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Thoughts

Gemserv Predicts 2023

12th Jan, 2023

As time runs out on an eventful and at times fraught year, thoughts turn ahead to the blank canvas that is the 12 months ahead. Many of us will ask whether 2023 will be a good year personally, professionally, for politics, for the economy and for society.

There is an abundance of gloomy predictions for the year ahead, especially when it comes to the health of our nation, its businesses and its people. What will this look like for our global security and the looming presence of cyber threats? With the rise of energy decarbonisation, what does this mean for building better infrastructure? Digital transformation will continue to liberate the vulnerable from isolation. It will also introduce more seamless and efficient ways to manage key services off setting legacy heavy carbon footprints.

What does this mean about the ethical use of our data? Where do we stand now? Our leading experts reflect on the last year and look ahead across key sectors of our economy.

ENERGY AND SUSTAINABILITY

It is difficult to recall a time when our energy system has felt deeper in crisis. Spiralling costs for consumers, threats over security of supply and slow progress on key policies to address climate change are all key concerns.

For energy bill payers, it is hard to get away from the view that tough times lie ahead. The hope (rather than a prediction) is that Government will continue to support those that need it most, after the scheduled end of the energy price cap support in April.

Yet, history has shown us that at times of economic and political strife, change that has previously seemed impossible begins to happen at greater pace than previously expected.

Here are three positive predictions for 2023: 

  1. Energy efficiency will finally receive the attention it undeniably needs in the UK.
  2. Demand-side flexibility will enter the mainstream.
  3. New technologies, techniques, business models and consumer behaviours will emerge.

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The Electric Vehicle (EV) landscape is growing swiftly, with new technology, ideas and narrative shifts emerging all the time. All these factors make it such an exciting opportunity space both in terms of business potential and leading the UK in our decarbonisation journey.

Thus, our three predictions for the EV market in 2023 are as follows:

  1. Rapid increase in the roll out of public infrastructure. 
  2. Focus on fleets will grow.
  3. The influx of the ‘circular economy’ narrative and policy.

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DATA PRIVACY

It’s rarely dull in data privacy, but 2023 looks likely to be an interesting year even by the standards of this fast-paced field. The UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which is responsible for data protection, is working on a new bill to replace GDPR in the UK. This bill will reform the structure of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which regulates data privacy. We also expect the ICO to publish the first draft of the bill in the next few weeks, to inevitable uproar. The previous draft, withdrawn when Boris Johnson was ousted, caused great concern that it could lead to weakened data protections and even the loss of UK adequacy with the EU. We don’t expect either of these outcomes – we think the bill is designed to encourage data-driven R&D in the UK and doubt the UK would do anything that would further damage trading relationships with its nearest neighbour – but we do anticipate lots of detailed scrutiny.

  1. We are going to see more GDPR Codes published.
  2. The EU-US privacy framework will be an ongoing struggle.
  3. Broader impact of regulatory enforcement against Big Tech firms.

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Big Data concept and Introduction of artificial intelligence. Concept of cyberspace of the future.

CYBER SECURITY

It has never been more important to stay vigilant and adaptable in the face of ongoing change. With so many employees now working remotely, it’s important to ensure that networks and devices are secure and that employees are trained to recognise and avoid potential cybersecurity threats. This includes things like phishing attacks, malware, and other types of cyber threat. Businesses should also have protocols in place for responding to cybersecurity incidents and for recovering from a breach.

Staying up to date with changes in technology and considering how they can use it to their advantage is vital for businesses. This may involve using new tools and platforms, investing in training and development, or new business models. Keeping up with regulatory changes and ensuring that the organisation is following any relevant laws and policies is also key.

By being proactive and taking a practical approach to risk management, organisations can build resilience and position themselves for success in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world.

  1. Supply Chain Security
  2. Continued Evolution of Ransomware
  3. A Rise in Deepfakes

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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Predictions for the year ahead in the UK tech sector are vast and varied. As we know, tech advances by the nanosecond. Yet we still have a significant gap that exists between innovation and maturity when it comes to making data smarter. Communities benefit from the inclusivity that smarter data processes can provide, such as streamlining public services. Will we get to grips with the applications, but also privacy concerns, of AI?

As the tech crystal ball spins off its axis, we take a quick look at the top three areas to watch in 2023 and the decisions that need to be made in the months to come that will enable real change.

  1. Tech adoption.
  2. Making Data Smart.
  3. Fair Tech.

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HEALTHCARE

Should the NHS survive current system pressures and succeed this year they will support prevention of ill-health and improve local economies. Priority areas in healthcare-related negative environmental impacts will also have new light shed on them and be addressed with far more depth.

Here are three predictions for 2023:

  1. Social and environmental (non-medicinal) prescribing will become mainstream.
  2. Increased rigour and focus on social value and net zero in NHS procurement.
  3. An updated version of the NHS Carbon footprint will show change in scale and make-up.

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Authors

Miriam Atkin

Director of Energy

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James Higgins

Low Carbon Partner

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Murray Sirel

Electric Vehicles Consultant

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Camilla Winlo

Head of Data Privacy

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Ian Hirst

Partner, Cyber Threat Services

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Vincenzo Rampulla

Principal Consultant

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Richard Hilson

Principal Consultant

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David Newell

Director of Digital & Marketing

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