education, and an increase in online retail. Keeping this new data secure and creating and improving storage methods is sure to become more important as internet users seek to keep tabs on their digital lives. Network architecture must account for an ever-expanding amount of digitalization. As more data is generated, analyzed, and processed, it also must be stored and protected. Networks must adapt to these exponential increases with matching spikes in processing power and data encryption potential. 

Gabrielle West
Gabrielle West
Gabrielle West is an experienced tech and travel writer currently based in New York City. Her work has appeared on Ladders, Ultrahuman, and more.

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2023 tech trends and the future of networking technology